Harsh Realities: Why The ACC Chose Louisville Over UConn

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If you haven’t peeped it already here’s an excellent read by our Paul Doyle on why the ACC chose Louisville over UConn.

And folks, it wasn’t all based on the product on the field the last two seasons – not by a long shot.

That much will be clear.

Anyway, I thought the first quote in the story from ACC commissioner John Swofford was very interesting as well as the recruiting section, particularly how Louisville did against UConn from 2005, on the heels of the Huskies first bowl appearance, to 2012.

It’s a good read, an enlightening piece, well done by Paul.






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61 thoughts on “Harsh Realities: Why The ACC Chose Louisville Over UConn

  1. jack54

    Sell more tickets for UConn football ? Get the state to allow a $1000-$2000 CT state income tax deduction for every season ticket purchased by a state resident. Years ago I believe Michigan put ticket info into every water, gas, electric, phone bill mailed within the entire state. Spread the word. Send marketing students door to door to every business in the state, asking them to purchase just 2 tickets any one game.You can not sit back and expect people to just show up. You need to attract the casual fan , not just die hard season ticket holders. With a population of 3.6 million , 40k for 6 games should not be difficult. Many states with populations not that much more than CT have 2 teams (i.e.-Kentucky + Louisville )

  2. andy

    According to Rivals – same source used in the article, Connecticut right now is ranked #54 in recruiting.


    With two months left in the recruiting year, there’s a good chance that the 2013 class, will be the first top 50 ranked class in the history of the program. (2012 was ranked 77th)

    So if you’re going to go by recruiting, we’ve gone from a 101st ranked class that Edsall primarily assembled for 2011, to a 54th ranked class, in less than two recruiting years.

    The potential to get back to where we were two years ago, and be even better, is there. It begins, and ends with recruiting.

      1. Navin R. Johnson

        Now we all know that as signing day nears that all can change as many kids make their final decision. The other is that can this coaching staff develop the talent? Can they energize the kids? The staff shows no energy on the sidelines and that has to change.

  3. andy

    On Randy Edsall and recruiting. 2011 class was 101 out of 120. Let’s all realize that for a second. Randy Edsall left the UConn program exactly 1 month, before signing day for the 2011 class. Let’s all remember, that Pasqualoni, managed to retain all of the recruits that January that Edsall had brought in for that 101 ranked class (I think there we 12 players in total committed to Edsall’s program, as of the Fiesta Bowl) Pasqualoni, brought in two co-ordinators, that managed to keep all of them, AND add to the class in a month, with THREE pretty talented defensive players, that have been regular contributors on the field for a top defense in the country THIS year. That all happened AFTER Edsall left. When people say the cupboard was left bare, it has nothign to do with the starters that Pasqualoni inherited on defense, or the multiple years starters left on offense – which were few. Edsall completely shafted this program, with consistently poorer and poorer recruiting after 2007, and then by essentially stopping recruiting in 2010, late in the year, as he undoubtedly had calculated, and known about leaving for some time. Our offense, as a capable division 1-A offense, is essentially being built from scratch, since 2011. That’s where Edsall left us, and our offensive recruiting, clearly NEEDS to be cranked up several notches, but the most important position? That Edsall couldn’t, and still can’t, find a player? Whitmer, Cochran, and fingers crossed, in about 8 weeks, class 5A award player out of TExas QB, Lagow. The rest of the offense needs to start stacking up like that in the depth charts – with players – and the offense will turn around, and it’s year three now. Now is the time. We’ll see next year if the offense starts catching up with the defense.

  4. JustaDMC

    Whoever has been talking about the connector from I-84 to Storrs and the location of the stadium:

    I-384 was supposed to be I-84 and head towards Providence, which didn’t happen because of local opposition. That highway would have gone much farther than Bolton and perhaps helped ease congestion on Rt. 195, which is annoying considering people can also use Rt. 44 East to get to 384 and it’s just as quick. The state pushed for this idea in spurts until the 1980’s I think.

