Our last mailbag of 2012!
(Sheds a tear).
Adelson: I think Jamison would be best served if he stayed in school for another year, though the weak running back class in the 2013 draft may impact his decision. Ryan is one of the best cover cornerbacks in the country, and rated the No. 2 junior prospect at his position by Mel Kiper Jr. I am not sure what he will do. As for where they will get drafted, I have not seen a solid analysis yet on that. Ryan is the only Rutgers player ranked among the Top 50 prospects. So I would figure Ryan would get picked ahead of Greene, and both would be gone by round four. But that is just a guess.
Barb in Cincinnati writes: Hi AA, re: Chris C's comments about not selling out Nippert. The AD is correct that our winning ways are pretty recent and that is true. It takes time to get fans back when your team has been bad for a long time. But the other issue is the competition that UC has from the Bengals & Reds. Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State don't have any other sports, what else is there for people to do in Ann Arbor or Lansing but go to their football games? We'll fill the seats, it's improved so much over the last few years.
Adelson: Bearcatvol in Dalton, Ga., also wrote in and pointed out there are thousands of obstructed view seats at Nippert as well. Cincinnati has sold out its full-view seats so that is big. But again, this all comes down to creating more financial opportunities with premium seating AND making itself more attractive to prospective leagues whenever another wave of realignment happens.
Lucy the Bearcat writes: AA, I see a lot of talk that Willie Taggart is the best hire the Big East made. I'm wondering why? He is much younger than Tommy Tuberville and has accomplished much less over the course of his career. Isn't it a safe bet Taggart will use the BE as a stepping stone and leave USF in a few years? Maybe I'm wrong, but Tuberville has nothing more to prove, and at his age could easily finish his career at UC. I just don't see a guy with a 16-20 record being a better hire than Tuberville. You even said it yourself. Taggart could be demanding big money from bigger programs before long. To me, that's not the ideal coach everyone's making him out to be.
Adelson: Here is why I say he is the best hire. USF is in major need of revitalization, and picked the best, young coach with ties to the area to get it turned in the right direction. I think most of us believe USF should have won a Big East title by now, given its location and resources. I think he is the perfect guy to take this team to the top. I don't think the future has anything to do with the hire right now. You are right -- Tuberville doesn't have anything to prove, and Cincinnati is already at the top of the Big East. There is no doubt that it was huge to get a coach in from the Big 12, but there are no guarantees he stays for the long-term, either. I just think Taggart is a better overall fit in Tampa, given his background and how he took a program that was consistently winless into a bowl team (and back-to-back 7-5 regular season). That's more impressive that what Tuberville did at Texas Tech, if you ask me.
Michael Foster in Miami writes: Shakespeare's "What's in a name?" comes to mind when I think about the Big East. What are the chances that the Big East grabs a few more schools from out West, then re-names itself. I'll even provide the new name free of charge. Let's call it the "Coast to Coast Conference." That sounds great to me. My main point here is that much like the mini-van, the Big East suffers an image crisis. IF YOU AGREE..TRY TO GET SOME SUPPORT FOR THE ENDEAVOR...."Coast to Coast" sounds better than down the drain.
Adelson: Michael, I agree -- the Big East should let the basketball schools keep the name and begin rebranding with a new name. Continuing on as the Big East will only serve as a constant reminder of what this league used to be, hampering efforts to foster a new image.
Doug in Middletown, Conn., writes: Where do you see this Boise State dilemma going? Do you see Boise joining the Big East or pulling out? If they pull out, what do you think will happen to the Big East?
Andrea Adelson: I do not think even Boise State knows what it is going to do at this point, so it is too early to really hazard a guess. It will all come down to money -- where can Boise State make more? I still think the answer might be the Big East, but it is going to be a tough decision. If Boise State does leave, well, the Big East will survive, somehow. This league has been an eight team conference for years, so it is not necessary to be at 12 to move forward.
Gordon Hudson in Richfield, Utah, writes: All this realignment talk is really confusing. Do you think the Big East would be stronger if they had two divisions, one in the East and one in the West? They could keep their Eastern schools in one division, then have a West division with Boise State, San Diego State, and then get Air Force, BYU, Houston, SMU, Colorado State, and UNLV? The division champs could play each other and keep their BCS status. The Mountain West Conference is horrible, mostly because of their commissioner. Maybe a conference name change would help. We who live in the West would love that. As a BYU fan, it would be good to get into a conference again, even though independence hasn't been too bad. Would it ever happen?
Adelson: You are not the first who has suggested this idea to me. First, the Big East does have two divisions though the West does not really have many Western teams. And second, the Big East is not keeping its automatic spot in the BCS, no matter who ends up joining the league. I can see the value in having more of a partnership with the Mountain West in order to bring in more Western teams, especially since it is going to be hard to bring anybody else in right now with no answers on Boise State or TV money at this point. But I'm not sure if that is feasible, especially when you begin to consider travel for basketball and the other sports.