Another Wednesday, another mailblog. Let's dig in.
Ken in Connecticut writes: AA, I know it was only the spring game, BUT how can Chandler Whitmer not be named the starting quarterback for UConn? The stats really speak for themselves. He had a good game, while (Johnny) McINTee looked about the same as he did last year and the other two that played had similarly poor stat lines with low completion percentages and lots of INTs. I think the quicker coach (Paul) Pasqualoni names a quarterback, the better this team will be. Your thoughts?
Andrea Adelson: Whitmer did have better numbers, but I am not sure he blew anybody away, either. So clearly Pasqualoni believes more competition throughout the summer will serve all the quarterbacks well. I am a proponent of having your starting quarterback named going into the offseason, so chemistry and rhythm can be built with receivers, trust can be earned and leadership can develop. But if Pasqualoni did not name his starter yet, then I am sure he has good reasons.
Dave H. in Millstone Township, N.J., writes: Hi Andrea - I'd like to hear your thoughts with regard to defenses outshining offenses in spring practice. Should fans really be concerned with poor offensive performance like we've seen around the Big East this spring, or is it normal for offenses to struggle at this time? Do traditionally offensive-minded conferences like the Pac-12 and WAC experience similar situations in their springs, where the defense continually dominates the offense? Is there any correlation to what materializes in the regular season?
Adelson: I think it is important to remember the Big East is primarily a defensive league. Seven of the eight teams in the league last season ranked in the top half of the nation in total defense. The strength of most every team in the Big East this season is going to be defense as well, when you take a look at teams like Rutgers, Louisville, UConn and USF to name four off the bat. Also, defenses do tend to be ahead of offenses during the spring and fall practice times. Be honest -- do any of the Big East offenses scare you right now? Didn't think so. Each one has major question marks and the potential for major shortcomings. So let's just say I wasn't surprised to see the results.
Aaron H. in RU Land writes: Andrea - As always great work... I totally agree with your column on how vastly underrated (Mohamed) Sanu is. I lost count last year how many big third-down catches he made for RU to get them big first downs. When he first made his intentions known to enter the draft, the draft experts had him as a late first rounder (ala Kenny Britt).. I wonder if the draft process tradition of scouts knocking down a player (because they want their team to draft him) is in play with SANU. Don't be shocked if the Patriots keep their first round pick at 31 they take Sanu, especially knowing that (Greg) Schiano will most definitely be looking at him with their second-round pick.
Adelson: Thanks, Aaron. I think the 40-time has hurt him, and maybe there is a bit of scouts knocking him down so they can pick him. In any case, I think he will be a great addition to the team that picks him.
Dave in Charlotte, N.C. writes: I agree with your article about the risk of the western school reneging if the Big East loses its AQ status. But I recall that you shut down this exact argument (numerous times in the chat room), saying regardless of AQ status, the Big East money is too good to pass up for San Diego State and Boise State. So which is it? Do you think this is a risk or not?
Adelson: You are right, I have shut down the argument. But just because I do not believe it will happen does not discount the potential risk. As I mentioned in that BCS post, losing San Diego State and Boise State is the worst-case nightmare scenario. I think the Big East has to be prepared for anything to happen, no matter how unlikely.
Dennis in Tampa writes: Hey AA, a little delayed on this topic. Anyways, when you visited USF was there any talk or urgency for an on-campus stadium? The options in the past were tear up the golf course and build it there, or tear down the University mall and build it there. Just curious if you heard any rumblings.
Adelson: There was no talk or urgency on the matter, Dennis. I think that is a long-term vision coach Skip Holtz has, but I think it is way, way into the future, if it happens at all.
Alex in Syracuse writes: Really, Tino Sunseri and UConn (as dark horses)? What about the Cuse and (Ryan) Nassib? He was second to Teddy Bridgewater in quarterback rating among Big East quarterbacks. He's got Marcus Sales back, who exploded in the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl, and Ashton Broyld can play QB/WR/DB/RB/TE (just call him a weapon). Might I also add a hopefully healthy Prince-Tyson Gulley at tailback, who will come in under the radar. To me, Syracuse's offense looks pretty stable, except I have no idea how to judge an offensive line. Do you know anything on Syracuse's o-line?
Adelson: Did you write in before or after the spring game? If it was after, then you are one really, really super positive fan. I try not to put too much stock into spring games, especially when there are so many injured players out. Syracuse was missing some key pieces, including tackle Justin Pugh. But I am not sure what happened offensively provides many glimmers of hope. I like Nassib fine, but the running game is a concern. Gulley has to stay healthy. The offensive line did not play well in the spring game, but that was not a surprise given some of the players out. The nonconference schedule is pretty brutal, too. Let's just say nothing that happened in the spring raised my hopes, not even the potential of Broyld.