Tell Us Your Plan: Where Does UConn Go From Here?

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The Big East Conference as we knew/know it appears to be crumbling and it now appears UConn may be in the worst possible place … the last program standing without an invite from another major conference. So what’s next for the Huskies? Of course, the obvious answer is hope and pray for the ACC … but let’s assume that door is closed for the immediate future. Now what? Drop a post here and give us your thoughts about what Susan Herbst, Warde Manuel and the university should be thinking about. We’ll take a look at some of your very best advice and run some in the Saturday Courant. Join the discussion with a post right here!

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122 thoughts on “Tell Us Your Plan: Where Does UConn Go From Here?

  1. Dave

    Wow, how can you go from BCS Bowl, 3rd men’s basketball championship and 7th women’s national title to this in the last three years. It must stink to be the president or athletic director at UConn to deal with this mess. If Jim Calhoun say’s UConn has so much to offer why do we keep getting left out? My advice go independent in football and men’s and women’s basketball and play a national schedule that grabs recruits attention. Maybe this will open the ACC or Big Ten’s eyes. Maybe ESPN can give them a TV contract like BYU. At worst approach NBC network promote UConn’s athletics big time! UConn hierarchy WAKE UP, think outside the box will you. I’m sure you don’t want to be remembered as the president or AD when the music DIED! BYE, BYE American PIE.

    1. Ray

      Awesome Dave, I had agreed with Chad,but your idea tops that as long as we fire the football coaching staff

      1. Ken Graham

        I agree with Dave as well. Best option. I will miss the Big East Tourny at MSG!

    2. Duke

      Going independent in football may be the best thing. While the ACC is still afloat and looks appealing, we have to remember it’s a very leaky boat. College sports now is all about football money, and the ACC is falling apart because of football. Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Louisville are all candidates for the Big 12 to cement its footprint, and the SEC could be sniffing around Virginia and North Carolina schools. Look at what happened to BC – they were top 10 or 20 in football and basketball when they joined the ACC, and now they’re nothing in anything.

      UConn has to be able to recruit nationally in football as Jim Calhoun began to do in basketball when he came on board. To recruit nationally, UConn’s got to go play a few games against the big boys at their place, get some exposure and some revenue. Sure we’ll get our butts kicked, but we can get some local rivalries going too (Syracuse, BC)which should be more winnable. Regular games against national powers would be something no northeastern school can offer recruits and might expand the recruiting footprint – a game in Texas and Florida every year might help get players in those states.

      To make this happen UConn needs an up and coming coach of national caliber – young Calhoun or Auriemma, not a retread. UConn also needs to establish a Husky TV network. If it brings all of Connecticut and some of NYC to the table, that might be worth something.

    3. Frank

      What kind of TV deal do you think we could possibly get as an independent? Let the CYO schools go their own way. Keep any (all sports) conference affilation that is available.

  2. Peter

    We should take a proactive approach and stop waiting around for Aresco or should I say a rescue. We should move to become an independent and start playing schools like Kansas and Kentucky Baylor, Texas and move away from the Acc and small catholic schools. We could start the season with the locals and move to the big boys as the season moves on. We should try and get our own television contract that is fair and equitable to us. I feel if we went to the Mac conference we would actually have to improve our football to compete with those teams. That league seems to be up and coming and would be a nice place to grow our football until the time comes when football is ready to move to a bigger league. I say we pull back lower our expectations in football and keep our expectations high in Basketball. We may be able to get a contract similar to what the women’s team has in basketball if we play our cards correctly. Give Ollie the contract so we can move recruiting forward because we need to keep pace with the big boys in basketball.

    1. Ray

      I like your thinking Chad….the catholic schools would gladly take us if we drop football.
      The reason I agree with you because it’s obvious uconn is not committed to football. We were on the brink of a lot of succes and then they hired this coaching staff…What a waste of the last two years…SHUT it DOWN

    2. Mike McManus

      I agree with Chad. UCONN football is a decade away from being competitive with the big boys despite the fact that they beat a ND team a few years ago that was at the bottom. I keep seeing comments stating that UCONN might join the Big Ten; That’s insane. The UCONN football team could not compete with the bottom tier of the Big Ten. Stick with your B-Ball programs which are top dollar.

    3. cfkman

      Idiotic suggestion to drop football. First of all that will NEVER HAPPEN. Secondly they spent a fortune on the Stadium all the great facilities they have. Thirdly Football drives the college sports bus whether you like it or not. This expansion power grab is not done by a longshot. There will be more changes by the Big Ten ACC and the Big 12. This is nowhere near the end.

  3. Jay in the ATL

    First of all, we need to stop the blame game. Reality is, the biggest issues for UCONN was the timing of the conference realignment. UCONN athletics and the University have been in a state of change during this important time. New President, new athletic directoc, legendary coach retires, most successful football coach leaves, men’s hoops program on probation, Geno’s lawuit with team USA, not to mention, new conference commissioner. It was a perfect storm. From the outside looking in, it’s only bad news and lack of stability that is happening at UCONN. Heck, we built a basketball arena that is too small, and football stadium that is 35 minutes from campus. Bad decisions on our athletics have been made more often then good decisions.

    With that said, the question for this forum is, what do we do next. I think it’s pretty obvious that sitting still in our new conference is the best decision. Realignment is not over, not by a long shot. So the job of the President and the AD at this point is to correct the things that have kept us out of a new home:

    1. Stabilize the men’s hoops program. This is task #1, because it is the easiest one to complete. Lock up Coach Ollie for the foreseeable future by January 15th. If not, then be prepared to find a new coach and announce him immediately after the Final Four is over. If we don’t see Coach Ollie locked up by mid-January, I will assume another coach will be coming as will the other conference commissioners.

    2. Make a long term decision on the football program. Do this by hiring a new offensive coordinator, a young up and comer with experience at a major conference team. If Coach Pasqualoni returns this season, then he must be put on notice that he will be gone and replaced by this new offensive mind. At least with that we will have continuity.

    3. Treat the students as if they matter. Commit to the students getting courtside seating at Gampel game. That is a compromise. It’s not like Gampel is that big that you can’t see well from anywhere inside the place. On TV, it’s noticeable how awful our crowd is.

