Mailbag Feb.19: UConn Needs To Win But Look Good For New Conference?

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Q: I believe next year is important for uconn. Uconn not only needs a winning seasone but they need to look really good. If that happens I predict an invite somewhere to play football. What do you think? Raymond Martineau, Ohio

A: I think UConn needs to win, period. Whether its pretty, ugly or pretty ugly. They need to outlast more opponents than they have the past two seasons. I think we all realize that. The success of the football team won’t be the reason it goes to another conference. It won’t be the basketball teams, golf or soccer. Unfortunately, the Louisville situation was based on athletics, primarily, unlike any other snatch in realignment to this so UConn fans, I understand may think otherwise right now. Remember, UConn beat Louisville at Louisville this year too, Ray. And I believe the schools have been even in terms of Ws and Ls against each other. In 99.8 percent of the cases related to realignment Ray it has been about what a particular conference sees in a school in terms of what TV dollars it can rake in. That’s it. It’s sad but wins and losses don’t mean a thing to these people. I point to the example of Rutgers, been in the Big East forever, has never ever won a BE title, yet, going to the Big Ten (that being said I give Rutgers about five years with the Big Ten tag and that will all change given where it is and Penn State down). Look at Syracuse? Hasn’t won a conference title in about 10 years – going to the ACC. What do those two schools bring you in TV, though? Supposedly, the NY market. I respect your prediction but keep these things in mind as well Ray…thanks

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45 thoughts on “Mailbag Feb.19: UConn Needs To Win But Look Good For New Conference?

  1. Dave

    Ryan, the money UConn and the other Big East teams that stay would come from West Virginia, Syracuse, Pitt, Lousiville, TCU and Boise St. Not the Catholic schools. There is over 75 million in the kitty fund from the non catholic schools who leave. I’m pretty sure this is true.

    1. Ryan

      Hey Dez any clarification on above? Fairly certain Cuse, Pitt, and L’ville are waiting it out so they don’t have to pay and Boise St had a out clause. Not sure about TCU but WV had to pay but thought that was also in the court system.

      1. dconner Post author

        Pitt and Syr are paying 7.5 mill each to bolt; TCU paid 5 mill …WVU paid 20 mill to settle its deal and go and it’s my understanding Boise is paying 5 mill…I don’t think anybody is waiting on anybody to do anything…these fees aren’t nearly as high as some of the others we’ve seen that’s for sure

        1. Ryan

          thanks – I just thought if they waited the full waiting time period that no fee/penalty was charged but I stand corrected.

  2. jack54

    Big 12 media all report that schools expect new tv contract in 2015 to pay 26-30 million per team /per year ! Uconn may end up being the”Pittsburgh Pirates” of college football. When they say super conferences, they mean SUPER CONFERENCES. Everyone else gets left behind.

  3. Dave

    The new Tv contract comes in around 2-2.5 million between NBC and CBS. But don’t forget UConn will be getting millions from teams leaving the conference, so that will make up for the tv money. They will be making more than previous years because of this reason. Plus TV contract is only six years so they should get a better one the next time. NBC gives them way more exposure over the six years than ESPN(other wise know as the corporate raider.

    1. SillyBoy

      But even with the $2-$2.5MM TV revenues (seems small) and the other monies mentioned from teams leaving the conference, add that to us averaging only 3/4 capacity of a small stadium, does this equate to the dept of athletics actually making money? Seems like a stretch to think it will with this current formula, but I could be wrong….more clear to me we gotta get out of this new BE…

      1. Artie A...

        Silly, You say we gotta get out. This after saying we can’t fill the seats…
        Hello… Where ya gonna go?

    2. Ryan

      Dave – Big East does not get extra money from teams leaving if the teams leave with proper notice. As far as I know that is the deal and teams seem to be sticking with it and not leaving right away.

  4. TAD

    If the BigTen is relly going after UNC that could be good news for Uconn. The ACC basketballs schools may want to replace UNC with a basketball power as opposed to a school more know for football. Its just a thought.

