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Mailbag: Should Cincinnati fans be worried about the BC mess?

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Greg from Cincinnati writes: Do your sources indicate any renewed risk for Brian Kelly leaving if BC fires Jeff Jagodzinski as rumored?

Brian Bennett: Good question. For those who haven't followed the story, Boston College may fire Jagodzinski if he goes through with an interview with the New York Jets. It's no secret that BC and Notre Dame are two schools that hold special appeal for Kelly, who's an Irish Catholic from Boston. However, all indications seem to be that Boston College would look to one of its internal candidates if it needs a new coach. It sure would seem to be bad form for Kelly to leave now after he made his pledge to stay at Cincinnati just a couple of weeks ago. But that would hardly be the first time a coach has done that sort of thing. For now, I think Kelly is safely entrenched with the Bearcats, but the situation could be fluid.


Justin from Storrs writes: While at the International Bowl, I had a Buffalo fan tell me that it wasn't impressive that Donald Brown had all those rushing yards in the Big East. This is coming from a fan from the MAC. Donald would have run for 2,000 yards easily in the MAC. It was a joke that Donald Brown wasn't a finalist for the Doak Walker award and if I remember correctly, he was only the 15th person to run for 2,000 yards in FBS (I-A) history. With all of this said, I would like to thank Donald for his commitment UConn and wish him all the best in the NFL. Where do you see Donald Brown getting drafted in April's draft and does he have to potential to be a gem like Matt Forte this year?

Brian Bennett: Brown may be the most underappreciated 2,000-yard rusher in the history of college football. It's really a shame -- and a sham -- that he didn't get more attention. (And while we're at it, a special nod to UConn's offensive line for opening those holes). Brown set the single-season Big East rushing record with his 2,083 yards, which is the ninth most all-time in FBS history, according to the NCAA record books. It's hard to say exactly where Brown will get drafted, but I definitely see him as a first-day guy, and I wouldn't be surprised if he made an immediate impact. He's an extremely hard worker and is in phenomenal shape. I wouldn't bet against him.


Mike from East Lansing, Mich., writes: Shady McCoy. Noel Devine. Matt Grothe. These are just a few names that should headline the all-Big East conference next season. Brian, look into your crystal ball and give us the next big breakout star to watch for in 2009, that will join the aforementioned group of talent, raking in the accolades.

Brian Bennett: Keep an eye on Jordan Todman at UConn, who'll get plenty of work in Brown's absence. Isaiah Pead at Cincinnati could be ready to break out as a sophomore. You already know about Jonathan Baldwin at Pitt, and I think he'll have a monster second year. Someone will emerge for West Virginia, whether that's Mark Rodgers or Eugene Smith or Logan Heastie. And how about Tom Savage and Keith Stroud at Rutgers?


Ken from Syracuse writes: Please speculate why Kelly didn't turn to Dustin Grutza to energize a stagnent offense in the biggest game of the season. When confronted with Tony Pike's similar uneven play vs. WVU and Hawaii he didn't hesitate to call Grutza's number and Dustin delivered on both occasions?

Brian Bennett: First of all, Grutza didn't play against West Virginia. He came in at the end of the Louisville game after Pike got knocked out with an injury. I was wondering in the fourth quarter of the FedEx Orange Bowl if we might see Grutza, though. But I don't think Pike was the problem for Cincinnati. Virginia Tech's defense was just too strong and was manhandling the Bearcats' receivers. Pike did lead the team down to the goal line there in the fourth quarter, and then there were those two running calls on third and fourth down that I did not particularly like.


Ken from Philadelphia writes: Hey Brian, I'm just watching the first half of the International Bowl. Do you know Randy Edsall's address? I want to submit my resume for the special teams coach. What is your take on this mess of a first half, and all of the blocked punts and missed field goals that cost them more than one game this year?

Brian Bennett: Send your thoughts to waitforthesecondhalf@38-20.com.