You have questions. I have answers.
Ken in Connecticut writes: AA, as a UConn fan, not getting invited to the ACC is devastating. I think it really sets that athletic program back quite a bit. There is plenty of blame to go around starting with the school president and current AD for going to the USVI to watch incredibly meaningless basketball instead of lobbying the ACC presidents and ADs. I think they thought the invitation was automatic. But the blame, I think lies mostly with former AD Jeff Hathaway. If you look at the hires all of the schools that have left or leaving made for their head football coaching vacancies over the last 2-4 years, they excite most of the fan base. Dana Holgorsen, Doug Marrone, Paul Chryst (eventually). He made the choice to go with a completely unexciting hire of Paul Pasqualoni, which has made the program stagnant and even going backwards. Before Randy Edsall left the Uconn program had an incredible amount of momentum, culminating in the automatic BCS bid and was as good, if not a better product on the field than all of the programs that are leaving or have left.
Andrea Adelson: I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment, Ken. I truly believe if the Huskies continued on with their football success the last two years, they would have had a better shot at getting the nod over Louisville. Remember, last October it seemed UConn was the next team in. That was a season removed from a BCS appearance. Now the Cards are the up-and-coming football program and UConn is struggling to get to 6-6. Those comments from North Carolina chancellor Holden Thorp essentially admitted as much. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich simply one-upped the UConn administration and refused to be undercut a second time. He was rejected by the Big 12 last year, and was simply not going to be told no again.
Joe Neubarth in San Diego writes: Andrea where is there a chart showing who will be in the Big East in Football in 2013, who will be in football in 2014 and in 2015??? If such a chart does not exist, could ESPN post it somewhere? With all the defections and additions slated for the coming three years, I am at a loss to keep up. Please help us if you have the answers. After losing Louisville, the Big East could do no wrong by inviting BYU and Air Force to the conference for football. Shoot, they could even add Fresno State (a darn good football school) to form a Western division along with SMU and Tulane.
Adelson: Here is your chart. There is no timetable for Rutgers and Louisville departures, but I am going to guess they are going to be gone in time for the 2014 season, as a resolution is reached to let them out of the 27-month waiting period. East Carolina, Boise State, San Diego State and Navy are football-only. I think BYU and Air Force are good choices, but I do not think either are interested right now.
David Ainscough in Provo, Utah writes: With all the teams leaving the Big East, do you thing SDSU and Bosie will stay in the MWC? Also with Cincy and UConn looking for new homes could the MWC do to the Big East what it tried to do to them? Expand to the East Coast and add Cincy, UConn, Navy and maybe Temple and have an Eastern Division? This would keep BSU and SDSU home and improve both football and basketball.
Adelson writes: I still think the Big East offers more money from whatever future TV deal it gets, and that is why the Mountain West will have no leverage to keep Boise State and San Diego State, and why it cannot take Cincinnati and UConn.
Matthew Thieneman in Louisville writes: Andrea, come with us to the ACC! What will Cardinal fans do without their favorite blogger, and awesome red-headed lady? I don't know how we can survive!
Adelson: You are too kind, Matthew. Thanks for the kind words. You will be happy to know I have been contributing on the ACC blog all season. So I am already a quasi-ACC blogger. Go check out the page and see for yourself!
Offended and angry in Cincinnati writes: Andrea, I used to have respect for you. I used to respect your views and I appreciated your optimism. But after reading your article on Wednesday about Louisville's move to the ACC, I was offended and irritated. Are you so naive to believe that the sole reason the ACC accepted Louisville because of football? That's a ridiculous claim. No, this move was about athletic revenue, money, and cash. If the ACC was looking for the Big East football program with the most recent success, they would be stupid not to take Cincinnati first. Over the past six years, Louisville's highest BCS ranking was 9, whereas in 2009, UC climbed all the way up to 3. UC has had four 10-win seasons since 2007 and pretty good chances at a 5th this year. Louisville, on the other hand, has had zero. let me write that again larger. ZERO! No matter how many times we tell you, You never fully appreciate the quality of the University of Cincinnati football program. Yet Louisville is apparently a few steps ABOVE UC? You are fully mistaken to think that this move was based on football. This was all about money, yet again.
Adelson: We will disagree on this one. All I can tell you is what Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said. The teams that lobbied hardest in the ACC for Louisville: Florida State and Clemson. Those are the two football powers in the ACC. So if you think football was not a huge factor for the Cardinals, you are mistaken. Also included in the piece are the other attributes Louisville has, including the largest athletic budget in the Big East and the most profitable basketball team in the country. I understand that UC and UConn fans are angry about what happened, but Louisville had the better overall athletic picture and yes, football got 'em over the top.