    4. Pick the conference you’d like to join. I prefer the Big 10. Learn the Big 10, understand their expectations, and understand what makes their schools Big 10 schools. If AAU status is required, then invest in it and get it. Consider initial concessions such as home games against Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin to be played at Giants Stadium to accomodate more of their fans. Schedule basketball against them at MSG. Be creative. At work, I’m always asked to think out of the box, would think the President and AD should be doing the same thing.

    5. End the relationship with the XL center. Sure this is a money thing, but that money will be miniscual in comparison with the money the school will get once part of a major conference.

    6. Win. Beat the teams that are leaving the conference. Beat the teams that are in the conferences that you want to move to. When the Big 10 schools and the ACC schools go on the road to UCONN, make it a special experience for them. There are many ways to do this. Games played at Gampel, not at XL. Games at the Rent should have special parking, special events, special packages for the visiting fans. When Michigan fans come next year, they should leave CT saying, you know what, these guys do belong in the Big 10.

    Dom, I know it seems like a low point with the Catholic Schools leaving, but just like in life, when you are down, you have two choices, lay down and get beat or rise up, come together, and become stronger. The President and AD are supposed to lead the school, and the fans in the right direction. If they have a plan and begin to implement, they will get the full support of the Husky Nation. If not, then unfortunately, I think the school will be put in a position of obscurity.

    1. Leo

      Looks like a great road map to me. I especially like #6, it is a way to win no matter what the outcome of the game.

  4. old hoss

    I say we go with the catholic schools for all sports and accept the large fee if we are to leave that new conference. This is about college too lets not forget, the rest of the sports need a league. Football goes independant as someone suggested in here earlier. We try and schedule the Alabama and Florida’s and let them pound us instead of the D1AA they routinely pound so we can make a little cash. We go with that format, if it doesn’t work go back to a 1AA football team and still play in the new stadium. I went to a UNH UMASS football game at foxboro a few years ago, great turnout, lot of fun. Maybe we even create a New England conference with URI, UMASS, UCONN, UNH, VT, ME and a few others and get abck to a top notch college education wise, I know it is good, but maybe we get better at teh books?

  5. Evan - West Hartford

    Let’s see.

    1) Fire Susan Herbst and Warde Manuel. They’re not getting the job done.

    2) Fire Paul Pasqualoni. He was a terrible hire at a critical time for our school. Hire a big name (good recruiting) football coach and spend the necessary money. (Jim Tressel is still looking for a landing spot).

    3) Stop pretending that academics matter. They don’t, unless you’re in the ivy league. If you think CT kids will still flock to UConn without its athletic prominence, think again.

    4) Sign Ollie to a long-term deal and resign Auriemma. Spend the neccessary money. Auriemma will leverage all of this for even more money, pay him!

    1. Jay in the ATL

      Interesting thought on Tressel. If Bobby Petrino, Butch Davis, and Mike Leach can get new jobs, why can’t a proven winner like Tressel get one. Nice call.

      1. Evan - West Hartford

        That or Skip Holtz…

        What really irked me about hiring Pasqualoni was that we didn’t even INTERVIEW Rich Rodriguez or Mike Leach, despite the fact that they were available and probably would have jumped at the opportunity. It kills me that our school is run by a bunch of liberal elitist idealists that take our athletic success for granted and think that the university’s success is tied to our academics or (gulp) our location…

        I’ve gotten more calls than usual from the Alumni association (husky-a-thon) asking for money recently. Do I really feel motivated to donate with this clown-show running my alma mater into the ground?

        I forgot one more thing. We need beat writers that actually like sports. Jeff Jacobs has been nothing but an antagonist, hellbent on bringing down Calhoun. He needs to be re-assigned to fall foliage coverage.

    2. CEA

      without a strong academic focus and commitment, The Big 10 will never consider UCONN. Are you suggesting that UCONN become a sports mill?

      1. Evan - West Hartford

        CEA, riddle me this. Why did the ACC choose Louisville over UConn despite our obvious academic advantage?

      2. Paul

        Exactly–crappy academics, NCAA violations, embarrasing graduation rates. Who will take us??

    3. sl

      Everyone has lost a game of musical chairs in their time. Few lose it with the entire country watching. Jeff Hathaway’s legacy haunts us. The hiring of PP played a role in doing us in. A mediocre hiring sent a signal that we weren’t serious about football (note Cincy hiring Tuberville–right or wrong, a major name). Calhoun’s leaving/force out couldn’t have come at a worse time. This short term contract with KO is a joke.

      There’s a lesson here for all of us and Herbst and Manual need to listen: both on a professional level and personal level, every day is an audition in life. And man, have we failed the audition. Sad, very sad, because we have so much to offer. Unfortunately, perception is reality.

  6. Jay

    Call Mass, NH vermont Maine and RI and see if we can restart the yankee conference

  7. JOHN B

    UConn is a big reason (but not the only reason) why the Big East died. From the day she arrived, Susan Herbst let everyone know she wanted out-preferably to the ACC. Whenever the Big East schools tried to rally together, she and UConn would not support them, believeing UConn was in a stronger position. Eventually, other Big East basketball schools decided they had to do without UConn. I can’t blame them.

    Where do they go from here? They have to stop being arrogant and treat other schools as equals–even now all they (and the writer of this article) do is look down at renaining schools like Cincinnati, etc.

    1.Football-wise, UConn would work well with the Mid-America Conference. They are far better in basketball but a UConn could inspire the others to make that a real basketball league. Unfortunately, I can hear the UConn snobs already complaining.

    2. Drop “big-time” football and joing the other 7 Big East schools in a very good basketball league. Play FCS football like Villanova and save millions of dollars a year. UConn basketball would flourish again with reasonable travel and plenty of traditional rivals.

    3. If you don’t do 1 or 2 above, resurrect the Yankee Conference. That’s all you have left.

  8. Jeff in the ATL

    Jay in the ATL is smoking crack! Seriously, he’s got some good ideas. Football drives the bus people. Basketball is nice, but football pays the bills and then some. Get Tressel or some young, wide-open, run-and-gun offensive genius. You get a top 25 program and drive ratings up, then Warde can pick what conference we want to join, instead of hoping for an invite. How about Husky TV? create our own network like Texas. Basketball is nice, but ESPN doesn’t care about basketball. A crap football game always beats a marque basketball match-up in ratings. I know that sucks, but that’s the truth and advertising $ and thus TV ratings are what this is all about.

