Time for your mid-week mailblog. I know you are as excited as I am to get the games underway. But first, how about a little more on expansion! Hurrah!
I will let David in New Jersey ask the question many of you have been debating today: With Texas A&M making a move to leave the Big 12, what do you think about the Big East going after Kansas and Kansas State?
Andrea Adelson: First, I think the Big 12 is going to do everything possible to survive as a league. There already are plans in place to evaluate prospective members. Remember the Big 12 does not have to go crazy with adding teams. It was planning on going with 10 before A&M made this move, so adding one to replace the Aggies would keep the league solvent in the near term. But there are bigger questions. Oklahoma is reportedly unhappy with Texas, too. How does that play into the future of the league? Will the A&M move trigger what everybody has predicted -- a move toward four 16-team superconferences? Or will it just be a one-team move for now? As I have said repeatedly, I do not think the Big East is in a position to control the expansion conversation. But ultimately, you wonder about the future of both the Big 12 and Big East if superconference realignment begins now. That is something Kansas and Kansas State are going to have to consider -- what makes the most sense for their survival as AQ schools?
Now on to some other league matters.
Rado in Clifton writes: I have been trying to give you the benefit of the doubt so far, but after your "5 big games" I can't do it anymore. You obviously never paid any attention to the Big East before this assignment and it shows. WVU vs. USF as the defacto league championship? USF vs. Notre Dame, but not Pitt vs. Notre Dame. Syracuse at USC? Cincinnati makes a trip to Tennessee, but I forgot you have no idea how good Cincy's gonna be this year.
Gary Porteous in West Chester, Ohio writes: Andrea: I still love your column even though you don't think the U.Cinn. vs U. Tenn. game is an important game. I think it is a big early season game for the Bearcats.
Adelson: Would it make you feel better if I refreshed your memory with this post from June? Tennessee is unranked; USC is ranked and a much more high-profile team these days. Hence the Syracuse-USC game over Cincinnati-Tennessee.
Lev Karp in Hoboken, N.J., writes: What do you think about Kirk Herbstreit -- a colleague of yours -- picking Rutgers as a sleeper to win the Big East? Do you question yourself at all about picking them dead last?
Adelson: I think Kirk is a smart man. Do I question myself because we have a difference of opinion? Not at all. You ask 100 people a question, and you are likely to get different opinions.
Miguel in Louisville writes: What has happened to the Big East injury report that the league released each week last year? I know a lot of teams thought it was a joke but sometimes it had good info.
Adelson: The league is no longer requiring teams to submit an injury report.
Rich in Tampa writes: On a local Tampa sports radio station, Joe Theismann came on for an interview. He actually said that Notre Dame was saying during the whole offseason program that "They were not going to overlook UCF." Yes, UCF.
Adelson: The horror! UCF, USF, Tomato, Tomahto. All the same right? Just kidding. I hate to think Theismann speaks for all Notre Dame fans when he butchers the name of the team the Irish are going to play. But it does make you wonder what folks outside Florida and the Big East think about USF.
Jamie in Syracuse writes: I realize the question mark on the Syracuse football team is the defense, but if you take a look at the secondary, they are lead by Phillip and Shamarko Thomas, both of which have NFL potential. Why is Syracuse still being underlooked by many people even with an average schedule difficulty?
Adelson: I wouldn't say being picked to finish fourth in the Big East media poll is being overlooked. It's better than what people expected last season!
Stephen in Danbury, Conn., writes: Andrea. Rutgers fans across the country would like me to share the following recipe for the crow you will be eating at the end of November.
Adelson: There is problem with this recipe -- I don't eat sauerkraut. Good thing I won't be wrong.
Greg in Chicago writes: Andrea, Hope you have a great week 1 of the season! If USF leaves South Bend victorious, do you see them as moving into your Big East favorite? Both Des and Herbie on GameDay already have said the have the Bulls winning the league.
Adelson: Thanks, Greg. And one win a season does not make! I'll tell you what Skip Holtz said about that: "As big as this game is for me and for this program, I think the most important thing is we’re trying to build a season. We’re not trying to build a game."