Rahul in Little Rock, Ark., writes: Andrea, I am a USF Alum, and thus obviously, I am partial to them. Married to a girl who is a Cincinnati Alum. I have a concern and almost per say, a prediction. My prediction: Louisville with lose more than three games this season. I think they are too highly rated, and that too might bring them down to earth with a thud. Yes, they beat UF in the bowl, while UF was ranked in the top 3. But other than that fact and the fact they have a lot of returners, I think, Louisville will suffer the USC 2012 fate. Look at their games in 2012. The margin of victories when it came to games against non-ranked teams and also the losses. Syracuse beat them badly. They ended up losing to UCONN (I think). And then you have less than one-score victory against FIU and Southern Miss. A great win against UK (which, did suck in SEC and is the new Vandy, but that could change) and NC State and that is all. I read all the hype and it is just hard for me to digest the headlines. I know your answer will mostly reference the stats, but I would like a more historical comparison with the teams Louisville played supporting the HYPE. Like I said, my 2 cents, Louisville is the 2012 USC. Now you owe me your 2 cents on this.
Andrea Adelson: I don't even know where to start. So you think because Louisville is overhyped, the Cards are going to lose at least four games this year? Have you looked at their schedule, my friend? There are zero ranked teams on said schedule. Now, I am not going to sit here and say an undefeated season is a foregone conclusion. Louisville dropped a few clunkers last season, and has to deal with these outsized expectations, growing larger the more they win. But four games? I am having a hard time picking out more than two that present major red flags. You want a historical comparison, so let's look at USC. Four of its five regular-season losses in 2012 came against ranked teams. Nobody the likes of Stanford, Oregon, UCLA or Notre Dame is on this Louisville schedule. Syracuse is not an opponent this year; UConn's defense gave the Cards fits last year and Teddy Bridgewater got hurt in that game. Well, UConn's defense just lost four NFL picks. Could I see Louisville losing one? Yes. More than three? No.
Joshua in Manhattan writes: Going into 2012, I seem to recall reading that not only was Kyle Flood the lowest paid head coach in the BCS, but that he only made 60 percent of the second-lowest paid (Doug Marrone). I can't back those stats up, but even if it's off, conceptually the point is close enough -- he's not a serious hire. He was the safe hire, and there wasn't anyone else out there that instilled greater hope. An an inheritance of 7 draft picks saw the same result as 2011. 1. If Rutgers winds up bowling in the Bronx again in 2013, does Flood even make it to the B1G?; 2. If not, and if the Buccaneers go 6-10 again, is Greg Schiano back in Piscataway? Thanks Andrea. I enjoy your writing, especially about Khas Greene. I am, however, glad you won't be writing about BJ Daniels anymore. Peace.
Adelson: Thanks, Joshua. I have made myself pretty clear on Kyle Flood. He just won Big East coach of the year honors, and last year did not have the same result. A share of the Big East title was won. I understand the frustration from the Rutgers fans, but let's remember back to the situation Greg Schiano put this program in when he left. There was no time to go out and make a revolutionary hire. Flood was the best choice at the time, with the recruiting clock ticking. And he did salvage that class, by the way. Now, obviously the man who hired him is no longer there. But I gotta think that Flood gets more than two years as head coach, when one of them included nine wins and a ring.
Mark Sesler in Cincinnati writes: Regarding the UC's: Scrap the idea of ACC expansion. Solicit membership in the Big 12. Why? Exposure. Picking up Cincinnati gets them right in the backyard of the Big Ten. Huge for recruiting. Get some TVs in this market tuned to Big 12 games instead of Big 10 & SEC. UConn-same with that TV/recruiting market. Gets exposure in Big 10/ACC territory. Now you have three travel partners east of the Mississippi. I realize this scenario is as likely to happen as Bearcat football coaches staying more than three years, but I had to put it out there! Thanks for letting me vent!!
Adelson: Well, the Big 12 really looks like the only option at this point if you look at membership numbers. Though ask West Virginia about the travel headaches and step up in competition. I am getting mixed signals from the UC fans, though. Some of you yell at me about having the nerve to say the Bearcats are "stuck" in this league. Others are drawing up other conference scenarios. Which is it?
Jeremy Hersberg in Carmel, Indiana, writes: Andrea, I'm still a bit in shock at how both Cincinnati and Louisville did in the draft. I know missing the combine hurt Travis Kelce, and I firmly believe he should have been the first TE taken. Still glad to see him move forward. I guess I'm surprised that a team like UConn that for the last two years has had trouble getting out of their own way, losing games they should win, had such a plethora of higher level talent. Were they just that badly coached? And I guess I could say the same for Syracuse. Seems a bit odd that teams with continued success over the seniors careers would not have more quality players than certainly UConn. Butch Jones at UC was not a great coach often left his teams unprepared, and yet those men still went out and won more games than anyone in the Big East the last 4-5 years. Heck more than nearly every team in the FBS the last 4-5 years. Thoughts?
Adelson: UConn had a terrific defense the past two seasons. That cannot be argued. Its offense could not get out of its own way. Just look at the NCAA stats. Total offense rank in 2012: No. 110. Total defense rank in 2012: No. 9. One more. Turnover margin rank: No. 110. Four of those five UConn players drafted were on defense. As for Cincinnati, don't forget the Bearcats did have more players go than UConn in 2012 (four for the Bearcats, one for the Huskies). Louisville will have guys go in 2013. The team is still very young.