Welcome to your mid-week Big East mailblog. Let's get to some questions.
Andrew in New York writes: Hi Andrea, Regarding the move by Gov. Dan Malloy - his peace plea to BC may also be due to UConn's interest in joining the Hockey East (as the 12th member after they recently added Notre Dame), with an invite possibly coming in June. Naturally, another block by BC would be a giant blow to the schools repairing relations and would also further prevent UConn from any ties with ND, who could be looking for a home in the ACC (with rivals Cuse, BC and Miami and where they would likely have the best shot at going 12-0 in football) if the BE collapses. I don't think the timing on this statement has much to do with the FSU rumors.
Adelson: Thanks, Andrew. I believe that point was made in the article I linked to, and I think that definitely has something to do with his comments. But I also found the timing interesting from a football perspective -- especially since UConn has been on record with its interest in the ACC and some of the speculation surrounding FSU. Whether it was intentional or not, I don't think it hurts to ease any tensions with the BC for Hockey East or the ACC.
Mike Canger in Clifton, N.J., writes: Please, speak up for the Big East. Or say nothing. There are great arguments to be made to support the relevance of the Big East. We just need a strong spokesperson to make them. I pray that you will stand up and make the case for the Big East. Lord knows, no one else is doing it. Millions of Big East fans are looking for a spokesperson. Please, be the one. We need you to be a courageous spokesperson for us. Be not afraid. Please, stir the pot and DO IT!
Adelson: Mike, I guess you missed my Friday post in which I made incredibly stellar arguments for the Big East. But just remember the Big East does not pay my bills so I don't think I'm the best spokesperson.
Atticus Wegman of Tustin, Calif., writes: You said this: "It should be an absolute outrage that the Big East is teetering on the brink of being left out of the big BCS money." I'm sorry, but I can't agree with you here. In fact, I'm at a loss for words as to how anyone could make this argument. The Big East is nothing like it used to be. THINK! They lost two of their most longstanding members and brought in a mix teams that have failed to perform even in smaller conferences i.e. UCF (one good year), SDSU, SMU. Boise and Houston are good additions but are nothing like Syracuse and Pitt when it comes to national television watchers and prestige. Mark my words, the Big East will fall. No matter how you laud their efforts and seem to be an ardent believer that they will triumph, they will not.
Adelson: That line was in reference to the Big East compared to the ACC. My point is this one -- why is nobody complaining about the ACC being lumped into the grouping with the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 for BCS revenue while the Big East is being left out? The ACC has done little to nothing in BCS games to merit such consideration. If I was working in the Big East offices, I would be banging fists to get that message out.
John writes: Hello Andrea, I watched your Big East out of conference games preview and was surprised you did not mention Virginia Tech versus Pittsburgh. That should be a good one, too! And of course, to a much lesser extent, The Edsall Bowl -- UCONN at Maryland. I enjoy your blog as it is a good college football fix that helps football fans get through the summer months!
Greg in Charlotte writes: Andrea, How do you leave the Cincinnati-VT game out of your big nonconference highlights? Also, the pundits have been 0-for in predicting the Bearcats will be middle of the pack, only to see them win the league three of those four years. We will see if fewer returning starters with a solid coach can beat the new coach with supposed better returning talent (Rutgers). They have done nothing in five years to deserve league champion predictions.
Adelson: John and Greg, I think those two Virginia Tech games are going to be good. But I could only pick three for that quick video, so I went with the two nonconference games that are going to feature the most high-profile opponents (Syracuse-USC, Rutgers-Arkansas), plus the league game that I think will have a huge impact on the conference champion. You are right, Greg, none of the experts have accurately predicted Cincinnati's finish. But isn't that what makes the Big East so fun -- the sheer unpredictability that makes people like me look silly?
Brian in Cincinnati writes: Andrea, I am so confused with all the current AQ, realignment, and playoff talk. Is it everyone that loses the AQ status? Do you think that when they say AQ is now gone that it is just a way of saying, "Hey there is no official AQ but we all know who is gonna be getting the bowl games and berths." What is your view on the stability of the conference? Are certain schools just hovering over the phone waiting for that magic call from another conference? Thanks!
Adelson: Do not fear, Brian, I am here to clarify for you. Automatic qualifying status is going away for the next BCS cycle, beginning with the 2014 season. That means the Big East retains its BCS spot for 2012 and 2013 along with the other five AQ conferences. None of the details have been worked out on what all this means for the bowls, BCS games and tie-ins. Still plenty of discussion left on the table. As for the stability of the conference, I think we will know more once this TV deal is hammered out. Are there schools hovering over the phone? Probably not hovering. But I am sure they would pick up if the phone rang and it was another conference that could offer more TV money and more stability.