I send you out for Memorial Day with these hot dog questions!
Graham in Dallas writes: Andrea, us conservative, remain-classy-and-quiet - and-prove-yourself-on-the-field Bearcats have gotten very little love (in fact, unfair negative love ) from virtually every media pundit (including you) for the past few years. UC has won the Big East three of the last four years, is top five in GPA of all college football, and yet we are the media's whipping post. Please give us a break. UC is a good story. Please see the donut and not the hole. Please be an ally and a supporter.
Andrea Adelson: I think a whipping post would be consistently ranked in the bottom half of preseason prognostications. That is not the case. I am not an ally nor a supporter of any team in college football. I am paid to give my analysis and opinion of each team. If that means placing Cincinnati No. 4 in my power rankings after the spring because of concerns I have, so be it. That does not mean I think the Bearcats are going to have a terrible season. It means I think there are other teams that have a better shot at a title. If you look back and see what I have recently written on Cincinnati, you will find much more positive than negative. Go here, here and here.
Brutus in Houston writes: Andrea, with the revelations that Texas AD (DeLoss Dodds) has been talking with Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick since 2010 about Notre Dame moving it's non-football sports to the Big 12, would Notre Dame do that say if the ACC raided the Big East if the Big 12 does expand?
Adelson: I had a chance to be in the group Swarbrick spoke with Wednesday about the Big 12 reports. I can assure you that no matter how hard we tried, Swarbrick was not buying into any hypothetical scenarios. I don't think anybody can predict what will happen in the future. If I had told you a year ago that West Virginia would be in the Big 12 and Missouri in the SEC, would you have believed it? Remember, two years ago, it was supposed to be Missouri and Notre Dame in the Big Ten. Notre Dame will continue to monitor the changing landscape, but for now it remains committed to the Big East.
Chuck in Louisville writes: Hey Andrea, two questions: 1. How many conferences are involved in the BCS talks? 2. If more than the big four, can't the others easily shut down any talks not allowing for a equal or somewhat equatable distribution of the wealth, bowl games and involvement in any playoff system.
Adelson: All 11 conferences and Swarbrick are involved in the BCS talks. I am sure the other seven could band together, but I don't really see how that would work. The Sun Belt, MAC, WAC (if it exists), Mountain West and C-USA have to realize a playoff is probably the best way for any of them to get a team into a national championship game. I'm not saying it will happen. But at least the field expands by two teams with the possibility for one of their teams to finish in the top four. I don't really think the MAC can make an argument that it deserves just as much money as the SEC. What would the argument be in that case, when its schools have never played in a BCS game?
John in Woodbridge, N.J., writes: This is a follow up to James in San Antonio. The Orange Bowl, have they been sold out or what was the attendance for the bowl games with Big East teams in the game? Also if Rutgers wins the Big East 2012/2013 I know there wouldn't be enough tickets for the Orange Bowl or Champs Bowl for Rutgers fans. We always traveled well to the bowl games, been to the last five bowl games.
Adelson: The last three years, the Orange Bowl had had less than 70,000 in announced attendance. I was at the Orange Bowl between Clemson and West Virginia, and can confirm there were pockets of thousands of empty seats. If you want one more stat, the Orange Bowls' attendance has dipped 9.7 percent since 2006. The ultimate question is whether you buy your tickets through the school or at a cheaper price elsewhere. Big East schools have had a devil of a time selling their allotment for recent BCS games. That includes West Virginia, which traditionally travels the best.
Mr. P in West Chester, Ohio, writes: Andrea: What are your feelings about the attitude of the AD's and coaches at the Big East spring meeting? Is there some unity or is there divisions in the Big East conference and about its future? I hope it was positive and things went well, but I'd like your opinion. You got to talk to a lot of the folks face to face. I think the Big East has a bright future in front of itself. What are your thoughts?
Adelson: I know people are always skeptical when they see words like "united front" and "optimism" next to Big East. But I can tell you that everybody I spoke with thought there was a different attitude at the meetings this year, and felt a different vibe. Maybe that means everybody realizes they are in a whole pile of trouble if they can't agree on the future media rights. I got the sense they truly do want to work together to keep the Big East both strong and relevant. Now we'll see if that happens.
Dan in West Hartford, Conn., writes: Hi Andrea, I was reading the last mailbag and saw that someone suggested a Big East/ACC merger and was intrigued. I agree that the model adopted by C-USA and MW did not work. But what about and English Premier League Model? Basically, the conferences would join and have an "A" Division and "B" Division. At the end of each year, the top two teams from B would be moved up to A, and the bottom two from A down to B. This would keep the best teams each year in the A division, which would help the conference by reducing cupcakes. Teams could control their destiny by succeeding on the field. Also, the scheduling logistics would be covered by an ID system. Every "spot" in the division would be assigned a ID, like A-1 or B-3, that would dictate your in-conference schedule. This way, schedules could still be made long in advance (i.e. A-1 hosts A-9 on September 12, whomever those teams may end up being). You could keep that ID as long as you stay in the division. As such, if Maryland was A-2 but came in last in the A division and UConn was B-5 and came in first in the B division in 2011, they would switch IDs and spots in their division for 2012. Thoughts?
Adelson: I just had to read that three times to figure A1, B5, C20. I think there is a difference with the Premier League. If you are relegated, then you are playing in a lower division, right? So that is not going to happen in Division I. Furthermore, why would any school agree to be in the B league, or the worst league? You lose prestige that way and it would absolutely kill your recruiting. I understand your point, but I don't think it's feasible for college football. You have a better comparison with Idaho and New Mexico State. Those two are about to get relegated.