UConn sports

UConn football and men's basketball news and notes from writer Neill Ostrout.

Big East notes: Where do they go from here?

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USC wide receiver Robert Woods loses his helmet while driving toward the goal as Syracuse defensive end Torrey Ball (95) and safety Shamarko Thomas tackle him during the first half Saturday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The usual Monday morning conference call the Big East conducts with its football coaches was anything but usual. Coaches were asked about conference realignment over and over, and found different ways not to say very much.

“I don’t have no reaction at all,” Louisville coach Charlie Strong said.

UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni was one of the few to be honest and expound a bit.

Pasqualoni said he hasn’t had a chance to sit down with UConn President Susan Herbst yet on the issue.

“Obviously this came on very, very quickly,” Pasqualoni said. “We’ve been so busy getting ready to play football games, I haven’t really had a chance to meet with any officials here.

“My feeling on it would be really assess, if in fact Syracuse and Pitt are going to the ACC, are the Texas and Oklahoma schools going to the Pac-12?” Pasqualoni continued. “What are the remaining Big 12 schools going to do? What would be the landscape of, let’s call it the ‘new’ Big East? Does that bring in Baylor, Missouri? Can that be worked out with the remaining Big East teams?

“Or is there opportunity to go to another conference?” Pasqualoni added. “These are things that are going to have to be discussed here very quickly, and in the very near future decisions are going to have to be made.”

“You want to be, the best position for UConn would be in a BCS conference, would be in a conference with teams that we have some similarities with, a chance to have some rivalries, a chance to develop relationships within the conference geographically, if that’s possible. There’s a lot to think about.”

– West Virginia may be headed to the SEC. What does football coach Dana Holgorsen think about that?

“I don’t have an opinion. We’re in capable of hands of (athletic director) Oliver Luck and (president) James Clements,” Holgorsen said. “I’m going to worry about X’s and O’s.”

– Of course, the coaches at Syracuse and Pittsburgh were happy to talk about the ACC just a bit.

“We’re excited about the opportunity for the future,” Pitt coach Todd Graham said.

– UConn and Rutgers seem like somewhat natural (if geography and traditional rivals mean anything at this point) additions to the ACC, and both obviously have interest.

The New York Post reported that both could join the ACC in a matter of weeks.

For his part, Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano wasn’t ready to talk about such issues.

“I’ve taken the stance that I’m going to coach the football team. (Athletic director) Tim Pernetti and our administration are going to handle on the conference stuff, and let them be the spokesmen,” Schiano said. “I’m going to answer questions about the Ohio game and stick to that.”

– A few football notes, in case those still matter:

– LSU hosts West Virginia Saturday night and ESPN’s College GameDay will be in Morgantown, too.

“It’s going to be a challenge. They’re obviously good. Their team speed is unbelievable,” Holgorsen said. “They’re as fast as any football team out there.”

– Louisville QB Will Stein (shoulder) left Saturday’s game against Kentucky but that doesn’t change the Cardinals’ lineup following the bye they have this week, coach Charlie Strong said.

“We will not change up at all. Stein will be back,” Strong said.

– Stop me if you’ve heard this one before in the last few years: UConn leads the Big East in total defense (256.3 ypg) but is next-to-last in total offense (323.3 ypg)

– UConn’s nine-game win streak at Rentschler Field ended with Friday night’s loss to Iowa State.

– UConn PK Dave Teggart is the only player in Big East history to hit two field goals of more than 50 yards in a single game. And he’s now done it twice.

Categories: General
Neill Ostrout