Welcome to your Friday edition of the Big East mailblog. Keep your comments coming.
Ryan Cavins in Louisville writes: This is a two-part question. Given Charlie Strong coaching and Clint Hurtt's ties to Southern Florida recruiting, do you believe that Louisville (given that both stay for the long run) can build into a perennial top 20 team? Also with the addition of TCU and teams like UConn, U of L, and Syracuse on the rise, do you think it can become a respected football conference again? Nothing like the SEC or Big 12 currently but could the Big East be right in the mix behind them?
Andrea Adelson: Ryan, I do believe Louisville has the potential to be a perennial top-20 team. Look at what Strong did last season with a team many projected to finish last in the Big East, a team that went 4-8 the year before he took over. This year is going to be a challenge as well with so many experienced players gone, but there is a reason players respond to and play for Strong. They did it at Florida and they are doing it at Louisville. The pipeline into South Florida is only going to help boost the talent level. I think a bigger question is what happens if Strong has plenty more success. Does he stay or get offered other opportunities at bigger schools? As for the Big East becoming more of a respected conference, one of the problems is that the Big East is smaller than everybody else. So it doesn't have an opportunity to have five or six teams ranked like the SEC and Big Ten. The addition of TCU certainly will help, but I think the Big East needs to have at least three teams in the Top 25 on an annual basis to start making inroads.
Kenneth in Charleston, W.Va., writes: Why isn't BYU being seriously discussed as an expansion candidate? They have a huge national following and a very quality football program with a better than average basketball team (way better than TCU's). Why wouldn't the Big East consider adding them as full-time members instead of football only? To me, they seem to be the best option. Villanova is a complete JOKE!
Adelson writes: Kenneth, there are a few reasons here. First, I think going to Dallas is the furthest the Big East is willing to stretch its borders. Going into the mountain time zone would completely demolish its footprint as an Eastern conference. Some question TCU as well, but at least Dallas is a quicker plane ride than to Salt Lake City -- and Provo is one hour away from there, too. Second, BYU just left a conference and is eager to see how going independent is going to work. Yes, the Big East is an AQ conference, but how would joining up benefit BYU right now when it has its own TV network, along with a TV deal from ESPN? BYU has little in common with the schools in the Big East, and aside from TCU has no familiarity with any of the teams, either. I understand your feelings on Villanova. The only way adding Villanova benefits the league is to appease the basketball membership. Adding Villanova does not up the prestige level of the conference.
Oliver in Philadelphia writes: Why are people concerned about the stadium size at PPL when everyone knows Villanova can't sell 30,000 tickets? Who cares how small the stadium is? They still won't sell out. Because I live in Philly I can tell you this: nobody cares. I mean really, nobody cares. We have 5 pro teams who made or will make the playoffs this year. College football will never be relevant in Philadelphia.
Adelson writes: What really is troublesome about all of this is how the Nova situation has been botched. If there were complaints from some of the bigger football-playing schools, why even make Villanova believe this could happen?
Bob in Palm Springs, Calif., writes: Where did all of last year's fired assistants from WVU end up? And where do you think Bill Stewart will be next year?
Andrea Adelson: Chris Beatty is now the receivers coach at Vanderbilt; Dave McMichael is now tight ends coach at Kent State; Jeff Mullen is now offensive coordinator at Charlotte, a program set to begin play in 2013; Dave Johnson works at the Offensive Line Academy. As for Stewart, he will be where he is today -- home on his couch.