Even though it's still 2012 and the season isn't over but who do you think will be the starting qb for uconn next year?Do you think that uconn should be aggressive on offense as in call more pass plays than running plays in the second half of games?
Shawn, way way way too early to tell right now! I am sure Cochran is going to be in the mix with Whitmer during spring ball. He has to be, because this is once again an area in major need of upgrade. As for changing philosophy, I don't think UConn has the players right now to start flinging the ball all over the field. I just don't see PP changing what he likes to do.
Andrea, straight up ... RU winning or not against VT? And if they win, are they favorites for BE next year?
You have to wait until next Friday before I reveal my prediction :) But I do not think winning a bowl game has anything to do with being a favorite next year. I think the top two teams will be Louisville and Boise State based on returning players. Rutgers is going to have some major questions on D it has to address.
I know it is early but several publications have a few incoming Big East teams in the pre-pre season 2013 top 25 or within distance of the top 25 including Boise State, East Carolina, and San Diego State. Does this bode well for the future Big East or whatever it is call football conference?
I think folks know Boise State is going to be a yearly Top 25 team, San Diego State showed this year the program is not going to be taking any steps back. But I am not sure one preseason poll for 2013 means that the Big East is going to be on solid ground. The problem ahead is keeping everybody in the league, moreso than the performances on the field.
Has the time come for the Big East to accept its position as stepping stone league? A place where teams come to improve, build up their programs so they can be added at the next level. Like the ABA or WHL of college football, not all of your members can move up but be happy for the ones who could, in large part due to their time in the Big East.
When you consider all the changes, it is hard to think of the Big East in any other terms. The ACC is basically a new-fangled version of the Big East. And let's not forget all the coaches who have passed through here en route to bigger jobs.
If I'm Fresno St and UNLV I'm asking Boise St, San Diego St, SMU, and Houston "Why don't you join the MWC?" Do you think the MWC schools will show solidarity and stick together or will a couple of them consider jumping to the BE?
You are not the only one who is wondering whether those schools have posed that question. The bottom line, as always, is $$$. And I have no idea how the new BE TV deal is going to play out, quite frankly. Right now MWC schools get about $1 million each from their TV deal.
Hi AA! Any chance Louisville ends up in the ACC next season? How about RU going to the B1G a year early, too?
I am going to say no. Logistics are too complicated, particularly with arranging things for the new leagues.
Andrea, what is your take on the RU Tech spread? Rutgers has the better record, and Tech is a notoriously bad road team.
I am surprised, honestly. Thought Rutgers would be the favorite.
Cincinnati has failed to secure a place in one of the big conferences during this mad dash called realignment, yet they are considered a hot prospect for further moves by these super conferences. In your opinion, what made Cincinnati so undesirable to the likes of the ACC and Big12, and what makes them a hot prospect for a 'next round' of realignment?
Well it is like a pecking order, or a draft, right? Cincinnati was not able to beat out West Virginia and Louisville but would be positioned to be next in line whenever there is another shift. Louisville was chosen based on its overall athletic program. Cincinnati falls behind in several areas there, including total budget, football stadium size and overall success of all sports programs.
The value to a tv deal is having some top level schools in large tv markets that add value to the rest of the schools in the conference. Boise St would be a top level school, but not in a large tv market, which school(s) in the current Big East format are the "Value-adders" that will carry the conference in Media negotiations and ultimately keep or force the breakup of the league?
Well that is not necessarily the case. The SEC, for example, carries itself with its football product. I am not trying to minimize the importance of TV market size. For a league like the Big East, it is hugely important. With markets in Texas, Florida and California, that is what the Big East is going to sell.
AA, I know I speak for many others when I say THANK YOU for being our blogger and being consistently objective and honest in your opinions and analysis. Here's hoping we get graced by your blogging in 2013. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
That is very sweet, thank you John. Merry Christmas to everyone out there as well!
Andrea would an impressive performance by San Diego State, Cincinatti or Rutgers in their respective bowl games possible have them move to favorite or co-favorite for the Big East next year?
Not to me, I gotta base decisions for 2013 on who is returning to those teams.
Here's a simpler question for you. What are the odds that Brandon Coleman will be in the pre-season top 25 players, good, unclear or unlikely?
Unclear. He was good this year, but boy can he be so much better!