  9. Paul

    Two conferences: One regional basketball (retain name)(all sports except football) and one national football only conference.

    Disolve BigEast mess and reconsitute with only northeast schools with original BigEast members serving as foundation (no football)

    BIG EAST (ALL SPORTS EXCEPT FOOTBALL)

    1. UCONN
    2. GTOWN
    3. PROV
    4. UMASS (add)
    5. Seton HALL
    6. ST JOHNS
    7. VILLANOVA
    8. TEMPLE
    9. ARMY (add)
    10. NAVY (add)

    How great will these rivalries be with home and home every year and proximity to one another? How great witll the tourney at the Garden be?

    NEW FOOTBALL ONLY CONFERENCE TO BE CREATED PRIMARILY FROM THE EXISTING BIG EAST MODEL (less Tulane, which quite literally draws 3,000 per football game)

    EASTERN DIVISION (of BAFC)

    1. UCONN
    2. UMASS
    3. TEMPLE
    4. NAVY
    5. ARMY
    6. CENTRAL FLORIDA
    7. USF
    8. CINCINNATI (Until they bolt, then shift Memphis to he East and add western team.

    WESTERN DIVISION (of BAFC)

    1. BYU
    2. MEMPHIS
    3. HOUSTON
    4. SMU
    5. BOISE
    6. SAN DIEGO STATE
    7. AIR FORCE (add)
    8. ?? (Fresno or Nevada)

    Marquette, Cincy, and DePaul get shafted in hoops; however, they were never original BigEast schools. To ease the pain, the BigEast Schools could all agree to schedule them for up to 4 years until they land in midwest conference or A-10. Cincy will land in ACC (ahead of UCONN given Ohio football and proximity to Louisville).

    Go Huskies!

  10. Paul Knopick

    Give up on big time football. Never going to happen. The one Fiesta Bowl was a fluke. Join the Patriot League in football and put all resources into basketball.

  11. Paul

    how about focusing back on being a university—the ridiculous focus on athletics has now lead nowhere, and UConn has a mediocre academic reputation at best. Enjoy what you have built!

  12. Paul

    Different Paul says:
    Academics and athletics need not be mutually exclusive (e.g. ND, Stanford, Duke). Even the ivies excell at numerous sports at national level (e.g. lacrosse, crew, soccer, and hockey). Indeed, athletics can promote academics and it shoud be no surprise that the increased reputation of UCONN has paralelled the name brand recognition achieved through its athletic programs. Lastly, the money generated from sports often funds major capital improvements and more.
    The other Paul is an idiot. The Paul with the two football conf alignment above – is a genious.

    1. Paul

      Keep it up, guys–your graduation rate is already the lowest among all Division 1 shcools nationwide–great job!!!

      1. CEP

        Yeah…with the 2nd highest # of players currently in the NBA and a ton more playing pro overseas. There’s 2 sides to every story…I mean statistic with no context…Paul

      2. Sotires

        That has nothing to do with UConn academically, which is a highly respected academic school. That has to do with NCAA rules regardiing athletes. One has nothing to do with the other.

  13. Paul Knopick

    Actually Calhoun and basketball put UConn on the national map. Go anywhere in the country years ago, tell them you’re going to UConn, and they would say: Alaska? Calhoun and to some extent Geno changed all that and as a sidebar helped win the money from Hartford to significantly improve the academics. Some of those fellows who didn’t “graduate,” Paul, are actually NBA millionaires and might make more in one year than you do in ten or 20.

  14. TZTorotno

    I was against the Independent idea, but it does have an attraction. UConn has a big enough name to be able to schedule games with very good and elite schools for basketball. How many teams like Butler VCU and Xavier would love to play UConn? Some of the BE basketball schools would probably still be glad to play UConn in hoops. The occasional Duke, KY, or UNC game would be realistic. As long as UConn can convince recruits that UConn’s schedule will be one of the best in the country, they will come. One problem for hoops is that there would be no conference tournament, and the schedule would be limited to 30 games (plus in-season tournaments). But I see no problem putting together a very, very competitive schedule. In FB, well, that’s more of a problem. However, there are plenty of schools that would play UConn, and some of them would be very good FB schools. Just as UConn likes to have Buffalo and Toledo on the schedule, big-name schools would probably be happy to put UConn on their schedules for what they might consider an easy win. For a while that would probably be the case, but recruits who see the quality of the schedule might come to UConn to play against big-name schools–just the way JC started building the hoops program. There is opportunity for an independent, especially one with a recognized name.

  15. Sotires

    Fire Warde Manuel – he is clueless. All he continues to talk about is assessing the situation. translation: I (WM) have no idea. Why am I here?

  16. Adam

    B1G 10 or bust! UConn is on the verge of an AAU invite and with President Herbst’s “unprecedented” faculty hires and improvements to research, UConn is positioning itself to fit academically within the B1G footprint. UConn makes sense for the B1G as they want to expand into the northeast, which UConn delivers better than any other northeast school. Excellent academics, a history of national championship athletic sports programs including a fast-rising football program with tremendous growth potential (including stadium expansion), and embedded within several large TV markets make UConn a great fit for the B1G. B1G or bust! GO DAHGS!

    1. mikeinmanla

      Totally agree that the focus needs to be the B1G. FORGET THE ACC…they will be picked clean like the BE in the next few years UNLESS THEY ADD UCONN AND PROBABLY CINCINATTI NOW (see my rationale below).

      If UConn has less than a 50% chance of getting in the B1G, then “Plan B” should be to bring together the 12 best remaining schools available into a national conference (“The Continental Conference”?), split between east and west divisions to minimize travel. Use the same “grant of rights” restrictions used by the Big 12 (the best approach out there) so everyone has to stay committed to the conference. Once the ACC begins to collapse, pick off the best ACC teams to add to the new conference. The ACC might act first and bring in UConn and Cincy if they saw this new conference as a real threat.

