Welcome to another Friday mailbag. I got lots of comments on the UCF story I wrote earlier this week, so I wanted to start off with a sampling of your opinions before I answered a few questions. Thanks to all who write in, and keep those comments coming.
Scott Costin in Orlando writes: Good report on UCF athletics. All that's missing for this program is exposure. Hopefully an AQ conference is in the near future for UCF.
Brian in Tampa writes: How can you write those articles on UCF without mentioning USF's success in catching up with FSU and Miami programs? UCF is trying to do what USF has done. Don't make it seem like it's still the 90's with the BIG 3. It's the BIG 4 now. UF, FSU, Miami, and USF.
Gene Barra writes: UCF football might be on the rise, but they had no business being ranked in the Top 25. Not one of their victories this year came against a team that ended the season with a winning record. Their three losses this year - well, those would be against the three teams they played that ended the season with a winning record! Anyone that voted them in should be paying more attention before they cast their vote.
John Bream writes: I'm not sure what makes you think UCF is so elite or what the impetus for your article was. UCF is far from elite. They are 3-48 (or close to it, I know the 3 wins is right) against the BCS in football. They are 2-8 all-time against ECU in football. Not to mention, they are currently a bottom feeder in C-USA basketball. Their baseball program is non-existent. Their "state of the art" athletic complex doesn't even sit 40,000 people in football. They cannot even fill their stadium for big games. They do not play any hard out of conference games, and the ones they do, they never win. They have one all-time bowl win in football. They have one all-time top 25 finish in football. They have no history, no tradition, and no fan support in their home city. Now, please, tell me what is so elite about UCF?
Andrea Adelson: I actually did not expect as much outrage as this article received, both in the mailbag, my inbox and the comments section of the story. I addressed this as well in my live chat yesterday. The reason for writing the story was simple -- UCF had its two marquee teams ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in school history, and the program has been discussed as potentially getting a Big East invite. So it made sense to help explain the roots of this program and where it may or may not be headed. UCF is not elite right now. UCF does not have the fan support it needs right now. The article does not present the facts in that regard, either. It simply was meant to serve as a brief history of the program and the potential ahead. As for Brian, USF already got its Big East bid, so does it need to be said the Bulls are a step ahead? Yes they have wins against FSU and Miami in the past two years, but I don't think people in this state consider USF a part of a Big 4. Gene, you are forgetting SMU. John one correction – the football stadium seats over 45,000 with plans to increase capacity to 56,000.
Arlen in Pocatello, Idaho, writes: I am OK with the BCS not giving the MWC champion an automatic bid every year because they want good competition in these bowls (excluding UConn 2010). So why don't they put a clause in the rules that says if the MWC champion is ranked in the top 8 or 10, then they will receive an automatic invite? This gives the conference something to look forward to, and then there will be no "snubbing" complaints by the MWC, and if they aren't good enough, then the BCS doesn't have to take them. This is, of course, separate from the non-AQ clause already in place. What do you think?
Adelson writes: You are right, there already is a clause in there that states a non-AQ that finishes in the Top 12 gets an automatic berth, so I am not sure what the additional clause does for the Mountain West, except in cases where there is another non-AQ school that is fighting for a BCS spot as well. I think it would serve the BCS well to add in a clause that states any conference champion must, oh I don't know, be RANKED in the BCS standings to get into a game to avoid another UConn scenario.
Matthieu Duquette in Boise writes: Everyone is in a quandary over the receiver core of Boise State now that (Austin) Pettis and (Titus) Young are gone. But I would submit these couple of points. First Kirby Moore will be back with one active year already under his belt averaging 11.5 yards per attempt over 21 receptions. Secondly, Boise under Kellen Moore, until this past year, wasn't regarded as a deep pass offense. The experience last year obviously allowed them to blossom for a year in the deep game. But I would say that the new faces will still be effective as they undoubtedly return to a system more like that of the first two Kellen years. Third, (Tyler) Shoemaker will be a huge factor now that the deep game will become more conservative. He was great last year and BSU will no doubt rely on his experience even more this year. Last, Kellen Moore’s accuracy is going to make up much of the lack of experience in the new receivers. That's how I see it. What are your thoughts?
Adelson writes: You present some very logical arguments, Matthieu. I think Shoemaker is going to be in line for a breakout year, and there is obviously some really good young talent on the team, Kirby Moore included. That being said, it is difficult to replace the experience and the rhythm Moore had with Young and Pettis, simply because they were his go-to guys for so long. I don’t think losing them is a backbreaker, though, because Boise State will still be a Top 10 team when the preseason polls come out. I just think it might take some time to get his new receivers going. It’s a valid question to have whenever you have young talent coming in.