National signing day forced the cancellation of your midweek maiblog. But never fear, your week-ending mailblog is here.
Bob in CT writes: With the recruiting hoopla over, can we move on to next year's schedule? What happens if West Virginia plays in the Big 12 to teams like UConn, which would have four Big East teams they should play on the road and only two that they should play at home? Do you think that changes to three and three? Can you get a legal expert from West Virginia and from Rhode Island to give us their opinions on what will happen next?
Andrea Adelson: One of the most common questions I have gotten lately is about the future Big East schedule and when it is going to be released. I think your point is a big reason why there is no timetable for a release. Losing West Virginia would throw the scheduling situation into chaos, unless the Big East is able to convince a team like Boise State or San Diego State to join for 2012. I am pretty sure the Big East has got many, many contingency scenarios working but there is no way to guess right now how everything is going to play out. As for the legal expert -- stay tuned next week.
Dave in Charlotte writes: What is your love affair with Charlie Strong? You've been praising him for over a year now. Yes, he has recruited well, but I disagree with your assessment that "he clearly showed in 2011 that he has the chops to coach up his young talent." The facts are, he has had two 7-6 seasons, with 2011 losses to FIU and Marshall. I'm not saying he's a bad coach -- just that you should let him earn his accolades.
Adelson: Is winning a share of the Big East title with one of the youngest teams in the nation not earning accolades? Those were two bad losses, but you forgot to mention the win at West Virginia, Louisville's first in Morgantown since 1990. He did it with a true freshman starting at quarterback, too. And let's not forget this program was in shambles when he arrived, and Louisville has been picked to finish near the bottom of the Big East for two straight seasons. So going 7-6 in back-to-back seasons, with a co-championship and bowl victory to me is proving your worth.
Rickey in Lehigh Acres writes: I see that the Big East was 7-11 against AQ competition. That stat doesn't include USF's win over Notre Dame. Why not?
Adelson: It also doesn't include Pitt's loss to Notre Dame. For this post, we looked at how the Big East did against teams from AQ conferences. Notre Dame, as an independent, was left out.
He Who has no Name writes: Andrea,Two questions/requests...1. Please tell Oliver Luck the next time you chat with him that his fan base absolutely does not want to drop FSU and would prefer we drop Marshall whom no one cares about playing. 2. Will ESPN allow you to come to the B12 blog with us? We would like someone who appears to keep their biases (or longing for the SEC) out of their work as much as possible :-D Thanks!
Adelson: I find your first point interesting. Nothing has been set on whether West Virginia is going to get out of the Florida State game, only that it might be an option. But say West Virginia goes into the Big 12 and faces a much more daunting schedule. Would fans still want to play what should be a preseason Top-10 team over what is a perceived automatic win over Marshall? I am always interested in hearing the fan perspective on having a tough nonconference schedule in addition to a tough conference schedule. As for the Big 12 blog, I leave you in the perfectly capable hands of David Ubben. He is even more lovable than me. I know, hard to imagine.
Jack in Winston-Salem, N.C. writes: Whether Big East or Big 12, it looks from Dana Holgorsen's recruiting and comments he seems pretty sure he can roll up big scores on anyone. Do you see the other teams trying to match his offense or will they try to come up with more answers on defense?
Adelson: Oh, I think the Big 12 has him matched on offense, don't you think? When I mentioned West Virginia has question marks on defense headed into 2012, I got laughed at because "nobody plays defense in the Big 12."
Andrew in California writes: I have a what if question about the (Greg) Schiano legacy. What if Temple had hired Schiano in 2001 and Rutgers had hired (Steve) Kragthorpe? Temple was booted at the end of 2004 for poor perfromance. Schiano lifted Rutgers from the ashes and saved their Big-East membership thanks to huge improvements on the field in 2003 and 2004. If not for Schiano, there is a really good chance that Rutgers would be in the MAC right now.
Adelson: I think Louisville fans would scoff, scoff! at the notion that Kragthorpe would have kept Rutgers down. But your point is taken, and should only reinforce the steps that Schiano made at Rutgers. So he didn't win any championships. But he absolutely saved a sinking program.