      Seems like UConn and Cincy are already thinking about Plan B (see link below)…good for them!

      http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2012-12-14/cincinnati-uconn-acc-big-east-leaving-conference-realignment-connecticut

      1. mikeinmanla

        BTW, the Sporting News article talks about a 10 team conference. I would still argue for a 12 team conference so that east and west divisions could be established.

        If you look at the 12 best teams not in a “major conference”, I would think the targets would be (in order of preference):

        1. Boise St
        2. BYU
        3. UConn
        4. Cincinnati
        5. USF
        6. UCF
        7. Temple
        8. Memphis
        9. San Diego St
        10. Houston
        11. SMU
        12. New Mexico

        Others to consider: UNLV, Nevada, or Tulane

        Keep 4 available; likely for Duke, Syracuse, Pitt, and Louisville (or Navy, Air Force and Army and one other)

        If UConn plays this right, it could end up in a stronger position than the current ACC schools.

        1. mikeinmanla

          Sorry, to be clear, the new “Continental Conference” could end up surpassing what is likely to be left of a decimated ACC.

          1. mikeinmanla

            Actually, in thinking about the Sporting News article which places New Mexico above SMU and Houston and limits the size to 10 schools…I could see that as a temporary situation to see how everything shakes out and give yourself the best chance of getting the 6 best available schools once the ACC begins to implode (Houston, SMU and UCF are likely to still be available…and while I’d rather see Houston and SMU in particular instead of New Mexico and UNLV, I understand they may be needed to make SDSU, Boise and BYU happy)

      2. Peter

        The continental conference idea looks promising. I say take the ball and run with it!

  17. Chris

    The Big 12, perhaps. They currently have only 10 teams. If they add UConn and Cincy, they could be a conference whose composition matches its name…and we’d build a new basketball rivalry with Kansas.

  18. Captain Marvy

    BIG EAST CATHOLICS & FRIENDS EAST
    Providence + UConn
    St. John’s + Seton Hall
    Villanova + Georgetown

    BIG EAST CATHOLICS & FRIENDS WEST
    Dayton + Xavier
    Marquette + DePaul
    Butler + St. Louis

    FOOTBALL LEFTOVERS [CUSA II] EAST
    UConn (FB-ONLY) + Navy (FB-ONLY)
    UMass + Temple
    East Carolina + Marshall
    South Florida + Central Florida

    FOOTBALL LEFTOVERS [CUSA II] WEST
    Cincy + Memphis
    Southern Miss + Tulane
    Houston + SMU
    Boise State (FB-ONLY) + SDSU (FB-ONLY)

    1. mikeinmanla

      Not a bad suggestion, but this assumes ACC will continue to hold the power over UConn.

      Given what’s likely to happen to the ACC soon, why not turn the tables and build a conference that will ACQUIRE ACC teams instead of hoping to be acquired? (See my earlier post)

    2. Sotires

      The BB conference looks viable. The FB lineup is so weak, I doubt if many people would watch it.

  19. Linda

    Big-10 would be nice, but we’ve been down that road. The Continental conference is fine for football, but it looks depressing from a basketball viewpoint. Like Duke, UK, Indiana, we will always first be a basketball school that happens to have a football team. We should embrace that. Of the choices discussed i like Paul’s 2 conference suggestion above, which incorporates the best of both realities.

  20. Rich

    Sorry to say but UConn is never going to the ACC. Connecticut fans cannot or will not accept the fact that without a serious football program, UConn will never be a member of a major conference.

    If UConn supporters prefer to be a basketball school, so be it. But without major conference membership, we cannot expect the same quality of basketball recruits.

    1. Midtown Pete

      @Rich..80% of the teams in the power conferences are in the class of “wanna be” football programs. Wake, Duke,Virginia,Maryland,Indiana,Illinois, Northwestern,Kentucky,Arizona St, Wash St,Kansas, Minnesota, Vanderbilt…I could go on and on. Unless the ACC is picking off a ‘bama or Ohio St ( no way that is happening) they will be losing teams to the SEC/Big 10/ big 12 and will need replacements. Being in a watered down football ACC is perfect for UConn. It is not a fantasy to think that is how it will play out over the next couple of year.

      1. Adam

        Exactly right. Let’s not leave local Boston College, Syracuse, Pitt and Rutgers off that “wannabe” list.

  21. Linda

    @Rich. Duke does well for itself despite its futility in football. Plus, we have pretty decent history – albeit a short one. We beat ND, we beat South Carolina in a bowl game, we have good record in bowls and we went to BCS bowl. We didn’t travel well, but it was in Arizona. Had the game been in Miami (almost was) UCONN would have had 20 times as many fans.
    We should however embrace our identity as an established elite basketball school first, with an important D-1 football program that has potential. Our problem was that we denied who we are in order to try and be something we are not.
    Aresco completely and totally failed. Maybe not all of his doing, but make no mistake – Aresco FAILED (so did Herbst and Warde BTW). Maybe they will all three redeem themselves (prayers), but as of this moment, fair or unfair, they are each FAILURES

    1. mikeinmanla

      Linda, you are WAY over the top and WRONG with your assessments…

      These problems occured way before Aresco, Herbst and Manuel arrived. They are trying to make the best of a very bad situation. For example, Herbst just got approval for a significant upgrade in adding new talent at UConn, is trying to position UConn for an AAU invite, gave $100K of her own salary back to UConn…what have YOU done? (and before you say anything, yes, I contribute regularly to UConn’s endowment).