  5. SillyBoy

    Dez–serious question—with the new underwhelming Big East TV contract being mentioned, at the end of the day does UConn athletics come out making any money? I am having a bit of difficulty grasping the economic impact. If UConn football drives the bus (no argument here)and we can’t draw 30,000 consistently in a tiny 40,000 seat stadium–add that to a low-ball TV contract, I just don’t understand how the athletic dept will end up being in the black?

    1. dconner Post author

      @SillyBoy … Got a get a better TV deal for the existing league or go to a conference that has an outstanding deal. Those are the alternatives as I see them. Fans have to get in the seats here there’s no doubt about that and if they don’t the I don’t see how they can complain about whatever fate comes if they haven’t done their part. Not trying to pick with fans but if they’re fans they should be out there supporting the team if they can. By not doing it, who are you really hurting?

  6. Jay

    given such a lousy tv contract is does this give to a potential return to Basketball with the seven catholic schools independent football? seems better for the $$$

    1. dconner Post author

      @jay – could you explain how it seems better to go Independent in football? Just wondering because there’s so few of them now and the ones remaining are going to conferences or looking to go with exception of ND. How does it seem to be better for the $$$ Thanks!

      1. Jay

        I may be misreading the “news” but it appears the per team value of BE bb(cath 7) will be greater than the combined contract for the BE remaining teams for all sports.

        1. dconner Post author

          @jay I would do a little more homework on the many pitfalls of going Independent in football, especially now. I realize you see gloom and doom but Independent is not the way to go. You need a TV contract to do that. Who is going to offer UConn a contract big enough to sustain its athletic department? In short Jay, the best move for UConn is to remain in a conference. Looks like you also have to come to grips with the fact football drives the bus in college sports not basketball – because it makes the most money and TV contracts are built around it not basketball, all of them. March Madness occurs every Saturday in college football Jay…

          1. Howard Lubinger

            It seems that people forgot how we got overlooked for bowl games because of lack of conference affiliation. You might as well go FCS rather than go independent because your schedule will not be much better than that. Who is going to broadcast the games? I realize SNY would probably show them, but who is going to set up the TV cameras, get the announcers, etc.? Do we forget that ESPN is doing that now through the Big East contract?

  7. jack54

    Take it any way you want. “Insiders” say Georgia Tech and B1G have already agreed, just waiting for ACC/ Maryland lawsuit to shake out. If not, North Carolina + Virginia are next in line. B12 will then take FLA ST , Clemson, L’Ville,ND . SEC will grab VT, NC.ST. Only then will ACC add UConn + Cincy. We are just too far down the totem pole.

    1. Eric

      I tend to believe that the vast majority are going to stay together. Its not like our lose configuration of schools that the Big East cobbled together over the years. Maryland never felt part of nor respected enough in the ACC. There maybe a few but what benefit would the SEC gain in gathering VT or NC St when Texas and OKlahoma are out there. Realignment may come but I learned to trust no sources until it comes out of the Commish mouth of these leagues.

    2. Ryan

      Once the Maryland lawsuit is settled I could see some chips fall and some ACC teams bail if Maryland does not have to pay but Nodre Dame is not going to the Big 12 their alum base is East Coast/Midwest.

      I still think UConn has good chance of someday getting in to the Big 10 or ACC – between market size, NYC exposure, success, facilities, ect. Just have to wait it out which sucks but conferences are moving slow with all the unknowns.

  8. Peter

    Rutgers and Syracuse tied for the Big East Conference Championsip this year at 5-2 along with Louisville and Cincinnati.

  9. Steve-CT

    Dez: Why is the Big Ten Network advertising on the Courant’s UConn football blog? Is there something we should know? LOL

  10. Steve-CT

    Dez, can you please clarify what you mean by “…I give Rutgers about five years with the Big Ten tag and that will all change given where it is and Penn State down.”


