Welcome to your mid-week mailblog! Let's get to your questions.
John in Louisville writes: AA, I know you report on the conference as you see it, and you have provided stats that prove that the BE is as good if not better overall than the ACC. So my question is, why do you think that the "perception" in the national sports media is that the BE is not as good? Neither conference has a consistent national player, and we have won more bowls than the ACC, games that seem to carry more weight nationally.
Andrea Adelson: The fact that the Big East has been raided twice in the last 10 years is a huge reason why. Miami was a national power at the time. Virginia Tech has been incredibly successful and so has West Virginia. College football, perhaps more than any other sport, holds onto its history and tradition. People do not look at the facts so much as the teams. Cincinnati? C-USA. Louisville? C-USA. I could go on, but you get my drift. This is still a conference in search of an identity. The ACC has programs that have at least won or played for national titles. That may have been in the way past. Unfortunately, that trumps recent success in the minds of many.
Zain in Tampa writes: Hi Andrea, you wrote a really interesting article recently about a potential on-campus stadium for USF. As a recent grad for USF, I'd like to explain a few things about the situation that we've seen as a USF community. Firstly, we're not likely to build an erector set stadium for $70M dollars. We're a large research school in a major football conference. It wouldn't make any sense whatsoever. That sort of stadium would only be built if we were desperate, much like UCF was when the Citrus Bowl was basically rotting in on itself. Most USF fans I know have pointed to the recently built stadium at the University of Minnesota as an example of a stadium they feel would be a great fit for USF. The downside to such a stadium is the cost. Minnesota spent close to $300M on their facility and they also had state assistance. We are not likely to get anywhere near the type of aid that Minnesota got as a state flagship school. The only money we can expect is an investment fund that invests a certain amount of money per credit hour with the state and is returned every four to five years for on campus projects. The total amount expected from that fund should be between $15 to $20 million. As you can guess, a new stadium is a 10 to 15 year commitment. As much as it would nice to see you reporting from Bulls Stadium, you might be waiting a while for it, Andrea.
Adelson: It is nice to dream, right!
David in Santa Barbara, Calif., writes: Is the new helmet rule nation-wide, or just the ACC?
Adelson: Nationwide. I got the information at the ACC meetings, so I figured I would post it onto the Big East blog for fans to familiarize themselves with these changes. They were also discussed during the Big East meetings in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Rickey in Lehigh Acres, Fla., writes: Andrea! Why did you have to start giving USF some love again? We've shown over and over that we can't deal with these expectations. LOL. I really hope you're right this time.
Adelson: I was really hesitant about moving up the Bulls. But on paper, they have the most starters returning; a four-year starter at quarterback; and a coach going into Year 3. Every single Big East team has major question marks. I thought USF had fewer unknowns, so I moved the Bulls up. Now we see if this is the year.
James in San Antonio writes: Hey Andrea, with news that the Big 12 and SEC will be playing in a bowl, what, if anything is the Big East plus Notre Dame doing to secure an anchor bowl. It looks like the Big East and ACC are the 2 conferences left out. Wouldn't it make sense for the Big East Champ or Notre Dame to play the ACC champ in Orange Bowl? Please tell me that the Big East is working on something, anything, for their main bowl.
Adelson: The Big East can want the partnership. The question is whether the ACC and Orange Bowl would be onboard with that, particularly when you look at recent attendance/TV ratings in matchups between the two leagues in that bowl game. Securing a BCS tie-in and reworking its bowl agreements are priorities for the Big East. But the league is probably not going to be able to do anything until the future BCS system is arranged.
Frank in Philly writes: AA, Any word on Montel Harris? If he comes to Temple, would that get them out of the basement in your preseason rankings?
Adelson: No word, Frank. And I'm afraid his addition will not move Temple out of the basement. I'm more concerned with depth on the lines than the quality skill players for the Owls.
Brad in Louisville writes: Was Louisville's Coach Charlie Strong present at the Big East meetings this week? According to Andy Katz, Rick Pitino was nowhere to be found on the basketball side. I'm interested to know what role, if any, U of L played last week given the rumors that they are moving on to the Big 12.
Adelson: Yes, Strong was here, along with athletic director Tom Jurich. They were actively a part of the meetings as the Big East tries to move forward all together. What you hear are rumors only. Louisville is a member of the Big East.