      As any good strategist knows, UConn has to identify how it can turn around it’s current position of weakness to a position of strength. The plan being reported by the Sporting News for UConn and Cincy to form a new league with the best of MWC, makes a ton of sense strategically. If done properly with the right schools, a strong “grants of rights” provision that keeps schools from jumping, and enough “open spots” to pick up the best ACC remnants (which is sure to be decimated in the next few years), UConn could come out of this just fine (i.e., either the new conference gets some ACC schools to join, the ACC preempts the new conference and offers an opening to UConn, or UConn gets a B1G invite)

      In any case, UConn will know its long term home within the next 6 months, if not sooner

  22. ERic

    I find it frustrating reading these posts that are written by people with no clue about the current state of college football. First you can’t hire Tressel without proving cause. His lieing to the NCAA has him poisoned for 5 years. Second this league has no chance of bringing anyone over to play ball with them… why? Money we don’t have any since we don’t have a conference. This talk of a new All Sports Cross Country League at first sounded great until I saw the names on the list. Unless BYU is added there is no point in it. It is still the left overs from the Big East minus some of the scraps in Tulane (great school bad sports for football and Basketball) East Carolina, and UCF. Fourth if you think Duke, Louisville, Syracuse, Indiana, etc are ever going to leave their leagues for this then you are all nuts. Independence is completely not feasable. If the Big 5 go 4 teams of 16 and Uconn is on the outside looking in, then they will never get to schedule up. They are already saying that teams in those leagues will play only teams in that league for the strength of schedule to make the post season. I Love my Huskies but unless we get a call from the ACC (and right now we are behind Cincy who is a better football team then us and) we up a creek without a paddle.

    1. mikeinmanla

      Eric, I love my Huskies too…but unless UConn gets a B1G invite, we aren’t getting into a “top 4″ conference. Our only alternative is getting into the #5 football conference. And the best opportunity for that to happen is to either:

      * Try and force the ACC’s hand for an invite (see linked Sporting News article below)

      * Form a 10 team conference with the best of teams not in the top 5 conferences with a Big 12 like grants or rights restriction for leaving… and wait for the ACC to get picked apart, which is highly likely to happen in the near future

      UConn appears to be already working on this strategy (see linked article). It would be a brilliant move if they can pull it off.

      http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2012-12-14/cincinnati-uconn-acc-big-east-leaving-conference-realignment-connecticut

      1. mikeinmanla

        To clarify, once the ACC starts getting picked apart, our new conference could pick the best of leftovers…likely to be BC, Syracuse, Pitt, Duke and WF, as well as the “best of the rest” (e.g., Houston, SMU, UCF). That’s why it’s key to start out with just the 10 best available teams.

        1. Ed

          You list BC as a best of ACC leftovers? They are not competitiv in football or basketball.

  23. all of us

    there are thirty one conferences in the ncaa. there are presently two indenpendents. uconn should drop the bottom six of the conferences (based on rpi rankings), play one team from each conference, then add one additional team from each of the big six conferences, along with a couple of regional rivalries. that would yield up to 34 games, then a probable invite to the ncaa tourney, for a possible six additional games.

  24. all of us

    all this rests on the certainty that uconn football like football at kentucky, duke, kansas, north caroline, and louisville is just something to keep them in a conference. well, uconn is not in a conference any more. they probably won’t be soon. the conference realignment is not finished, and uconn is in a terrible bargaining position vis-a-vis football. we just aren’t a football school. it may mean the end of the “big” money from football alignment. the world will not end. uconn got along just fine, both academically (the good academics are not as new as the football) and athletically. everyone cannot be a national power. if we join a conference, we will not be a football power (northwestern), period. so, find a football home that does not interfere with the basketball, and move on, or go independent.

  25. hjoerring/DK

    Some v. interesting comments. Whatever I could add would simply repeat what have been said; however, I have serious doubts about being indep. Secondly, while its o’k to be frustrated I see no reasons to start blaming the President & AD. The Pres is doing a v.good job and balancing academics w/ athlet. If she goes *too* far on either side she will be out. There are many who are delighted about this mess, seeing it as, hopefully, the last straw to get rid of our athletic div. Lastly, I am deeply disappointed in the received knowledge and commentaries from so many about how inferior Uconn educ is relative to …. As someone who have attended and been involved in various univ (nyu, uc-berk., Uconn, and ut-austin), I do not see this. Uconn is a v.good school and it would even be better if it had 1/2 the support that other comp. schools receive from their state. Rankings and AAU, etc are old frats. They are the equiv. of the House-of-Lords in Engl.– inheritance and invites. If I wanted to study agri sci do you think I should go to Harvard, Mich. MIT, Purdue maybe? Come on. Yes, the petty among us would head to these schools, but the smarter ones may head any of the A & M southern schools, and Uconn. Let us get over our petty inferior complex. We have a big problem regarding what is to be done. I don’t know why the ft stad. is in E.Hartf- but I imagine that it was a compromise. Do you really think that people were going to travel to Storrs. I do believe with others who have pointed out that we are really not a sport school- compare to many others: Big 10 and SEC etc. Yes, we have a small cadre of students who follow one sport or another (wbb, mbb, wfh,soccer, etc), but as I remember in my dags (and a lot have changed) many left for home during the weekend. Don’t think that there haven’t been resistance to changing this among the powers that be. I’m not a football person but, it seems to be that football is that sort of animal where you must put all the marbles- see Lu’vill, and hope for a payoff down the road. We build a stadium, then what? Other schools have their state and alum. to do the rest. We have none. The President wouldn’t dare and the State hasn’t the money, will or vision. Should we take an invit. from the SEC? Be their door mat, as some have suggested. presumably keeping our eyes on the money? That will bring in the recruits who wnt to play against Texas, but cannot if they are playing at Nebr? Well, have you really thought over the psych cost to a program in such a situation. Personally, I like the wild rumors about Uconn and Cinn establishing a new league. I had suggested as much in another forum- before the Cathol schools decided to leave. Travelling will not be fun and I take the athletes time away from school as a very serious problem.

  26. Dave from Watertown

    I suppose we can continue to embarrass ourselves and go begging to another conference.

    It was the public begging that cause the Catholic schools to leave. What a bunch of buffoons that run the school.

    If we had fired Calhoun years ago to keep him from recklessly flapping his gums and kept ourselves off probation, we’d be in the ACC now.

  27. Chris Columbo

    U Conn should downgrade football to fcs status and then join the Catholic 7. The basketball tradition will continue and they will probably win a FCS championship in football at much less cost.

  28. Dave from Watertown

    A few years ago, a number of UCONN idiots gleefully attacked Catholics because BC left the conference. Little did these idiot know that there were 7 Catholic schools still in the conference who were deeply offended by these attacks. Now, these Catholic schools got their revenge as they destroyed what was left of the Big East and UCONN is the one who lost the most. Our basketball and football programs are dead.

