Each week Big East Coast Bias polls bloggers around the conference on a football topic. How do their views differ from yours? This week, we asked:
Charlie Strong no doubt wants to demonstrate he can win a conference championship at Louisville. USF's Skip Holtz and Syracuse's Doug Marrone hope to make fans forget their 1-6 conference records last year. Paul Pasqualoni has ambitions to return UConn to the postseason and show he still has the ability to lead a successful program. Cincinnati's Butch Jones aims to win with his players and post a winning conference record. Rutgers' Kyle Flood and Pittsburgh's Paul Chryst desire to make first-year splashes as head coaches, and Temple's Steve Addazio plans to show the conference his team deserves to be in the mix. So …
Which Big East head football coach has the most to prove in 2012?
Survey said …
You've got to rule out the two first-year head coaches, Chryst and Flood. Addazio gets a pass since this is the first season of Temple being back in the Big East and he had a good 2011 -- his only year of head coaching experience. Jones and Strong are out, too. Jones won 10 games last year and Strong has had two winning seasons in his two years at Louisville. I'd hesitantly rule out Holtz since he's won at his two previous stops and also Pasqualoni, since last year was his first at UConn. For me it's Marrone, who's had only one winning season in his three at Syracuse.
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It has to be Skip Holtz, right? We USF fans are used to being let down, but last season was far worse than even we've come to expect out of our team. Not going to a bowl game at all was unacceptable, and while there's no heat on Holtz right now, there will be pretty soon if the Bulls struggle to get back to the postseason. Holtz also has some detractors about his coaching style. They played not to lose for much of last year. Their record in close games was horrible, and often the game management was an issue in those losses. Skip needs to prove that he can make good decisions in tight games, even if they don't work out.
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The coach with the most to prove in 2012 is Skip Holtz. In his first season, he finally reversed South Florida's trend of slopping late in the season by winning some key games like at Louisville and the bowl game against Clemson. Last season, after starting 4-0 and cracking the top 25 rankings, the Bulls fell apart and missed a bowl game altogether. Holtz was viewed as a home run hire and I personally still think he will do a very good job at South Florida for as long as he is there, but the Bulls have to make significant progress in 2012. Holtz returns virtually everyone from last year's team, adds some talented transfers, and has a tough schedule that features both Miami and Florida State in non-conference play. He needs some big wins this year.
Mengus22, a Louisville Cardinals fan, is manager of Big East Coast Bias.
Doug Marrone has much to prove, as does Skip Holtz. There will be rumblings if Syracuse and South Florida don’t bounce back in a big way during the 2012 season. I’m casting my vote for Paul Pasqualoni though. It’s his critical second year. He has his staff and scheme in place. His recruits and transfers will be on the roster. The rebuilding at UConn has not ended, but the tolerance for losing to equal or lesser teams has. The Huskies need to dominate their nonconference schedule and hold their own in the Big East. Pasqualoni is in friendly environs in Connecticut. He needs to parlay that into wins on the field.
29sonski is a Connecticut Huskies fan and regular contributor to Big East Coast Bias.