Andrea, I agree with you, RU Defense next year will be weaker. But didn't they Red-shirt a record number of players that were quality recruits?
They did, but I am not sure I would trust a bunch of redshirts/inexperienced players to play at the same level as the seniors right now.
Does the hire of Willie Taggert help USF at all in getting into the ACC or better (Big 12)
Not if USF keeps posting 3-9 records!
Who do you think was the Big East's best hire this offseason and will be the biggest new coaching star in Big East out of Rhule,Tubberville, and Taggart ala Brian Kelly and Charlie Strong?
Taggart to me was the best hire. IF he is as good as many predict he will be, he could be commanding top dollar from bigger programs in a few years.
Andrea, with UCF joining the conference next year and Rutgers leaving the year after, we've only got one year to arrange the greatest mascot showdown of all time: Scarlet Knight vs. Golden Knight. Half-time Joust at Midfield. How can we make sure this happens??
OOoh and there is a Medieval Times here in Orlando!
Which Big East team do you think will have the best group of new starters next year?
Too tough for me to say right now. I know what the current BE schools have, but I need to start studying up on the incoming schools before I can give you an informed answer.
A.A you mention the coaches above yet put out an article earlier that you think the BE did the best with the coaching hires. Question is do you have freedom/ autonomy to write what you want or is there a set topic, ect... that ESPN tells you to write about?
I write what I want. And I truly believe Taggart was the best coaching hire. That doesn't mean I think he's going to stay around for 50 years if he ends up winning championships. It means I think he is a great hire and should have USF fans excited about the future.
Happy Holidays Sunshine. Im on the Willie T Bus, I think he is a great hire, I want you thought on how long before he fixes the Skip mess? We have no QB next year( or will be a Freshman). Losing about 25 seniors as well. Can he come in and compete in year 1 OR will it take 2-3 years like I think, Look at the Schedule next year as well @Michigan St, Miami, Ville, Uconn, Rutgers, Cincy, UCF and the other BE schools, we could very easily miss a bowl next year. Now I could be suprised and Willie T could come in and use the talent that remains and takes us back to a bowl next year. Thoughts?
Hi Doug, good to see you again. That nonconference schedule is pretty brutal next year. I want to see what happens in spring ball, but right now I am not sure he has the talent on this roster to be able to play the way he wants -- physical, aggressive smashmouth football. When was the last time USF actually had a good running game? It's been a long time. And that is what he is going to want to do. I do not think he will get things turned around overnight, but I am confident he will get things turned around in a timely fashion.
Who wins tommorow night? UCF or Ball St?
I am going with UCF.
Happy Holidays Andrea, counting down the final hour before my 5 day weekend. What do you see as USF's best gameplan for growing into a top flight college football program. All of their other peer institutions have either moved on to a power conference or in the case of UConn and Cinncy, are at least in the conversation for eventually moving to the ACC. Doesn't seem like USF is on the ACC radar and there is no way they will be picked up by any of the other power conferences. I see USF as the biggest loser once expansion settles down.
Well that all depends on your perspective, right? UConn could end up being the biggest loser depending on how these moves shake out. The game plan has to be to win. There are no more excuses for USF. You guys know that I have had high expectations for this program, and to see where it is right now is just unacceptable. So for USF to get people to take it seriously, it has to win most winnable conference among the BCS leagues.
Hi Andrea... Do you think the BE team fans are over-looking Boise State? I just don't see the respect coming from these teams that are going to be introduced to Chris Petersen...
I don't know let's ask them ...
with the pinstripe bowl being a almost exact rematch of last years game in the Dome with the exception of the orange offensive upgrade could Syracuse run away with this one? or is it close until the end.
I don't see a runaway. I think it is going to be close until the end, and this is one of the games I am most looking forward to watching!
Andrea, you have plans for the post-apocalypse yet?
I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!
Rob in NJ, Im sure most didnt expect to see Ville go to the ACC over UConn or Cincy, They also didnt see MD and RU heading to the Big 10 so soon either. Dont count out USF landing somehwere,
Ok if tomorrow you are told the only way to save humankind from Mayan ruin is to save the Big East. You are offered a time-machine with the ability to go back to one moment in time. Which moment do you choose to give the Big East the best chance and save mankind?
