Blog Entry

National notes

Posted on: September 28, 2010 7:47 pm

What the hell happened to the Big East?

No one was predicting a national championship this season, but things were looking up weren't they? Pittsburgh had a bonafide Heisman candidate in Dion Lewis. UConn was going to beat Michigan and begin the end for Rich Rod. West Virginia had Noel Devine. Cincinnati wasn't 12 wins good, but it was 10 wins good. Right?

The only thing good about the league at this point is that September is ending. At least the Big East can start 0-0 in October. It was 1-10 against BCS conference schools in September. Every team in the league has at least one loss. There are no ranked teams. UConn has changed quarterbacks. There has been an APB sent out for Lewis. Syracuse? There's hope. The Orange are 3-1.

Remember, this was the league that Paul Tagliabue thought was worth saving.

Here's what went (really, really) wrong.

Brian Kelly left Cincinnati. The Bearcats were thinking the worst and hoping for the best. Turns out that Kelly did have the magic touch to get a mid-major into a BCS bowl. It also turns out that the growing pains under Butch Jones were going to be significant.  A 1-3 start means the Bearcats have one less loss than they have had in last two seasons combined (four).

Rutgers never capitalized. It was almost four years ago that Rutgers lit up the nation and New York with that magic win over Louisville. The Scarlet Knights didn't follow through to win the Big East and capture that BCS berth. Greg Schiano keeps recruiting well but Rutgers has lost that Cinderella the program had. It dropped to 2-1 Saturday with a loss to North Carolina.

Ditto for South Florida. Wasn't it just three years ago that the Bulls rose to the No. 2 in the country? South Florida was a fun story for a while under fiery coach Jim Leavitt. Then they always seemed to fade in November. Leavitt got sideways with the administration and may have struck a player. A lawsuit trying to dispel that assertion is what takes most of his time lately. Skip Holtz was the right hire but it's going to take time. Actually, the Bulls might have the brightest outlook after one month. They stuck with Florida for a half and should be 4-1 heading to Morgantown on Oct. 14.

Pittsburgh underachieved again. The Panthers were a prohibitive favorite to win the league in the preseason. They still might do it but have already lost twice. Thursday's four-touchdown rout by Miami was embarrassing. There will be no 10-win repeat.

Four of the league's eight teams have switched coaches in the last two years.
Remember, continuity is a good thing.

There's always Temple and/or Villanova. The two schools have been rumored to join the league as a way of bolstering its major-market profile if and when the Big Ten gets the expansion jones again. There was a report that the league may be interested in TCU. Makes sense for both sides, sort of. If TCU loses once in the Mountain West, it could be out of the BCS running. If it loses three times (non-conference games) while playing in the Big East, it could still get a BCS bowl.

None of that fixes what's wrong now. 

The top 10 September teams (No preseason polls involved. Strictly based on accomplishments to date)

1. Alabama -- beat two ranked teams, one top 10 team on the road. No drop off after losing nine defensive starters.
2. Boise State -- beat two ranked teams, one on the "road" (Virginia Tech). No drop off after undefeated season.
3. Stanford -- Most underrated team in the country. Andrew Luck could win the Heisman. Cardinal could win the Pac-10.
4. Auburn -- Complete team now with Cam Newton.
5. Nebraska -- Defense alone could get it to national championship game.
6. Oregon -- Scorched the earth until Arizona State, then Devils handed them a game by turning it over seven times.
7. Arizona -- Win over Iowa was biggest in years.
8. NC State -- Won twice impressively on the road (Central Florida, Georgia Tech). Suddenly an ACC favorite.
9. Ohio State -- Against the only upright opponent showed flaws but still picked off four Miami passes. Still waiting for Big Ten sked.
10. Michigan -- Can't argue with 4-0 for the second straight season. Denard Robinson emerging as Heisman favorite.

