Friday Big East mailbag

Before we talk real football, I want to give a shout out to another type of football team. My kickball team -- yes, I'm in a kickball league -- plays for first place and the No. 1 tournament seed in a key doubleheader this weekend. My severely sprained left ankle may keep me from playing, but I'm sure the rest of the Big Toe Bombers will be ready.

Enough nonsense. Let's wrap up the week with some of your e-mails.

Adam from Cincinnati writes: With all this talk of the Pac-10 and the Big-12 possibly merging where do you see the Big East fitting into all this? Does the Big Ten make a power grab move and take Mizzou/Nebraska/Rutgers/Syracuse/Connecticut (Or Pitt) and ACC/SEC/CUSA fight over the remnants of the Big East? Or does nothing happen and Pac-16 dominates?

Brian Bennett: Wild times out West, huh? Say this about the Big East: for whatever problems they have (and there are several), league officials and the member schools did not let their conference meetings turn into a circus like the Big 12 has. Anyway, who knows whether this Pac-10/Big-12 merger will occur, but it certainly makes sense on a number of levels. If nothing else, I think it will spur the Big Ten to act. These will be the first dominoes to fall, and then a mad scramble could get underway. I don't see the Big Ten or the SEC sitting by and letting the Pac-10 do all the expanding.

Scott H. from Houston writes: With all of the talk about conference realignment, the most recent being the news about six Big 12 schools going to the Pac-10, why do we not hear about the Big East trying to pry some schools away from other conferences? Shouldn't they be jumping on the opportunity to offer safe haven to the remaining six Big 12 schools? While this is most improbable due to the money that the conference has to offer, it sure would add some interesting discussion to the mix, i.e., adding Nebraska, Missouri, and the others to the Big East. What is your take on this?

Brian Bennett: The difference is, as often mentioned, TV money. If you put together a package with the Pac-10 schools and the Texas and Oklahoma schools, you're talking a ton of population and a mega-TV contract. The Big East doesn't have those kinds of advantages to offer anyone at the moment. It's fascinating to think that schools like Kansas and Kansas State could be left out in the cold. I don't think that would make any kind of fit for the Big East, but could you imagine the basketball with the Jayhawks in the league?

John from Everywhere, W.Va., writes: Hey, Brian, which team do you think will lead the Big East in rushing this season?

Brian Bennett: Intriguing question. I see three candidates: West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Connecticut. The Mountaineers finished first in that category a year ago, with 89 more yards than Pitt. (And can you believe USF finished third? Crazy). Anyway, we know all three of those teams are going to run the ball a lot. I think it will be close, but if I had to guess I'd say West Virginia will lead the league again. With four offensive line starters back plus Noel Devine, Ryan Clarke, Tavon Austin and a young quarterback (who can run it, too, by the way), there should be a heavy emphasis on keeping it on the ground.

Kit from Martinsburg, W.Va., writes: I was reading your Big East's best No. 23 and laughed the hardest I have for a while. I read your blog everyday, and you get a lot of things right. I won't go into why having Tino Sunseri at No. 23 is a joke, because you already know. So, I will say this: I watched this kid in high school, and yes that was two years ago, but he couldn't carry Geno Smith' jock strap on most days.

Brian Bennett: I expected this kind of reaction, of course, and it's perfectly reasonable since Sunseri has proved absolutely nothing so far. However, the list would be pretty boring if I just stuck to last year's numbers without projecting a bit. I saw Sunseri a couple times this spring and came away impressed with his poise and arm strength. I think he has more offensive weapons around him in the passing game than Smith, and Frank Cignetti Jr. will devise ways for him to be very effective. We shall see if I'm right or if Kit will keep laughing all fall.

Joe D. from Hornell, N.Y., writes: I'm a lawyer and as suggested, I'm weighing in on the issue of whether the Big East has a legal remedy should a school violate the 27-month period and leave early. You hit the nail right on the head. The Big East could seek an injunction (temporary and then permanent) while initiating a suit for "Specific Performance," to compel the school to honor the 27 months. Good job for a young guy!

Brian Bennett: Well, it seems as if spending my youth watching "Perry Mason" reruns was not useless. Thanks for the note, Joe. Although I might have to question your deduction skills if you think I'm young. I don't think I'd qualify under any legal definition of the word.