Today, I apparently am defending the Big East too much. So do I love the league or hate the league?
Depends on your perspective.
Greg Bowron in Indianapolis writes: Great. Another whiner/hater. Are you a moron, too? Comparable schedule? Look again. Does Cincinnati play USC? Michigan? Oklahoma? Stanford? Michigan State? Anybody at all? The conference is weak, very weak. Boise would be 8-4 or 9-3 if they played ND's schedule at best, because they don't have the depth to take that pounding every week. Get a life and quit whining.
Andrea Adelson: Buuuuuuuuut Greeeeg, I looooooooooove to whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. Last time I checked, nobody is forcing Notre Dame to play such a backbreaking schedule. You go independent, you make those choices. I actually think it's great Notre Dame chooses to challenge itself, and I wish more of the bigger name schools did. But when you play in the Big East, you are playing eight conference games, and can't choose your entire schedule. Some of those are better than others. As for Boise State, as I have said a million times before, if Boise State had the money flowing in the athletic department that Notre Dame does, I can pretty much guarantee the Broncos would have depth and better coaching. Chris Petersen > Brian Kelly.
GP in Houston writes: AA, Why is it that BE fans don't realize that their 7-7 BCS bowl record in the grand scheme of things really isn't 7-7? The 7-7 record includes Miami's 3-1, West Virginia's 3-0, and Virginia Tech's 0-1 for a total of 6-2. Therefore, when looking at the remaining Big East's BCS bowl record, it is actually 1-5. Out of the those six teams, none were playing in the BCS title game. The ACC can at least claim FSU playing in three BCS title games. THIS is why no one really wants the Big East as a bowl tie-in. The remaining schools do not have anything to show for it. Not anything worthwhile.
Adelson: So you are hanging your hat on Florida State last playing in a BCS national title game in the 2000 season? Seriously, that is why the ACC deserves a tie-in? The last time I checked on Florida State, they were still falling short of expectations. I hate to break it to you there, GP, but the future configuration of the Big East still has more teams with undefeated regular seasons in the past 10 years than the ACC. If you want to strip away those BCS appearances, fine. But add in two wins for Boise State and the Big East is 3-5, still way better than the 5-17 mark the ACC gets stuck with (because you also get losses for Syracuse and Pitt). I always wonder -- if the Big East is so terrible, why does the ACC keep taking teams?
Common Sense writes: Since we are comparing the Big East and the ACC a lot recently, I thought I'd bring some stats to the table. The 12 Big East teams lined up for 2013 are a paltry 44-80 (.355) vs. the current 12 ACC teams, and they are 127-223 (.363) once you add Pitt and Syracuse onto the ACC ledger. Plus, you like to bring up the ACC's BCS record; however, the new Big East and the ACC are 1-1 against each other in BCS games and that one win came against Wake Forest. LOL.
Adelson: Well those are some fancy stats! All those important regular-season games between UConn and Virginia really spell ACC superiority. To me, the heart of the argument is how the two have performed in the biggest games. Since 2006, the ACC and Big East are .500 in bowl games against each other. I purposely left off Pitt and Syracuse. One question, though -- I can't help but notice you are laughing at a current member of the ACC that appeared in a BCS game. Does that not count? Is the ACC ashamed of Wake Forest? Would it feel better if Louisville beat Florida State? Doubt it.
Steve in Boston writes: I appreciate that the BE is a good conference and get that you want to advertise that. Instead of bashing other conferences and teams that have done well for themselves, how about focusing on identifying and addressing the issues plaguing the BE? This incessant "we're better than the ACC" mantra is just noise now. You're trying to build up your conference by trying to knock others down. This is a political ad. The BE is now a ship adrift, and its passengers are busy talking about how well the boat is built compared to others instead of trying to get power back.
Adelson: Steve, I do not work for the Big East so I am not sure what you mean by "your conference." As somebody who reports on the league, I think it is important to point out how this league stacks up against others that are being given preferential treatment. The ACC is the closest one to the Big East, hence the comparisons. I will leave the "getting the power back" part to the actual folks who run the Big East.
John Guffre in Corona, Calif., writes: Which coaching job would you want? College coaches can't count on staying at one school forever, so they should have their next job in mind when they pick a college to coach. Without doubt, a coach's name will get more exposure in the New York media hub than any other place in the country. Example, Schiano landed a plum NFL job. He did a very good job at Rutgers, but his press coverage was well above anything achievable in any other Big East city. Win or lose, as they say in Hollywood : there is no such thing as bad publicity - ask Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan.
Adelson: I put USF No. 1 because that is the job I would want to have. And it has nothing to do with me living in Florida. The Bulls have one of the best recruiting areas to mine without having to spend much in the way of money. They have new facilities and are willing to pay a head coach $2 million off a 5-7 season. I understand your point about the NYC media market, but I think those days of being in a "big market" are over, with the Internet and social media. Just about anybody can get national pub these days, regardless of where you are. Last time I checked, Oklahoma and Alabama do just fine with pub, and their respective coaches could have any job he wanted. Don't forget, Chip Kelly in Oregon was the No. 1 choice of Tampa Bay. Not a huge media market. And let's face it -- Rutgers has to fight for space with the Jets, Giants, Yankees, Mets and Knicks.
David Sweeney in Savannah, Ga., writes: Andrea, I'm a Pitt alumni living in SEC territory. I disagree with your comment regarding SEC schools with easy nonconference schedules. Last year UGA played Boise and Georgia Tech, Florida plays Florida State, Alabama played at Penn State, LSU played Oregon and at West Virginia, Tennessee beat Cincinnati, Vandy beat UConn.
Adelson: Look, somebody in SEC territory says it is tough to play Big East schools! I think that is a victory in itself. But seriously, David, do you really count Florida's one game against Florida State, with FAU, UAB and Furman also on the schedule as a tough nonconference road? Come on now. I do appreciate LSU, Georgia and Alabama for taking some definite risks in recent years. I just wish more teams in the SEC did.