    As for the stadium, blame the local opposition (again) and the New England Patriots. We were supposed to share the stadium with them in Hartford, but they were only using us to improve things in Foxborough. UConn and CT as a whole got the short end of the stick.

    ESPN will never consider us for a College Gameday site even if we are ranked because our home field isn’t on campus. We lose a lot of possibilities to enhance traditions because students have to hop on a bus just to watch a home game. The marching band can’t travel like it should because it has to use six coach buses and two trucks just to get its members to and from games on Saturdays. All of these things snowball and hurt us more as we continue to get “snubbed” by conferences that have schools with histories of tradition and success.


    Hmmm@The Jerk…”could you imagine what it would cost to build a connector Fromm 84 to the campus ?”..maybe the state should have considered it instead of building a “freakin $700 mil bus route”!!…hmmm

    1. TheJerk

      I think that connector would be more used than the magic bus, but hey I didnt vote for the clown who passed it either

    2. mikeinmanila

      Since I don’t live in CT, I assume you guys are talking about the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system in Hartford? If so, BRTs are considered THE most cost effective way to provide quality mass transit. I don’t see providing a city the size of Hartford with a good mass transit system as a bad thing…do you? That said, I’d love to see a connector from I84 to Storrs eventually.

  6. ron

    No one seems to recognize that Randy Edsall left the cupboard bare.Although PP seems to shake his head in a losers way like he has no control over his plight you have to give him a third year to see what he can do with his OWN guys. As for the tailgating situation, it reminds me of high school where you have to drink, eat and socialize in a three hour period instead of treating people like adults and let them come overnight and start early.It’s ridiculous how you have to cram everything in.

    1. mikeinmanila

      HCRE hardly left the cupboard bare..UConn had one of the highest number of returning starters in the BE in 2011 (I think it was #2 in the BE). Pasqualoni chose to go with the wrong QB…combined with bad coaching on offense…the proof will be pretty hard to deny when we go 4-8 or 5-7 next year (which will definitely be the case if we don’t have a decent OC or we lose our DC).

  7. joesimsbury

    I read Doyle’s piece – well done and reality hurts. However, we were trending in the right direction until Hathaway decided that PP and thus Deleone was the way to go. We had decent success and it was exciting to look forward to a game at the Rent. It was a fragile success, but clear and advancing. Two years ago we were on a par with many ACC programs and ahead of others including the BC operation. PP has choked it off and it will be hard to bring back. I know it is more than what was “on the field” that prompted the ACC to add Louisville (it certainly was not the quality the academic standing of the institution). But PP has to shoulder a substantial amount of blame for the recent demise of UConn football.

  8. Dave from Watertown

    What’s up with the forum on the Boneyard? The activity there is as dead as PP and our football team.

  9. RST

    Schools that are serious about their football program do not tolerate successive 5-7 seasons. Full stop. Until UConn gets that serious, their program will be going nowhere.

    The ONLY reason that I will renew my season tix is that I get to spend valuable face time with my kids on game days. If the Michigan game moves somewhere else, though, I may not bother.

    1. RST

      And, yes, I did read the Jere Longman piece in the NYT. Root cause for lack of success when a coach is replaced is hypothesized to be change in the system and (presumably) a lack of commitment of the new coach to players not recruited by him. Well, we have seen a LOT of that at UConn these last two years. This coaching regime has abysmally failed to effectively utilize the assets they inherited when they came in. Was it all that wise to make an abrupt change to a pro style? Were the personnel suited to that change? I think we would have to say no. Will UConn ever have players good enough to effectively execute that (admittedly more powerful) system? I think we would have to say probably not. I am guessing that GDL has a greatly reduced role going forward even if he is allowed to keep his title to save face. So what will HCPP do to try to prolong his tenure? Who will call the Offensive plays and what will be the modified system? He has one year to right the ship.

