Welcome to another edition of the Big East mailbag, where any and all questions and comments are welcome. I do read everything in the mailbag, even if I cannot answer every question. Your best chance for getting an answer is to ask questions that we have not covered in a recent mailbag.
Plenty of comments about the recent receiver rankings, and a few counter arguments to my point last week in the mailbag about 2-point conversions. Coming Friday in the mailbag: Why does West Virginia want to play James Madison at FedEx Field?
First, the receiver rankings.
Chris Person in Louisville writes: I am writing in regards to your post on ranking the Big East WR corps. I am sure you have gotten a lot of people who disagree, but it was an article of your personal opinion and that is what you gave. When I read it, I was disappointed to see Louisville so low on the list, but realized that lacking many big time performers from last year that are returning probably hurt them quite a bit. My question is, despite this lack of experience, do you think that the receiving core could be one of the most, if not the most talented in the Big East? Considering [Josh] Bellamy is a pretty good returning starter, [Andrell] Smith will fill a bigger role this year plus the addition of redshirt freshman Michaelee Harris, DeVante Parker, Eli Rogers etc. Not to mention a talented yet fairly unproven 6-foot-8 Josh Chichester at tight end. I would think that the talent level of that group is towards the top if not the top of the Big East. Your thoughts?
Andrea Adelson writes: Absolutely there is talent there. The reason for the ranking is because the talent is unproven. Bellamy is solid, but everybody else just has a lot of potential at this point. Parker and Rogers have a chance to contribute, but you never know what you are going to get out of true freshmen. I do like Chichester, and so does offensive coordinator Mike Sanford. He is going to be a key part of the offense, and should help Louisville do very well in the league tight end rankings, which will be out later this week. Another question is quarterback, and that impacts the receivers as well.
Andrew DiGirolamo in Frederick, Md., writes: Andrea, please post something about West Virginia's transfer from Wake Forest Devon Brown. He was their No. 1 guy and should add a ton of depth to our WRs. You left him out when you talked about our guys.
Adelson writes: You are right, I did forget to mention him. His is a great addition, but I am still going with Rutgers at No. 1 based on overall talent and potential. West Virginia was a very close second.
Rebuttal to 2-point conversions argument:
Aaron Funk in Dunedin, New Zealand: I noticed in your Friday mailbag you said you complained about Oregon going for two on the first possession of games, calling it unsportsmanlike. I had a friend that would do this against me on a video game and it made me want to jump out the window. However, if you only go for 2 in a crucial situation, your team has no experience going for 2 in a game. By sometimes going for 2 when it isn't necessary, this gives the team some in-game experience. What do you think?
Adelson writes: I think that is why you practice. Fake field goals and fake punts are worked on in practice and rarely used in games. How do you know your team will have experience with it? Practice. Also, goal-line situations are always simulated in practice, so going for 2 from the 2-yard line does not strike me as something that has to be done in a game just for the experience.
Scott in Inwood, W.Va., writes:I was reading your thoughts on the 2-point conversion in regards to doing it in the first quarter, and running up the score. Respectfully, I 100 percent disagree. As a WVU fan, I watched a team that would punt from the other teams' 30-yard line, played with no fire, and no confidence. I felt the players almost started playing to the level of confidence that the coaches showed in them. I remember watching a Boise State game last year where they went down 7-0 early. The other team had the confidence and the momentum. Boise went straight up the field, scored to TD and the 2-point conversion. ... Boise ended up running away with the game from that point on. I loved the strategy, and the confidence. I loved watching a team go for the throat and push it until the final whistle. My WVU team did not play with that confidence or mentality (which I feel is the team's reflection of the head coach), and it was more painful to watch than it was enjoyable.
Tim in Portland, Ore., writes: First of all, I am not an Oregon fan. I have to disagree with you on the 2-point conversion in the first quarter. I believe it puts pressure on the other team and breaks their will if they succeed. The team has an opportunity to stop it as well. If you're going for 2 up by 30 then it's a different story. That is why Stew is gone. He had no killer instinct.
Adelson writes: I understand your point, but perhaps that touchdown gave the team confidence and not just the 2-point conversion? How are we to know that Boise State would not have romped had it gone for the extra point? I think going for it on fourth down from the 30 is vastly different than going for 2 when it is unnecessary. And how is going for 2 after the first score of the game a killer instinct?
Cathy in Albuquerque writes: I'm trying to find out what the Big East's fall 2011 football practice start dates are. Any info would be much appreciated.
Adelson writes: For those who missed it, I had the start dates up earlier this month. Check them out here.