With the July 4 holiday set for Wednesday, I am moving the Big East mailblog up a day. Please do enjoy ...
Parker Binion in Houston writes: Andrea, I had been impressed with your coverage of the Big East. Until I read your sarcastic article about Temple rejoining the league. Are you a reporter? Or an editorial columnist? I thought you were a reporter. I guess I was wrong. How do you expect to interview coaches and ADs now after that article? Why would anyone share any sensitive information with you? Good luck with your editorials and columns. Because you aren't a reporter anymore.
Mike Fitzgerald at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga., writes: Andrea, enjoyed your article about Temple being back in the Big East. I used to go to the Syracuse games when I was young until I moved to Florida to attend the University of Florida. I remember personally watching Temple play before they got booted out, and the sheer slump Cuse fell into after Coach P got fired. Gainesville was a blast, arriving the same time Urban (Meyer) did, and although I have been a die hard SEC fan the last several years, I still have a vested interest in the Big East despite their downfall. It is indeed noteworthy that half the teams joining this/next year won their bowl games (and two of them were against BCS teams, one of them ranked, at that). The other half, however, had awful years (though UCF could have a good year as they leave the C-USA, and SDSU had a decent one despite losing their bowl).
Andrea Adelson: Parker is right. I wear many hats on the blog. I report, and that means writing news stories, enterprise stories, features, columns and opinion pieces. Rather than regurgitate the same "take" on Temple joining the Big East, a story that has been written about many times since March, I went a different route. Some appreciate the different writing style, like Mike. Others like Parker, not so much. It was not meant to be sarcastic, either. If you re-read it, you will see I used the house as a metaphor for the Big East, and incorporated all its talking points about the new look of the conference. But as I have learned, columns generate both positive and negative reactions. That means equal parts people who love them, and people who hate them. So thanks to you both for feeling strongly enough to respond to me.
9nationalchampionships in Pittsburgh writes: Pitt will eventually land (Dorian) Johnson & (Robert) Foster along with (Corey) Clement and (Tra'von) Chapman. Pitt is in great shape, regardless of the moron who wrote to you.
Adelson: To me, evaluating recruiting is in the eye of the beholder. We'll see how Pitt ends up next February.
Jake in Iselin, N.J., writes: Andrea, I have a question concerning the committee that will be deciding the playoff teams. If we are looking for a group of people who can be impartial etc., I don't understand why AD's and conference commissioners are being thought about for the job. I may be missing something, but what would be wrong with using a group of referees from each conference to make the decision. It seems like the most fair way to me, as this would promote every team in the country being seen instead of just the ones playing big games on TV. I don't know, like I said I may be missing something, but I haven't seen this idea in any of the blogs, so what's wrong with it?
Adelson: Well for one, I doubt referees would feel comfortable coming out and choosing teams for the playoff. That would only grow the notion that certain referees have "favored teams." In addition, referees are so focused on the conferences they work in, I think it would be impossible for them to fully judge and assess every team in contention for a playoff spot. Like coaches, they have tunnel vision during the season.
Dan in Mexico writes: On a scale of 1-10, how big of a win would it be for the Bearcats to beat Virginia Tech? Would that fall under the category as a marquee win for the Big East?
Adelson: I think that all depends on where Virginia Tech is ranked at the time they play. Certainly beating a team ranked in the Top 10-15 would qualify as a marquee win, even if it is a team from the ACC with a reputation for not being able to win the big games. Virginia Tech does have national recognition. It's a definite must-win game for credibility, especially since the rest of the nonconference slate is dreadful (Delaware State, Fordham, Miami (Ohio) and Toledo).
Sam in Florida writes: Now that there is a playoff system, why are there still conferences, if strength of schedule is going to play the biggest part and conference champions won't hold as much weight in the decision for the playoff. Won't it be to a team's advantage to be independent and play the best teams possible for that given year? The non-revenue sports still use the conference champions when figuring championship brackets. You would think that only conference champions would be allowed in the four-team playoff.
Adelson: Conferences serve the greater good. There is no way every single team out there would be able to be independent. You can count the number of teams that can survive as an independent on maybe two hands. None of them live in the Big East. The majority of teams would never bring in the same type of cash they get now, first and foremost. And how would the majority of teams fill out their schedules? Let's remember, we still don't know how the selection committee is going to weigh conference championships and strength of schedule. Everything I have heard indicates conference champions will carry value in making final determinations, even if it's not a requirement.
Dave in Charlotte writes: I know this is all about money. And I understand Boise State will make more money in the Big East. But ... (1) the increase in TV money is still unknown; (2) the powers-that-be officially downgraded the Big East to a mid-major; (3) travel costs for BSU football will increase; (4) BSU non-football sports still have no home; and (5) the Big East exit fee is, what, $10 million. It just seems to me that the risks greatly outweigh the rewards. Boise State is now locked in to an unstable conference (2,500 miles away!) where the exit fee is four times as big as their old conference.
Adelson: I understand the concerns. Here are some quick answers. 1) Increase in TV money should be well above the $1.5 million it was set to get from the Mountain West. 2) That does hurt, but every conference still stands to gain more money because the overall TV package will be more valuable. A playoff also gets two more teams into position to play for a national championship. The Big East may very not get better access at all; but Boise State did help itself by improving is conference schedule. 3) Travel costs are not going to increase that much. Of the four league road games, there may be at most two across the country. 4) Big West looks more likely. 5) Exit fee is large. But if the time came to leave or move, you would think a new conference home would help out. I don't think exit fees have ever stood in the way of realignment.