    2. RST

      And one more thing before Dez accuses me of being on a roll and venting too much. Is it too much to ask a coaching staff not to look down at the ground and grimace so much? This hanging of heads in frustration sends a HUGE negative message on the sidelines. Their body english is terrible. Contrast that to what the Cincinnati coaches were doing. Huge difference, yet often thing didn’t go their way either. It did not affect them. They kept their chins up and kept on swinging.

  10. buddy

    The AD needs to take action instead of letting the parade pass him by. Head football coach and OC both ineffective and should be dismissed. You don’t hire someone who was fired from their prior college job. This guy drove Syracuse into the ground and it has taken years to recover. UConn does not have that time. Conference realignment is nearing an end. UConn will have no where to go and be left out. Put a quality product on the field and fans will come and money will be made. No question. Herbst and Manuel’s inaction will be ultimately responsible for UConn’s demise.

  11. roberttherugguyraleigh

    Did he really say “lack of local talent” I had to read it several times, yes he did! Pewy! Jim Bell Hand High School and BC, Mike luzzi East Haven Highschool and Yale, Jim Bell Branford Highschool and Harvard(yes that Jim Bell, NBC) I’ll go Dan Cudgma Branford Highschool and yes The University of Connecticut, these are guys I played with or against in the early 80’s, I am sure everyone has their favorites these are some of mine. Lack of loal talent, PEWY!

    1. Navin R. Johnson

      So you are saying that there is a ton of local talent to build a D-1A program in Connecticut? Meaning if you recruit in CT you will build a top 30 porgram in the country based off of your comment.

    2. RST

      You ought to watch the new CPTV coverage of CT HS football. The standard of CT HS football is not very high. Pretty weak, actually.

      1. Navin R. Johnson

        It’s poor RST…it’s not a hotbed. People need to understand that. We agree on this.

  12. Navin R. Johnson


    “The biggest gap was in 2011, when Louisville had the 29th-rated class in the country and UConn had the 101st. In 2012, Louisville was 42nd and UConn was 77th.”

    Not a good for Coach P. This was supposed to be his BIG selling point as the new head coach. Throw 2011 out and 77th is poor. Very poor like the product on the field.


    Cincincinati is attractive as a recruiting bed and market for conferences like BIG 12 and SEC..even the ACC


    Here’s a thought ..everytime I’m at the game I look at the empty seats in the suite ..for a state that gives out tax incentives to corporations..where is their support??..ESPN is no where up here ..and they are all about college sports in our state …and a company who took part in Gov Maloy’s “first five” program tax breaks…where are they at the Rent…they are not…it seems to me that the state leadership doesn’t promote ..Having Michigan on our schedule is good.. Win or loose the RENT should be sold out….but our AD Warde had better be thinking that ONE team a year isn’t gonna cut it either……HE NEEDS TO GET OFF HIS LAZY butt and DO something himself…It isn’t gonna fall into his Lap ..the fans are are not gonna show up with games against TULANE ..The people in my circles I associate with say UCONN should go independent for FOOTBALL and remain in the BIgEast for the rest of the sports..and commit resources to football ..Look at Cincinati and the NEW HIRE…they are next on the list to leave ..WATCH WARDE…cuz that’s all you do

  15. Yonick Bush

    CT budget woes mean far less money for UCONN. Any dream of stadium expansion is dead. Any talk of stadium expansion given the budget issues will cause a lynch mob lead by union workers.

    And what’s the point of having the team play in a 75% empty stadium?

  16. DeeJay

    Looks to me as if it comes down to, UConn’s athletic program won’t get major attention until its football team gets a rabid and loyal fanbase. But its football team won’t get a rabid and loyal fanbase until it starts winning and making a mark. Yet UConn won’t do what it takes to create a consistent, winning football team, until it already has a rabid and loyal fanbase cheering it on.

    I could be wrong but this looks to me like a classic chicken & egg thing. Which comes first? Loyal fans, or good football? Fans are waiting for football to be good before latching on but the school is waiting for the fans to support them before fielding a quality team.