    1. Ed

      And you think that is the reason the 7 Catholic schools left the conference today?

    2. Jay

      Please do not rewrite history. You are not Obama. The Uconn fans attacked BC. Why? Because on friday the BC AD and President were doing the three muscateers all for one and one for all with the remains of the BE and on sunday they were in the ACC. If you cannot expect ethics from a catholic school well…..

  29. Linda

    Go with the seven and remain in Big East for football only (like 1/2 the teams anyway).

    Funny that SMU, CFU, Boise, SD State will keep the name BigEast and Gtown, Nova, StJohns, Seton Hall, Prov etc… will need a new name. They should sue for the name. They deserve it more than Aresco does.

    1. Dave from Watertown

      What makes you think the Catholic 7 want us? They know we will leave the second we get an invitation from a real conference.

  30. VinnyG

    What makes anyone think any real conference wants UConn. Under probation, the LOWEST Div I graduation rate in the nation, no media drawing power outside of CT. Wake up–the dream is over. Bring back Dom Perno!!!

    1. mikeinmanla

      Vinny, As Mark Twain said, “the rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated”

      UConn now has a graduation rate above 960, UConn has 3 sports on SNY, we have a great new MBB coach in the making, a hall of fame WBB, Football has shown it can be a player.

      UConn will end up in either the ACC, as part of a conference made up of the best from what’s left of the ACC, BE, C-USA and MW or will end up in the B1G.

      UConn will remain a strong brand, with many future championships to celebrate.

  31. Linda

    @mikeiMan
    It isn’t as bad as Vinny claims, but it is time to give up on ACC. Now that Louiville got the nod, Cincy will no doubt be next (not even debatable). They have stronger football reputation and they are in football rich OHIO. They are good at hoops as well and proximate to Louisville. Thus, we need TWO teams to depart the ACC before we are in. Ironically, the two will likely be FSU and Clemson leaving big football shoes to fill.

    1. mikeinmanla

      I agree that ACC is a last resort, but I wouldn’t say Cincinnati is above UConn in football (and definitely not in BB). Take a look at the stats, we have bigger stadium/ attendence, a bigger TV market, better academics, we’ve both been to BCS games, both won BE titles. I’ll grant you that Cincinnati has been more consistent in the last 2 years, but once we get the football program back on track, I think UConn brings more across the table than Cincinnati

  32. Dave

    Who knows less about college sports VinnyG or Dave from Watertown? With their comments both! UConn will be fine and schedule up. By 2015 ACC or Big 10 will call.

  33. Andre

    My thought is that B1G would be the best but that is highly unlikely and we can’t wait around hoping for that to happen. Pro-actively, the best we can do is position ourselves to get into the ACC and hope that it survives as a 5th conference. The idea of creating a new conference makes no sense as the TV money just won’t be there. Plus, the other power conferences are too far away and not interested in Connecticut. Again, we need to position ourselves for the ACC.

    How to do that? Remember the Louisville lesson: they outmaneuvered us by “scratching the ACC where it itched” – football. This is good sales strategy. So the question is where does the ACC itch right now? To me, the ACC needs a 16th non-football member to balance their schedules for non-football sports. They’ve talked to the Naval Academy, according to reports, to fill this very need. If UConn were to do what Louisville did, lobby like crazy that they can meet an immediate need (in this case, balanced scheduling outside football), then perhaps the ACC would go for it. It can’t hurt to propose it to the ACC.

    If it works, UConn at least secures a great home for non-football sports while also positioning itself ahead of Cincy for any future football affiliation. UConn would be inside the conference and could begin to build relationships with the ACC schools which can only help it in future re-alignment. Plus, UConn would probably make more money as a non-football member of the ACC then as a full-football member of a watered-down Big East.

    1. mikeinmanla

      Not sure why you don’t think forcing the ACC to make a move now wouldn’t be a good thing (i.e., by threatening to tie up UConn, Cincinnati and all other available schools through a grants or rights clause if they join a new conference)? The ACC is about to be picked apart…and they will NEED UConn and Cincinnati to survive with what would be left. If they aren’t the hunters now, the remaining ACC teams will be the hunted (by the new conference UConn and Cincinnati would be in).

      Other than getting in the B1G, this is the best strategic move UConn could make right now (remember to that UConn and Cincinnati are taking this plan to NBC Sports to see if they are interested, so if they are, it’s a viable strategy)

      1. Yonick Bush

        LOL – the ACC only needs one team and it will be Cincinnati since they are NOT on probation, in a better recruiting area, and did NOT sue the ACC, it’s schools, and it’s officials.

        Like it or not, we made a completely stupid move with the lawsuit and will pay the price for it. We’ve already been blocked twice from the ACC. Why embarrass ourselves with more begging to only get blocked again?

  34. hjoerring/DK

    mikeinmanla, you are making some provoking points. Yet, after reading most of the commentaries I feel as if I have just ended the last chapter of In the Name of the Rose. So much intrigues. If we were of any value to the ACC or the Big they would have called. No one can run a program based on the idea that ‘they will come around, just wait and see.’ I read the same arguments about US and Lou. before they were selected, now we have subst. CINN and tomorrow Air Force/Navy. Wow. Ye, let us wait until 2015* how about 2020- with no end in site. If they wanted US for basketball only would they not have taken US a long time ago (as the BE has done with other schools)As for this continuous begging that everyone keep returning, have we not been on our knees long enough. Lets chart a whole new future with others and see where it goes. I don’t know how strong the Uconn brand is- it is competitive, yes, but like all other brands it can disappear overnight. If we are not going to drop FB- and I can’t imagine how that would be possible at a school as ours- then let us invest in winning games at a reasonable cost and putting people in the stadium. Forget about our one time bowl appearance. All the schools we are in competition with for this or that conf are winning. We are not. Had we been able to show a winning formula who knows where it might have taken us. So stop all the futile chess movements about if, then … As for the Catholic schools, are they really winners on the big scene. Georgetown maybe. But what about Prov. Marq. Seton, etc. We cannot re-motivate a dying signifier. The BE had a good run. It was fun. We were all friends, even lovers, but the marriage died. All that remain now is the blame game. Should we have exited earlier. That is as dumb as saying the we should fire the President and AD.