DO NOT LET MIAMI AND VA TECH LEAVE.
Do you see the MAC becoming the best of the conferences not part of the "Big 5"? They seem to schedule tough out of conference games each year (and win a few), and it seems they are putting more players in the NFL every year.
Certainly the MAC is well positioned. This is a league that has stuck together for the most part and generally has at least six bowl eligible teams this year. Northern Illinois' performance does not hurt, either. Plus, the BE has taken the "best of the rest" from the MWC and C-USA. So yes, I think the MAC is a very good, very respectable league.
Andrea, I would like to thank you as well for your good work on the blog this year. My New Year's wish is that both the Big East Blog and you will be back next year as well.
Thank you! You are too kind.
I respect both Boise and SDSU. They add a lot to the conference. It will be fun watching them next year (I hope)!
Merry Christmas Andrea, I will be coming to YOUR state Florida next week for NYE and for the Orange Bowl. I was wondering what your thoughts are living in Florida on the success of NIU and if the Big East would be looking at them now that they have BCS game next to their name. On the field there is no doubt in my mind NIU is as good as anyone in Big East they just dont have the stadium or attendance but they DO have the # 3 tv market.
A warm welcome to the Sunshine State, Mark! It is 82 today! (Though it will be in the 50s tomorrow, brrr). NIU is an exceptionally solid program, but I think the BE wants to look West right now to help out Boise State and San Diego State. That is why you see the reports about UNLV and Fresno State. I have a ton of respect for what NIU is able to do year after year with all the coaching changes. Really great program, no doubt.
AA What is you take on the BE name. Do you think the 7 catholic schools will take the name? Do you think the BE will be able to establish an identity like the big 5?
I have no idea what they will do. But if the BE keeps moving west, I cannot help but think a new name would be best, to start fresh and build a new identity. This is simply not a basketball conference anymore.
After the apocalypse, Disney World will be invited into the BE. They'll replace Sea World, who moved to the ACC.
Big East fan's aren't overlooking Boise St. some of us simply don't think they will actually play any Big East games...
Does Pitt's defense mact up with Ole Miss to get enough QB pressure to slow up the passing game?
Certainly Pitt has the ability to get after the QB, with Aaron Donald sitting right in the middle of that line. The question about Pitt for me has been about motivations. Some games they are totally in to, others they give off this vibe that they would rather be doing something else. If the players are really into this bowl game, then I think Pitt has a great shot at winning.
The problem USF has is its location - the ACC already has the Florida market wrapped up with Miami and FSU, USF doesn't add any TV value for the ACC so don't expect a call from them any time soon. If the Big12 wants to get into Florida, I'd imagine they'd call FSU first
I think the USF scenario is if the ACC lost FSU ...
The Big East schedule for 2013 is already out. Does that mean Boise St, San Diego St, Memphis, Houston etc. have to commit to the Big East for the 2013 season?
No. They have until July 1, 2013.
In 2014, who do we petition to bring you to the Big Ten blog?
I don't think Brian or Adam would want that!
Can the Big East survive in any way without Boise and San Diego?
Well, again, I pose this question -- where are the remaining schools going to go? If those two do not come, the BE still has 10 schools. This league has played with 8 for years. So again, there are not many options for the remaining schools.
I think Brian and Adam would love to have you join them in Indy at St. Elmo's for steak when you whip them in weekly predictions.
You guys make me laugh.
BigPriest conference ... LOL !!! Why not go for "Saints of the Round table" ?
You guys are on a roll ... go on.
Do you think Cincinnati & USF will be in the ACC by 2014?
I am completely out of the conference prediction game, guys. I should go buy a Magic 8 ball for Christmas ...
Great job on the blog and happy holidays! Who's your bet for Pitt QB next year - Savage is making a name for himself in the bowl prep activities, but Voytik and Chapmen should provide an interesting mobile option?
Thanks, and same to you! I think the early favorite has to be Savage, but my concern is that he has not played in a game in what, like 25 years? In all seriousness, I did read great reports on how he looked in practice, and given his experience and fit for this type of offense, I am going to guess him. But it will be a great competition to watch.
People in Boise are excited about the BE, or whatever it will be called... We simply hate Craig Thompson that much! Unless, the MWC changes him, we will not stay.
I am writing this down for the future ...