    I would suggest UConn stop waiting for the fans. Start fielding a quality team, and they will come. History shows this works. It did in the case of basketball, both the men’s and women’s teams. Seems strange the school won’t do the same with football.

    1. mikeinmanila

      Same basic formula as basketball…need to have a competitive team that overachieves. CT fans are demanding, but they will support if the team shows improvement. It’s UConn responsibility to field a competitive team (you shouldn’t expect people to continue to pay money for an inferior product).

      4 steps to get there:

      Step 1: Hire an outstanding coach who wants to build a program and can “coach up” 2-3 star recruits and reaches out to the community/press(e.g., like Boise State),

      Step 2: Play 2 top OOC teams per year (at neutral sites if needed),

      Step 3: Keep improving the game day experience,

      Step 4: Keep upgrading facilities (goal would be to have the best facilities in the northeast…stadium size needs to be increased to at least 50K ASAP)

      Step 5: Constantly market the program to conference schools in the B1G and ACC

      While all this is happening, President Herbst needs to position UConn for an AAU invite to make UConn a viable B1G candidate.

      Since the ACC is likely to be picked apart, the goal should be the B1G, with the ACC as a secondary option.

      1. DeeJay

        You’re right, UConn needs to do all of these things. But if they had any inclination to do any of this they would have done it already.

        Instead they shrug their shoulders and say, “The fans aren’t here, what can we do?” They seem to think they earned strong fan support just because there’s a football team, they don’t seem to realize it has to be a GOOD football team first.

        I expect they and the local media will just keep using the lack of fan support as the reason the team isn’t any good and insist they can’t improve it until fans flock to them.

        One more thing, you’re also right about the ACC now being so large & basketball heavy it will break apart. I’m not convinced the ACC is much more viable in the long term than the Big East.

  17. FrankyB

    If we had been able to hired Addazio I expect he would have left UConn for BC anyway. Give Coach P a chance to coach a UConn team with his own recruits.

  18. Ricky

    The fans have no one to blame but themselves. They always want to complain about everything and not be faithful to their program. If we had sold out every game at the rent, Uconn would have expanded the stadium making it more attractive to recruits so better players come here. More money for the program to spend on big time coaches. Start to see the pattern. You want to have the best program? Show up to the game and prove you have the best program and give them the support they need and deserve.

  19. Dave from Watertown

    We blew it when we hired that idiot PP and now BC has the coach we should have hired (Addazio).

  20. Dave from Watertown

    Lew Perkins saw the death of UCONN sports and left before the destruction started. Lew was always the smartest AD in UCONN history and he was right again.

    1. TheJerk

      I dont disagree with having an ‘on-campus” stadium, but if that were the case we would still be playing 1-AA football. Can you imagine the cost of what they would have had to do in Storrs?

    2. Anonymous

      On Basketball nights it took me 30 minutes to get to campus. Usually took 10 min. Now imagine 4x that on 195. They would have had to have built a new highway.

      1. TheJerk

        thats exactly the point. Can you iamgine what a connector road from 84 to campus would have cost?

  21. husky66

    its really simple. the academics and TV market didn’t matter in the selection. even going 4/4 against Louisville didn’t matter. Even beat them this year and it didn’t matter in the decision; not one bit.

    FANS who SUPPORT football did. Its great that UConn FB moved up to Div 1, but there just aren’t enough people who really, really care enough to fill the stadium. If you can’t sell out a 40K stadium, show up late, leave early (to do what exactly?) then you don’t deserve to be considered. There have been several ACC schools at the Rent over the years, UVa, UNC, Wake and this past year NC State. don’t know the attendence at those other games but NC State did not sell out. Anyone think the ACC didn’t notice?

    lastly, here’s a suggestion. set up an overnight RV lot. PSU has done it for years and have to say its an experience every college FB fan should have someday. starts Th night and ends Sunday morning. It’s tailgating taken to the extreme.

