Final thoughts for the week, courtesy of our readers.
Bearcat Fan in Cincinnati writes: Hey AA, Do you see the Bearcats as a legitimate Big East title contender for next year? And do you buy into the possibility that Cincinnati could end up in the Mountain West for football and the Catholic 7 for basketball?
Andrea Adelson: Considering I had Cincinnati No. 2 in my way too early preseason power rankings, then yes, I think the Bearcats are the biggest threat to Louisville. I know there is a coaching change, but Tommy Tuberville has plenty of talent on the roster to work with for 2013. I expect another good year. As for the MWC/Catholic 7 report, I do not understand how this benefits the Bearcats. Why would they split up their programs and join a conference for football that is thousands of miles away? I did not understand the logic in that report. Cincinnati has to continue to do well in the Big East if it wants to move on in the next round of realignment, in my opinion.
Matthew S. Kiefer in Lawrenceville, N.J., writes: Dear Andrea, Really enjoyed your writing about Rutgers football all season. Needless to say, Rutgers was disappointing down the stretch but had a great winning streak going and was in the hunt all season. In a word...exciting. Arkansas win was over the top. Saw all home games plus away game versus Pitt. Coming from Pittsburgh Steeler Country, I know about being over loyal to the quarterback position. Neil O'Donnell, Charlie Batch, etc. Question: Do you think we should stay with Gary Nova exclusively or mix it up with Chas Dodd, Wildcat, etc.
Adelson: Thank you, Matthew. Well, the Wildcat did not work out well for Rutgers a few years ago. I honestly think Rutgers should open up the competition during the spring. I do not think Nova did enough this season to be declared the starter for 2013. There is going to be a change at offensive coordinator, so it will be interesting to see how this impacts the quarterback. Kyle Flood has been extremely loyal. Wonder if a new coordinator changes that.
Mark in Meriden, Conn., writes: Andrea: Wouldn't it make more sense for the Big East at this point to redefine whom they wish to be? My suggestion would be an all sports conference with Connecticut, Cincinnati, Temple, Houston, Tulane, South Florida, Central Florida, East Carolina, Memphis, and to now add some schools that make sense geographically, and that the larger conferences are looking to poach? Suggestions are Delaware (Football move to I-A), Massachusetts, Marshall, Buffalo, and VCU (Football move to I-A). This way the football can grow up together, the Catholic 7 are gone (Good Riddance), and the basketball can rest on national laurels of Connecticut, Cincinnati, Memphis, and VCU for a few years. Your thoughts? Poaching the best teams available no matter where / what they are doesn't seem to be working.
Adelson: I honestly do not think there is a need for the Big East to grow beyond 12 teams in football at this point in time. That may mean 10 for basketball, depending on what happens with East Carolina, but I think the focus has to be on football and not basketball at this point. There are some up-and-coming football programs coming into the mix. The big concern, of course, is what happens during the next round of realignment. Then I think the Big East does have to think about being a more regional league if it has to replace teams again. But all these programs you mention are going to be there if the league has to add teams again. I'd like to see what happens with the group assembled if it can stay together for more than a year.
Governor in Plant City, Fla., writes: Do you think that there is any chance Brendon Kay gets beat out for the starting QB job at Cincy? I think its a strong possibility that he does. There are a lot of people that think Bennie Coney is the future. I predict Munchie (Legaux) will transfer and if not I think he goes to receiver. If Coney isn't the starter, I think he is at least the backup.
Adelson: Sure, I do think there is a chance. Given the coaching change, Kay is going to have to win his job back during the spring and fall. I also have heard great things about Coney, and there are a few redshirt freshmen on the roster that may get a look, too. I also do not think Legaux should stay at quarterback. I think he can be much more effective as a running back or receiver because he has proven to be extremely difficult to tackle when he runs.
John in Cape Coral, Fla., writes: Here's some bold predictions for USF: USF will have a 1,000 yard rusher and Sean Price will be at least second-team All-Big East.
Adelson: Selling on the 1,000-yard rusher; buying on Price. He impressed me as a freshman.
Keith Stichtenoth in Cincinnati writes: Not trying to be a homer here, but mark it down: U of L will lose at Nippert this fall. Reference what Texas Tech's (now UC's) defensive staff did to West Virginia and its high-flying offense in October, Coach Tuberville's reputation in big games, and the world's propensity to sell the Bearcats short, as you will likely do once again going into next season. UC lost the Keg to Louisville for the first time in a while and you know how rivalry games go.
Adelson: As I mentioned earlier today, this is the game on the schedule that would concern me the most if I was a Louisville fan. I will mark down your way early prediction now, check back with me during the 2013 season!