AA, I saw your prediction on the ACC blog that Pitt may have the personnel to contend to win a weak Coastal Division. But the O-Line has held us back the past couple years. Do you see the team improving in that area next season? What about the experiment moving TJ Clemmings to OT, good idea?
You are right, the offensive line is a major question mark, particularly with the losses of Jacobson and Turnley. But I have to think that the development of some of these younger guys after a year in the Chryst system is going to help. As for Clemmings -- the guy clearly was not going to develop as a DE so why not see what he can do on the OL. Plenty of DLs have become successful offensive linemen so I am interested to see how that experiment plays out.
Do you think the NCAA sanctions against UConn had anything to do with the ACC choosing Louisville? With the potential of sanctions at UNC, I had a feeling they didn't want to deal with 2 programs under NCAA scrunity.
I do not think it was a make or break factor, but I do think it played some sort of role, yes.
How about the conference of frequent flyer miles.
Coome oooon tell me who your favorite CFB team is...you can't seriously tell me you cover a sport without a team that holds your heart...pleeeease
The only team that holds my heart is the Miami Dolphins. And they have broken my heart the last 20 years!
"...I did read great reports on how he (Savage) looked in practice." Great! Another QB with great practice reps! I think the last 3 years have given me enough of the "good paractice QB" as starter.
Savage was a freshman All-American at least.
"I don't think Brian or Adam would want that!"Does the Big Ten blog have a "No Girls Allowed" sign on their tree house?
Of course not, but my guess is they want to keep their current jobs!
I personally am super excited to see some good teams from the BE play on The Blue. It may not be the biggest stadium, but it is an adventure! We welcome all that come to support their teams. Boise is awesome!
I have been to Boise, and I agree it is a great town.
Would Temple be of any interest to any other major conferences? I imagine the Philadelphia market would be a nice thing to have.
As I mentioned earlier, TV market is not the only factor. It is a factor, but I do not see Temple going anywhere.
Favorite Christmas song, tradition, and Bowl game to watch in person and On Tv during the Bowl season.
Rockin' around the Christmas Tree is a favorite; I love eating gingerbread cookies; I went to the Rose Bowl once and was totally blown away; on TV I just want to watch a GOOD GAME, does not matter which game it is.
Any idea on who will be behind center next year for Syracuse? Could Ashton Broyld get a chance, or is he more valuable elsewhere on the field?
Great question. My guess is they are going to want to see what Zach Allen can do.
Why can't you come and be a blogger for the Big 12? I like David Ubben but the Big 12 only has one blogger and definatly could use two bloggers such as the Pac-12, SEC, and Big 10.
AA = hot demand!
Schiano has another former coach getting HC position. He has obviously picked his staff well and slowly developing a nice resume under himself.
I think the most impressive thing about Schiano is his ability to identify talent -- both coaching and players. His game-management skills, you can argue that. But I think he generally has done an outstanding job identifying where players fit best on the field and what coaches are rising stars.
Any interest in The Poinsettia Bowl? Who wins?
I will be watching, and am on instant analysis duty tonight! I picked BYU 20-17. Going with the Cougars D to win the day.
As a Football fan wouldn't you have preferred to see A Backyard Brawl Reunion in the pinstripe bowl?
For John CFTX: Andrea, are you of Czech heritage by any chance?
So Andrea, from your comments you once again do not see the Bearcats as at least co-favorites to win the Beg east in 2013 ?
Oh here we go, Cincinnati fans mad at me again ...
Cross-Country Catholics ? G.O.D. League (game of Defense), HOLY B1G !! B1G Holy ! Holy B1G this league is wide !!, etc.
Now this one made me laugh out loud.
CTDo you think USF good be the dark horse team to win it all?They are going to have a Big East best defensive front 7 ,oline, wide receiver, and tight end group. The big questions are Quarterback and Cornerback ,which will have new starters.Can no 1 ESPN dual threat qb Asiantii Woulard have a Teddy Bridgewater type impact and if these jucos at corner step up do you think USF can win the Big East?
Well we don't know if Woulard is coming to USF. And I thought the Bulls were going to have the best front 7 this year. I can tell you right now I WILL NOT BE PICKING USF AS A DARKHORSE.
Prediction on Pinstripe Bowl?
Comes out next week.