    1. Yonick Bush

      What destroyed the last of the Big East was our constant, public begging. We basically showed the Catholic 7 that we were not committed to the conference. Can anyone be surprised they turned their back on us after our despicable behavior?

    2. mikeinmanla

      UConn needs to be thinking at least 2 moves ahead.

      The new conference being proposed by UConn and Cincinnati is a great strategic move because it puts those schools in a postion of power rather than weakness. And, as I said, it assumes that the ACC will soon be picked apart (I would argue the probability is 50-60% as of today and it will rise to 90-100% if Maryland’s exit fee is lowered to the $20-30M range) and therefore will need access to UConn and Cincinnati if it is to remain a viable “5th conference”. By locking up all the potentially “next avaiable” teams through a grants of rights provision for teams joining this new “continental conference”, it may very well force ACC’s hand (there is a timing issue in that 3 of the schools likely to be left behind in any ACC meltdown – Syracuse, Pitt and Louisvile – won’t be voting members for at least 6 months (plus ND)…so it’ll come down to how UNC, NCST, Virginia and VT feel about keeping the ACC together, assuming the others are already on one side or the other on this issue). Note: As of today, I’d guess there would be 4 votes not to invite UConn and Cincinnati (Miami, FSU, Clemson and GT) and 3 votes for inviting(Duke, WF and BC), with 4 “on the fence” (UNC, NCST Virginia, and VT)…so UConn need 3 out of 4 to make this happen as of today. Again, the balance will shift to “invite” as new former BE schools come on board.

      If the ACC doesn’t move, and the new continental conference is formed with a strong grants of or rigths provision, this new conference will simply gobble up the remaining ACC teams it wants (likely BC, Duke, Louisville, Pitt, and Syracuse) and add “the best of the rest” (from SMU, Houston, etc) as appropriate (i.e., as dictated by NBC Sports)

      So let’s first see if NBC Sports is interested. I’m betting that they will be…and UConn will have a decent new home within the next 6 months for all its sports teams.

      Bottom line…this is far from over.

      1. Dave from Watertown

        BC to vote yes for UCONN? You proved yourself to be an idiot with that statement.

        1. mikeinmanla

          Try to follow along Dave…it’s about survival for BC and the remaining teams in the ACC likely not to be picked up by other conferences. As such, they will vote their vested interest.

  35. Yonick Bush

    It seems the Catholic 7 are being called the Superior 7 or the Super 7 by the press. Are they implying that the rest of us are pathetic?

  36. Lost in Transition

    Here is the deal.. once you grant a right of media deal, you are stuck, you can’t move, and if you do move then you put yourself in a huge economic hole. There fore other teams not in this situation are the only attractive candidates. Worse move ever… make a 10 team league until or another round of expansion happens… or just try to join the MAC with CIncy. We have to be together… keep your friends close but your enemies even closer. No more then ten teams… better or scheduling games (4 home 4 away)and decent hoops with 8 teams in this field being in the tourney last year.

    Uconn, Temple, Cincy, USF, Memphis
    Boise, San Diego St., UNLV, BYU, New Mexico

  37. CalusaSouth

    A lot of great ideas, very forward looking, very aggressive. My only questions is, does UConn have the leadership to make this happen? The President is increasing the academics at UConn, hurray for her, plus trying to keep the athletic aspects from being marginalized. The AD, my best guess is that he’s over his head. This isn’t Buffalo, this is the big time. So far all the AD has shown is an amazing capacity to undermine the Men’s program, can’t let on that Calhoun calls the shots, no hiring KO on a 3 -4 year contract is ridiculous. KO is not only auditioning for the UConn position, but any other possible head coaching job that will become available. KO will be a Head Coach next year, I sincerely hope it is CT.

    The rehiring of Coach Paul is a white flag. It demonstrates to the conference powers that UConn doesn’t take football seriously. (Think Cincy, Tommy T.!) The problem with UConn football is, it’s predictable, it’s boring. UConn in it’s arrogance just felt it had to throw a team out on the field and voila! Husky fans would fall all over themselves in support. Whoops. Don’t question loyalty and support, fans are showing the school that they are not spending their money on “a waste of time.”

    1. Dave from Watertown

      What’s KO done? He can’t get the team into the Top 25 and has not proven he can recruit. UCONN should not take the chance of locking up a loser. Let KO prove himself first.

      1. mikeinmanla

        Dave, you clearly are clueless…and you just keep proving that point….thanks for the laughs

      2. Ed

        Dave from Watertown,

        You obviously know nothing about coaching, recruiting or the hand Ollie was dealt. You are simply a fool flapping your lips with nonsense.

      3. Jay

        Dom Perno was 8-2 several times before entering the BE conference play then it was the 8-9 game.

    2. mikeinmanla

      The fact that they are even thinking about forcing ACC’s hand and are looking at what the future landscape is likely to be says a lot… mostly about Herbst (in a very postive way). The jury is still out on Manuel…he’s saying the right things (e.g., need a new OC), but has yet to make a key decision (e.g., giving KO a long term contract). I expect we’ll know pretty soon about whether Manuel has what it takes to be a great AD.

  38. Dave

    Dave from Watertown stay off of the chat until you say something with merit. Talk about clueless!

  39. Dave from Watertown

    Geno is overpaid for coaching just a women’s team that no one cares about. Make him earn that paycheck and have him coach the men’s team too. At least he’s better than KO.

  40. Nick

    Sorry guys, the Big Ten is not viable, nor is being a football independent. The Big Ten only wants schools that are members of the Association of American Universities (the research schools) and UCONN does not fit that bill. Nor does the football program offer any appeal as an independent (as we learned when Notre Dame refused to play UCONN in East Hartford as the stadium is too small). I wish I had an answer (besides the ACC), but cannot think of anything else that would be realistic at this point.

    1. Dave from Watertown

      Bingo! Right on target. When we admit the truth then we can move forward in a positive manner.

  41. ctmike

    I say just play it cool! As these mega conferences continue to develop, The Huskies stock goes up. It might take a little while but when conference leaders start looking at 1 or 2 teams to strengthen the new conferencea they will start looking at UConn. They saw how we can build a small New England School into a mega basketball powerhouse. The football program can be just as big as long as they find a home. I say it will shuffle right for UConn.