The Quarter Pole

(The best after four games. Team and player)

Best of the Big East: West Virginia, Jordan Todman (UConn)
Best of the Big 12: Nebraska, Taylor Martinez (Nebraska)
Best of the Big Ten: Ohio State, Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State)
Best of the ACC: NC State, Russell Wilson (NC State)
Best of the SEC: Alabama, Ryan Mallett (Arkansas)
Best of Conference USA: East Carolina, Bryce Beall (Houston)
Best of the Pac-10: Oregon, Andrew Luck (Stanford)
Best of the Mountain West: TCU, Ronnie Hillman (San Diego State)
Best of the Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee, Jerrel Jernigan (Troy)
Best of the WAC: Boise State, Kellen Moore (Boise State)
Best of the MAC: Temple, Bernard Pierce (Temple)


Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:51 pm

National notes

what will it take for the big east to lose it's AQ status?  Nobody in the country cares to watch any team in that conference in a BCS bowl





Especially when those teams are winning 50% of those BCS games.  The Big East is so sad that its champion has only managed to beat Oklahoma by 20, Georgia (playing a virtual home game) by 3.  If you want to bag on a conference, jump on the ACC, who are 2-10 all-time in BCS bowl games.  Aside from the SEC, who has performed extremely well, all the major conferences (except the ACC) are a game or two from being .500 in BCS Bowls.

Since: Sep 13, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 8:48 pm

National notes

what will it take for the big east to lose it's AQ status?  Nobody in the country cares to watch any team in that conference in a BCS bowl.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 7:13 pm

National notes

I agree, get rid of all automatic qualifing or make a real playoff and qualify every conference (even the Sun Belt).  It has always been silly to have these types of automatic qualifying deals.   There are years when the ACC, Big East, or even the PAC ten have had a champion with two or more losses and there always seems to be atleast one non BCS conference school goes undefeated.  

The BCS make the voters make a horrible choices with only two teams in the National Championship tournament.  

Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 5:35 pm

National notes

twymail, I dont see how you can ask if someone else was dropped on their head when you are justifying Boises "good wins" when they both came against teams that were propped up by preseason hype. They both have underperformed and lost terrible games.

Please thank the media, in fact I believe you owe Dennis Dodd dinner and a movie. They have propped Boise up on hype and then pumped as much hype into all of their opponents as they can. They did it with Va Tech, they did it with Oregan State, and they ARE doing it with Nevada. Anything that they could possibly do to make Boises states schedule not look like a giant pile of crap,

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:37 pm

National notes

Please don't call Boise State University...Idaho.  It is like calling Auburn....Alabama or calling Stanford...California.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:35 pm

National notes


Are you on crack??? the 2 "rank" opponents, as you put it were #10 Virginia Tech and #25 Oregon State...were you dropped on your head as a child??? 

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:33 pm

National notes


You need to get your facts straight...Boise State has beaten TWO ranked teams, but you already knew that....Virginia Tech was #10 and Oregon State was did you type your post and not know that???

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:32 pm

National notes

TCU, LSU, Florida and Oklahoma have better quality wins than Nebraska, NC State, Ohio State and Michigan. That's if you base your rankings on performance to date. And as of today, Nebraska has beaten nobody. NO-BO-DY!

Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 3:06 pm

National notes

I am not sure who Jordan Todman is that you refer to as the best player so far for the big east.  The conference has plenty of talented individuals, and I don't really have an argument for such an annointment, but I am honestly not familiar with who he is or what he's done.  Could you please elaborate for those of us in the dark?

Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:05 pm

National notes

I understand why Dodd hates the Ohio State.  I mean he works for CBS, which paid a ton for SEC games.  So naturally he has to hype his own teams and try to dismiss teams that are good as his boys.  Besides, he is a busy man.  He obviously didn't watch the Miami game, because he would know that Ohio State dominated that team for the last three quarters, and the game would have been a blowout if Ohio State had better kickoff coverage and went for it instead of kneeing it at the end of the game.  I just wish instead of saying "Ohio State wasn't impressive..." he would say "I didn't watch the Ohio State game, but the score was kinda close..."

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