What is your opinion of Santa taking a second job as UC's president? Do you think the price of toys has gone up so much that he needs to make ends meet?
Well I know UC fans love their president!
Why no talk about UMass to the Big East? UMass is right in the Big East's backyard.
Big East wants to move West at this point.
AA, I think you have to go with SDSU tonight. Aztecs, Mayans, aren't they all related????
What do you think of syracuse bringing in a lot of juco's (6 already I think)? Can you win doing that?
You definitely can win doing that, but it is not an ideal situation if you are just bringing in players for a few years. You would rather develop them over a period of time.
Andrea, Phillip Thomas of Fresno St got Robbed of the Jim Thorpe Award...that is all
Hi Rocky! I had a great time interviewing him in Orlando a few weeks ago! What a player!
Jason Pierre Paul( Ju Co Transfer) so yeap, you can win with those players
Any thoughts on when Mike Aresco might be able to close a TV deal...maybe he's ready for the Mayan prophecy!
He needs to keep his league together first before he can go to the table.
UMass = One of the worst FBS teams. We are already getting Memphis.
and also UMass has played one year of FBS football...could be a worse selection than Tulane.
Both the New Mexico Bowl and the Potato Bowl outdrew the Indiana/Butler game in television ratings. I think that just about says it all regarding the importance of basketball to conference realignment. Sorry UCONN.
Exactly, Jay. Football is driving the train.
I am sorry that a fellow Gator grad is stuck covering the Big East and ACC. Just wanted to let you know that you do a great job informing the readers. Keep up the good work.
Thanks Donnie, and don't be sorry! I have a job writing about college football, what's not to love!
I think you should make it a RULE not to give USF any preseason props until they actually prove they can win
Yes I need to make that a rule. I threatened last year I was going to do it and I backed down. Shame on me.
Anyone else think losing Don Brown (DC) is really really bad news for UConn? I think it'll really hurt them next year.
Yes I think it is really devastating news, John. His defense was the only good thing going for that team!
Do you think Brandon Kay fits Tuberville's system now that he was granted a sixth year?
Great question, John. I actually discuss this a little bit in my Friday Four Down video tomorrow at 2 p.m. (Shameless plug!). I cannot help but think the QB competition will be opened up in the spring. Tuberville has been known to spread it around more with the pass, and that is not something Cincinnati did this year. So it will be interesting to see how he integrates the strong running game into his offensive philosophy and how much exactly is going to change.
Andrea- why would the league not want UNLV as a full member? SDSU too? Great Hoops.
My guess is travel. They would be the only west coast basketball members. Rough sledding, there.
Kasheeme Green - Architect of Defense.... Think he will do well and represent RU in NFL well. Believe Sanu was his Offensive compliment, but shame he got injured with Bengals.
I think Greene will be a great player as well.
Non-football question: Catch any of the Crosstown Classic last night?
I did not. I actually just focus on football, even in December!
Before USF fans put alot of hope in Asianti (sp?) at QB if he signs, does it worry you that his teams have not won a lot in his 2 yrs as QB? I think Teddy Heisman's Miami team was a winner, right? Also, have you seen Asianti play since he is in our backyard? I know he broke his ankle at the end of the season.
I have not seen him play but I have talked with some folks who have, and they are not totally sold on him as a college prospect. I am going to reserve judgment until I see him play. You guys all know how I feel about these recruiting rankings. You just never know what type of guy you are going to get until they actually set foot on campus and start practicing.
Do you think Gary Nova is ready to air it out in the bowl game? RU's offense was painful to watch at times this year.
It is not a matter of Gary Nova being ready but the coaching staff ALLOWING him to air it out. This is a tough passing matchup for Rutgers -- VT's secondary is actually pretty good.
With Rhule taking over, who will be under center for Temple next year?
Matt Fortuna had a great Q&A with Rhule, I hope you guys were able to catch it earlier this week. Tuna asked him that, and he basically said he was going to open up the competition. He knows all 3 QBs -- Coyer, Granger, Newsome -- so it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I don't have a good gauge on how that one will turn out because I think it is totally wide open.
All right that is it for me today. Thanks to all you wonderful readers for joining me week after week. I truly appreciate you all. I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and I will see you again next week! I AM CONFIDENT THERE WILL BE A CHAT, FORGET THE MAYANS!!!!!!!