    1. dconner Post author

      @Steve yes, I do believe Rutgers will have the ability to be successful in the Big Ten after a while because they’ll be an option for kids up here who want play at that level and may not want to go to Penn State. Once you get more of those jersey kids to stay home and get some of the better ones from PA….UConn will have to be in these wars too though

  11. RST

    Image is everything. An image of excellence in athletics is very important. Football has the highest profile and the biggest effect on image. Another year like the last two and the brand will be significantly damaged. I hate to disagree with Dez, but I think this football season is extremely important. The UMD lawsuit will be resolved soon. Need to be in the best position when that happens. It’s all about image.

    1. dconner Post author

      @RST Again, ok to disagree and we certainly do pretty much on everything but thats not an issue with me so apologies are hardly necessary but I go with what I know which usually includes factual information from people directly involved. Unlike the fans, my personal feelings with respect to this aren’t involved so my responses to such things aren’t emotional or fan-like. Image is important no question but I have to admit Im a little surprised, but maybe I shouldn’t be, that you’re tying so much into image. Somewhat disappointed too – but I’ve been disappointed before. That being said, there’s no real interest on my part to go back and forth, all over again, on why UConn isn’t in the ACC or whatever conference you want to be in. If you think it’s because UConn went 5-7 the past two seasons; if you think it’s because Paul Pasqualoni is the head coach or George DeLeone is the assistant head coach; if you believe it’s because Randy Edsall left? That’s all fine, I guess. It’s just not consistent with what conference commissioners are looking at when choosing schools. It is however consistent within a fanbase that feels its schools has been left hanging in a conference it doesn’t think will be successful down the road.

      1. RST

        Dez, not to worry. In many respects we are in violent agreement. We just say things differently, and I tend to put it out there unvarnished.

    2. Howard Lubinger

      This season is important for the AD and coaching staff. Importance for CR lies in geography and population (aka cable subscribers).

        1. Howard Lubinger

          Athletic Department? Another 5-7 (or worse) season and people’s seats start getting very hot.

          My point was more that the performance on the field will have little to do with status within conference realignment. If it did, why does Maryland go to the B1G? Why does Boise State not come up in most discussions?

          1. dconner Post author

            @Howard Are you saying something nobody else has or even intimated? That the athletic director at UConn is in trouble if the football team doesn’t have a winning record? Is that what you’re saying Howard? Please. Please please tell me you’re not saying that. Please tell me you’re not saying that Howard…please? Scary stuff, I have to admit if that’s what you’re saying.

        2. buddy

          Can anyone list any positive accomplishments that the AD has done, other than hiring KO (and we are sure that was under duress), so that we can put this type of discussion to rest?

          1. Ryan

            Think we have to give the AD some time as he has not been around all that long and a large part of why we are in the current position is past upper management sitting on their hands and not looking ahead. I do wish he would be more aggressive in positioning us in to a better conference as most the quotes I see from him seem to be more of the laid back type and things will eventually fall in place. 20 plus million compared to 2 million a year is a big difference and right now we are entering a time where our conference is going toward mid major type….

            What we see though can be different than what happens behind the scenes….

          2. Ryan

            Just to add…

            Buddy – do you think the AD had anything to do with the coach shakeup at UConn this year on offensive side? I tend to think he did and also think PP is on the hot seat more than AD as PP was not his hire.

          3. dconner Post author

            @Buddy first of all the guy was introduced as AD on Feb.12 2012…anybody know what today’s date is?

            Poor guy couldn’t move Heaven and Earth fast enough I guess.

        3. Thedrifter75

          After reading through this again I believe he is referring to the AD as the athletic department, not the athletic director as most of us read AD. Correct me if I’m wrong Howard.

          1. Howard Lubinger

            Drifter – you are correct. My main point, which seems to have been lost, is that performance on the field will not dictate what goes on in Conference Realignment, which seemed to be the point of the question.

          2. dconner Post author

            @Howard oh I’m sorry I totally misunderstood this: “….Athletic Department? Another 5-7 (or worse) season and people’s seats start getting very hot.”..,

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