  42. Thanks1

    The best thing UConn can do right now is win games and align itself with the Big 10. Instead of chancing the ACC they need to focus on joining the Big 10.

    Get that AAU membership, sell the B1G 10 on that SNY contract. Perform well against Michigan next year. Get that mens basketball team back to stable terms…maybe make a final four run next year.

    Because once FSU leaves the ACC in the next 6 months or so there will be a jailbreak from the ACC and we need to be in a better position then Syracuse and Boston College when that jailbreak happens.

    1. Yonick Bush

      Isn’t AAU membership by invitation only?

      If we couldn’t get the invitation to the ACC, what makes anyone think we can so easily get an invitation to the AAU?

      1. Thanks1

        Invitations are considered periodically, based in part on an assessment of the breadth and quality of university programs of research and graduate education, as well as undergraduate education. The association ranks its members using four criteria: Research spending, the percentage of faculty who are members of the National Academies, faculty awards, and citations.

        Since we know the criteria we MUST do what it takes to exceed in these areas so when the vote comes we will top the list.

        1. mikeinmanla

          Thanks1′s assessment is exactly right. Plus even if UConn doesn’t get a B1G invite, UConn’s academic prestige will be enhanced with an AAU invite…seems like a win/win to me.

        2. Dave from Watertown

          Where’s the money coming from to do all this? The gov just axed our budget.

          Maybe if we lowball KO and he accepts, we can afford to become a member of the AAU.

  43. Thanks1

    Since the SEC doesn’t want a second team in the same state and the Big 10 have 2 criteria: AAU and the state must touch a state of the existing member. I see conference realignment like this:

    Big 12 adds: FSU, Cincy, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Louisville & Pitt once the ACC implodes.

    **The ACC implodes when FSU and Clemson leave and UNC will become on the market officially killing the ACC.

    SEC: North Carolina(the Big 10 will try to get UVA and UNC but the SEC has been after UNC forever), V-Tech.

    Big 10: UVA, Notre Dame(if they admit to themselves that the 16 team leagues won’t be able to schedule many out of conference games but….if they don’t… UConn, Duke??)

    Pac 12: BYU and Boise State….(2 other teams)

    That puts these conferences at 16.

    Leaving Syracuse, UConn, Duke, NC State, Wake Forest, Miami, Boston College, USF, etc….

    That would make a pretty good basketball conference but that’s pretty much worthless in today’s times. I’m just absolutely certain these 3 conferences will go to 18 teams not the 16 that everybody is predicting. The Pac 12 might the only conference to stay at 16.

  44. Lost in Transition

    Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State headed to Pac 12 before Boise and BYU

    1. Yonick Bush

      True. Why would the Pac-12 SETTLE for a program in the middle of nowhere that has a tiny stadium and does not have a large following or TV market?

      Expansion is all about the TV market – the Big 10 took loser programs like Rutgers and Maryland just for their market.

  45. hjoerring/DK

    Dave fr. W, thanks for the article. Personally, I care v.little about ND and would be more than glad not to end up w/ them somewhere. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the short rivalry. But they are a selfish school. Everyone looks out for his/her own bottomline, but they will (and have) go the x-tra. They will use you and slip you out in the early morning hours. Also, I didn’t find the article to be more informative then most of the views here. While there have been much speculations, they have in the main been within the boundary of possibilities. I am rather puzzle by your neg. about Kevin O. What has he done to deserve such hesitancy bordering on disdain. Who would be your wo/man. You are also not pos about the women’s coach. AAU membership is by invitation. It’s not you do a, b, c, d, and then you are in. A group of schools tht are in can lobby for inducting a school- if that school, let say, suddenly receive $60m for a gen-tec lab. Uconn is still working towrds beoming a top 20 public U. The history of that is well known vis-a-vis other state schools: UCB, UCLA, Michigan UT-Austin, etc. Be a bit constructive. No one has a crystal ball, but we can speculate and have hope. Can we not.

  46. RAY RAY

    noticed all the empty seats.where were the clowns that gobbled up tix and overcharged the average fan?

  47. Lost in Transition

    Bottom line… Uconn just can’t do anything rash or locking right now. We are in no mans land for the fore seeable future and whether we like it or not we just have to win. Forcing ACC hand is ridiculous because the threat of leaving has no teeth to it. We join another league (though getting rid of a few teams would be nice) will hamstring us for years.
    Plan
    1.Sign K.O. to 4 year deal… the guy is a winner. He just does’t have the horses right now to compete.
    2.Get Coach P to commit to football changes on the offensive side
    3.Get AAU status and stop public begging and apologies to the public. It makes us look weak.
    4. Manuel better really schedule up our basketball and football. These games we are currently playing are not going to be enough for us when we lose our rivals.

    1. Paul Knopick

      Why settle for a retread Mummy for football who has had no success and was fired from his last school? Go young. Go SEC. Pay the fee. Or drop football back to the Patriot League.

  48. curt

    I wouldn’t be so anxious to fire the coach because it is a pretty safe bet that you’ll end up with Addazio in his place.It’s his dream job. (just like Temple and BC were) If you think your football program is in a bad place now, wait till this guy gets ahold of it.

    1. Yonick Bush

      We’d be luck to get Addazio to replace PP. We all wanted Addazio but somehow PP got hired. And look at how PP ran HCRE’s great program into the ground in just a few years!

  49. curt

    It only took Daz one year to undo all of the progress made at Temple by Al Golden. Then he ran to his second dream job. You can have him, but you will be sorry.

    1. Yonick Bush

      Who is Daz and why do we care?

      All I care about is how PP managed to destroy HCRE’s hard work and made UCONN into the laughinstock of the Big East.

  50. Larry

    Go with the Catholic 7 for all sports except football like they did for the Big East in 1979. Go independent in football and schedule the big boys and move the games around to actually draw a crowd. ND in the Meadowlands, Michigan at Gillette, even use the Yale Bowl. That stadium and the lame city of Hartford are holding them back. Even if the football team gets thumped for a while you can sell a recruit on the competition and a few sold out stadiums will raise the profile of a rust belt team

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