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Big East Coast Bias is at Big East Media Days - What We're Thinking About

The 2011 Big East Media Days have arrived and I'm here in gorgeous Newport, RI to take it all in. Tonight is the famous "clambake" which is simply an opportunity for assembled media, athletic department staff, coaches, and players to mingle and enjoy the break from oppressive summer heat whole taking in the local fare. Tomorrow is formal Media Day where Big East Commissioner John Marinatto will address assembled media and then we'll have the opportunity to speak with coaches and players. With so many questions swirling around the individual teams and coaches as well as the conference itself, here are the questions on my mind as tomorrow approaches.

  • Commissioner Marinatto - I'd like to hear the commissioner address the obvious questions about expansion. Is the conference really considering twelve teams and a divisional split with a conference championship game in football? If so, is Marinatto considering football only membership options to reach that number without expanding the already enormous 17 team basketball league? I'd like to get his thoughts on what is happening with the Big XII and does he think it's wise to expand now if its possible that the Big XII could disintegrate in the near future. I want to hear about the media day and the possibility of a Big East Network. I'd also like to hear him weigh in on full cost of attendance scholarship proposals, especially since the Big East is home to several smaller schools for which such a commitment would be quite a burden.
  • Connecticut - I'm interested in seeing just how energetic and enthused Paul Pasqualoni looks. 61 years old is fairly up there for a coach to be in his first season at the helm, nevertheless, he seems refreshed from his years in the NFL. I'm obviously curious about the quarterback and receiver positions. I'm also hoping to hear from Kendall Reyes and and Wridi Bleh-Wilson how the defense is taking to defensive coordinator Don Brown. I'm a big Brown fan and I think if the players embrace him, the defense should be outstanding.
  • Cincinnati - From Butch Jones, I'm hoping to hear some specifics on just how he intends to turn things around in year number two. When the ill-will snowball gets rolling downhill, it's very difficult to stop. Trust me, I know first hand from the Kragthorpe years at Louisville. I'm looking forward to hearing from Zach Collaros how he feels the offense can avoid the turnover bug and from JK Schaffer his thoughts on how the Bearcats defense will be improved.
  • Louisville - I'm curious to see what Charlie Strong's expectations are for 2011. The team is so young and yet so talented in places as well. I'm also interested to see if he seems sincere in dousing the expectations, or if it's classic Lou Holtz-ism. I'd like to hear from Victor Anderson whether or not he is fully healthy and if he intends to split carries with Jeremy Wright or whether or not he expects to be the primary ball carrier and Wright be a reliever. I want to hear from Chichester and Heyman just how they're taking to being senior leaders with such a small group of seniors on the team.
  • Pittsburgh - I'd like to hear coach Graham address the level of "buy-in" considering just how different his schemes are from the previous coaching staff and the turmoil surrounding the manner in which he got the job in the first place. I'd like to hear from all of the players how they're embracing the change in systems and their expectations in year one.
  • Rutgers - I'd like to hear from Greg Schiano how it feels to be the elder statesman of the Big East coaches. I'd also like to know what went into the decision to hire Frank Cignetti junior to coordinate the offense. I'd like to hear from Joe Martinek how it feels to the players to have the quarterback situation settled going into the season and if the offense is rallying around Chas Dodd.
  • South Florida - I want Skip Holtz to address how they intend to use BJ Daniels and whether or not they'll finally embrace his running ability or, instead, keep trying to make him a pocked passer. Of course I'll also ask how they intend to use all of the running backs that have transferred in and whether or not Darrell Scott is ready to be the main guy. I'd like to ask Quinton Washington how he feels about taking the role of the leader in the secondary for USF and what his expectations are for the Bulls' defense, especially with so many new pass-oriented offenses coming to the Big East in 2011.
  • Syracuse - It'd be impossible not to at least ask Doug Marrone about the off the field incidents with Marcus Sales and others. I'm also interested to hear just what his expectations are for the season after losing such a large senior class. I'd like to talk with Ryan Nassib about whether or not he feels ready to lead a more aggressive passing attack, even with the loss of Sales (potentially). I'd like to hear from Chandler Jones how he too feels about all of these wide open offenses coming to the Big East.
  • West Virginia - I would like to talk with Dana Holgorsen about how he is embracing all of the off the field aspects of being a head coach as well as how he is doing with integrating the staff in such a compressed time frame. I'd like him to compare Geno Smith to some of his previous quarterbacks and how well Smith is picking up the offense compared to prevoious quarterbacks. I'd like to hear the same answers from Smith. I'd also like to hear how the defense is feeling about having to replace so many starters and perhaps how they feel they might benefit from the offensive philosophy change.

What are your questions? Leave them in the comments section below and I'll do my best to work them in. Look for a slew of stories and updates tomorrow. For now, it's time for some lobster.