Welcome to your midweek mailbag! If you don't see your question answered here, pop on over to the chat at 4 p.m. ET.
Here are a few Big East free-agent signings to add to the list: Pitt DE/LB Brandon Lindsey to Pittsburgh; Rutgers DL Eric LeGrand to Tampa Bay; Rutgers DL Justin Francis to New England. West Virginia long snapper Cody Nutter has a tryout with Tampa Bay.
Now who has questions?
Doug in Tampa writes: AA, questions for you. Miami and FAU just signed a three-game deal to begin in 2013. Miami now has FSU (conference game) UF, USF and FAU in the same season. As a Bulls fan, I don't see this happening especially if and when Pitt and Cuse join the ACC in 2013 as many expect. Miami would need to buy out a nonconference game to accommodate the new ACC member game. UF won't be bought out (means too much and the money) FAU won't, either, since its an easy win and newly added. USF looks like they should plan in advance. Thoughts?
Andrea Adelson: No schedule is ever set in stone. Games are moved, or cancelled all the time. You will see more of that with the recent realignment, and more conferences moving to nine-game league schedules. I have not heard anything from the USF side. If Miami does end up being overloaded for 2013, there is the possibility the USF series gets moved to a different year. Temple just did that with its game against Notre Dame for the 2015 season. It has been moved to 2017.
Aaron H in RU Land writes: Andrea- Did you see RU's new unis??? Can we officially be called Oregon East? I remember when Oregon switched to the Combat Pro Uni's how much of it was hyped as it will help recruiting. Do you think that actually helps? I know it sounds absurd but you never know.
Adelson: I love the uniforms, Aaron. Much better than Oregon's, which leave me blinded and unable to read player names on the jerseys. Do they help in recruiting? I don't think sweeping generalizations can be made about that, but I will say recruits absolutely pay attention to the look of the uniforms. I just hope that isn't the overriding reason they are choosing a school!
Michael in Louisville writes: Andrea, Good call on the effect of the playoff and elimination of AQ status on the Big East. I agree 100 percent. My take is if the Big East has a good team(s) with good records then they will be in the playoff, or a non playoff BCS game. Yeah they may lose the ability to send bad teams to BCS bowls, but so what? Do we really want bad, or not so good one dimensional teams, like UConn 2011, Cincy 2010 and 2009, and Pitt 2005 representing the Big East in a BCS game and getting blown out like these teams did? The bottom line is that for a team to be in a BCS or playoff game the team should be a good team, no matter what conference they are from, and the Big East will still get its good teams into the big games. As for the money, they may get hurt there some, but the overall trend is toward greater revenue sharing among all of the FBS teams and conferences as opposed to less. Less sharing of the money brings the scrutiny of the feds. Something that many people always seem to forget. Let's not forget that the vote on the change was unanimous among ALL of the conference commissioners, both current AQ and current non-AQ. Seems like my CARDS are destined for the Big 12 anyway.
Adelson: Thanks, Michael. You bring up an interesting point about whether the most deserving teams will get into a BCS game without AQ status giving automatic entry. You are right in that 8-4 teams should not play on the biggest stage. But there are years when the SEC has four teams with two losses or fewer -- there were four last year. I think there are a lot of folks out there, myself included, who wonder whether these four teams would get in ahead of a one-loss or two-loss Big East champion. As for the unanimous vote of the commissioners, I'm not sure the ones outside a position of power had a choice. They have no leverage. The revenue sharing may be better than it was previously, but I still don't think it will be equal across the board.
Brutus in Houston writes: Andrea, I just got done reading your piece on the potential playoff system, and the potential negative impact it could have on the Big East. I noticed that you said that the loss of automatic qualifying status could not only hurt the Big East, but also the ACC. If that is true, then could the stronger football schools in either league begin looking to switch to one of the stronger football conferences so they could ensure they continue to play stronger competition, stay in a much more relevant league, and stay in a conference that would promise more money? I could easily see schools such as Louisville, Florida State, or Clemson looking even harder at the Big 12, SEC, or Big 10 to stay relevant. What are your thoughts?
Adelson: I don't think you are far off. Those three schools have been mentioned in the past as attractive candidates for other conferences. What helps the ACC is having a tie-in to a BCS game, something the Big East lacks. It also appears the ACC might be in better shape than the Big East in terms of revenue distribution. But still, the ACC is weaker than the Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12 and Big 12 so we will have to wait and see what happens.
Matt D in Cincinnati writes: This idea of removing AQ as the most fair solution to the "Big East problem" is ridiculous. No, the BE hasn't deserved the AQ the last few years. I would not have been opposed to some criteria (must be ranked in top 25). To say there is no AQ but the BCS wants to maintain traditional/historical matchups simply means the Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12, B12, and ACC retain their AQ status. The removal of AQ resolves nothing but still props up the top conferences.
Adelson: You are not alone in feeling that way. It certainly appears everything is tilting once again toward the conferences at the head of the class. We can only guess as to how all this impacts the Big East. But you are right. Not having a tie-in to a BCS game is a killer right now.