  22. Raymond Martineau/Ohio

    Here is my thoughts on this issue. Why are we so intent on going to the ACC? Lets face it the ACC football wise is no big deal. They are more like the Big East. They are a primarily a basketball conference. If we want to be able to recruit big time we need to go to a better conference. We need to ask ourselves “What do we need to do to make us a more attractive school”
    to conferences like the Big ten or even the SEC, if that is possible. I also agree we should not be afraid to hire a big time coach for our football program. Step up to the plate by answering the big Question. “What do we need to do”?

  23. Livin

    Nobody should be surprised by the selection of Lousville over UConn. That’s old news. Their athletic department is clealy superior to ours. Upgrading the talent on the field and the game experience for football are obvious next steps. Coach P and DeLeone – gone. DJ Joey – gone. Cold stale environment at the Rent needs to be upgraded. $15 parking and ridiculously expensive concessions need to be rethought. Walkways to the stadium leading to upgraded access needs to be reassessed. Very simple concepts that UConn has taken for granted. People need to be incentivized to attend games. Just because we’re season ticket holders and passionate for our team doesn’t mean that everyone is.

    Providing top quality teams, an exciting brand of football and winning seasons will ultimately attract fan support. But it won’t happen until this coaching staff is gone. Until then….yawn.

    1. TheJerk

      great words seldom uttered by UCONN fans “Very simple concepts that UConn has taken for granted”. I think this has been true for years and years in basketball and football. Maybe its a CT mindset of having absolutely zero view of the future and only reactionary

  24. Adam

    We are stuck in the Big East because our athletic departments have long lacked vision. Louisville had vision: they expanded their stadium when their attendance was dismal during the Steve Kragthorpe era, hired a great coach and now look at them. Rutgers had vision: they expanded their stadium with state bonds and now they are in the Big 10 where their short-term debt will be well worth the payout of being in such a prestigious conference.

    Lew Perkins had vision and we can thank him and Jim Calhoun for putting UConn on the national sports map. But ever since Perkins, we’ve had ADs who are way too content with resting on our laurels of past accomplishments. Jeff Hathaway had a chance to take UConn football to the next level and failed big time by not expanding our stadium and also opting for the safe and uninspired coaching hire. Now, Warde Manuel has the same opportunity to re-energize our stagnant fanbase by making a coaching change (and extending Kevin Ollie). Heck, Tommy Tuberville left a “power” conference in the B12 to go to Cincinnati today. Proof that a Big East school can lure a big-name coach and excite a fanbase. If athletics aren’t important to our AD, then they should come out and say so and save alot of people alot of time and energy in supporting UConn athletics. But, if they are important, then I wish our AD would start acting like it instead of sitting idly by while other schools are improving their profile (Cincinnati and USF both made good coaching changes) for the next wave of conference realignment!

  25. dave c -nyc

    the early results are in – The bottom line is we picked the wrong athletic director. No extension to Ollie is hurting basketball …and to be honest they did not do everything to get that bid. I feel there is still a chance to move…..I am also sick of them saying they need the fan base to increase before they expand….they may just have to do it and hope they can attract some better schools to play us and it can help recruiting. The very first mistake was allowing that stadium to be built where it is. Now they have to deal with it.

  26. TheJerk

    This was a very very good read.

    Ward wants to enhance the gameday experience? how about opening parking lots 6 hours in advance but start rounding people up to go in 1 hour before kickoff. How about lifting the ban on live reptiles, fireworks, and scaffolding? And maybe one more reason the ACC (BBQ country) didnt take us, is the parking lot ban on charcoal grills? every good tailgater knows food tastes better with charcoal.

  27. Dave from Watertown

    I’m hearing that BC alumni groups lobbied the school president and AD hard to vote against UCONN. It seems the BC alumni focused on the lawsuit and the treatment from UCONN fans at the Rent to support their position to the school’s administrators.

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