Let's take a final peek inside the mailbag at the end of the week.
Austin Gray in Northfield, Vt., writes: Andrea: Curious about the anti-Temple slant? The Big East seems desperate to stop the bleeding. Replacing schools like VaTech, BC, Miami, Pitt, WVU and Syracuse with schools like UCF, Navy, SMU, Houston, Memphis, Louisville and Cincinnati shows the downward trend of the conference. Temple seems to bench mark right in the wheel house of the new adds, yes?
Andrea Adelson: The anti-Temple slant? I do not believe I have written an opinion piece yet on the possibility of Temple joining the Big East. If you are referring to the chat, then I think I probably speak for most Big East fans when I say I am puzzled at what seems to be the disorganization of these moves. Not only that, the Big East did kick Temple out previously for under performance. I agree the Owls are leap years from where they were before, but it seems as though these moves, once again, have been done in a haphazard and illogical way. If Temple was really the No. 1 priority, why not just skip the step where it asked Boise State to enter a year early? Why not add Temple first for 2012 and then wait on the announcement of Memphis? Why not add everybody when TCU came on board in 2010? Temple does fall in line with everybody else, but excuse me if I leave the pom poms in my closet.
Evan in Philadelphia writes: If Temple joins the Big East for 2012, how do you see the Owl finishing in the conference? I feel the Owls can compete with every team in the conference this upcoming year.
Adelson: Compete, sure. Beat every team? No. If the Owls join I would peg them to be somewhere in the 6-8 range. I think Louisville, Rutgers, Cincinnati, USF and even Pitt are better. There are some major questions facing this team at quarterback and on defense. The Big East gets a really bad rap, but it is a better conference top to bottom than the MAC, a league Temple has yet to win.
Aaron H. in Monroe, N.J., writes: Andrea -As always you are doing a great job and appreciate the love you have been giving Rutgers through out your position rankings on defense. I feel like this is HUGE year for RU football and feel like this is year we finally win the BE crown. With the lost of (Mohamed) Sanu and a whole new offensive staff, do you think that they will be an ultra conservative offense? (especially with a stout defense). It just seems like this year the Big East is going to be won by the team who makes the least mistakes on offense (as cliched as it sounds).
Adelson: Well, to be a conservative offense, you need to have a solid run game, right? So that will all be predicated on how much better the Scarlet Knights will be on the ground. Jawan Jamison showed flashes, and the offensive line was better. But that still translated to one of the worst run offenses in the nation. Getting Savon Huggins back healthy helps, but he was too tentative when he got the ball last year, and needs to just let go and play. Now, Rutgers did win nine games a year ago with a bad run offense. But to win a Big East title, I think the Scarlet Knights are going to have to get better in this area.
CardFanDan in The 'Ville writes: The Big East's refusal to help Boise State with early exit penalties seems like another example of the schism between basketball schools and football schools in the conference. There is no way that the basketball-only schools would give up some of their piece of WVU's buyout to invite a football only school. Do you agree? Do you feel -as I do- that the basketball and football schools in the Big East are drifting even further apart throughout the conference expansion process?
Adelson: I think it is too early to comment on whether the basketball schools put the kibosh on Boise until we know exactly how the discussions went down. Perhaps it was the league office that handled these negotiations without input from every league school. I don't believe the schools are any further apart. Because look at the moves that have been made -- Memphis was a nod to basketball; if Temple joins, that would be a nod for basketball as well. If the hoops schools really, truly felt life was better on their own, they probably would have left by now.
Steve in Charleston, W.Va., writes: From you article about Temple: The Big East had been hoping it could persuade Boise State -- to leave the Mountain West early.Isn't this hypocritical by the Big East after fighting against WVU?
Adelson: About as hypocritical as trying to get Temple out of the MAC to join immediately, in direct violation of the Owls' exit provision that calls for a two-year waiting period. But this is how it is in the world of college expansion. There is no such thing as looking out for everybody else. You have got to look out first and foremost for yourself.
Mike in 'Cuse writes: Nothing is written in stone. Because Temple appears on the way in, doesn't mean Louisville is on the way out. So obviously the Big East won't sit at 13 teams. Do you think they look to add a 14th team now, wait for Navy to come in, or wait to see if their are any more defections?
Adelson: I think that is the big question left for the Big East. The league has given no indication that it is in a rush to get to 14. I really think this is an exceptional circumstance because of the dire need to get another team in place for the 2012 season. I could be dead wrong, but I am not sure getting to 14 is an absolute priority right now -- unless the Big East believes it has to for the good of television negotiations.