SOR Media Day Wrap-Up

Todderick Hunt- SOR Editor

Aug 2, 2011

By: Todderick Hunt- SOR Editor


Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano

Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano

Big East Media Day has come and gone. The media selected Rutgers to finish last out of the eight teams in the league.  The Mountaineers were picked as a runaway to win the league receiving 21 of the 24 first place votes. Pittsburgh picked up two first place votes and South Florida hauled in one. Connecticut, the team that represented the league last season in the fiesta Bowl, was picked to finish sixth in the league.


Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano – the only Big East head coach that has been with his institution longer than one full season – addressed a plethora of issues on ESPNU.


Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano on what the most aggravating part of last year’s season was: "We actually were playing pretty good football the first half of the season and then we lost six straight games. And there’s a lot of things that go into it. We had a tragic event with Eric Legrand, but you know, it’s not just that. There’s a lot of things that go into it but happens and sometimes when you get going that way, you can’t pull it out and maybe I didn’t do a good enough job leading, I don’t know, but I do know this, we have talented players, the program, it was a little blip, it’s not a problem, and we’ll get it back to where it needs to be.”
Coach Schiano on Chas Dodd:  “He is just great to be around. He is a winner, he’s a guy that is, he’s fun, he works his tail off, he’s a student of the game and he relates really well to our entire football team.”
Coach Schiano on true freshman who may contribute early: "Well I think the guy who got the most notoriety is New Jersey’s own Savon Huggins, a top rated running back from St. Peter’s Prep in New Jersey. And he’s a guy that I think you gotta keep an eye on. Kaleb Johnson out of Jacksonville Florida, I think a really talented offensive lineman. It’s always hard for offensive linemen to break into the mix, but he is a guy who is physically and emotionally mature to the level where he’s got a chance,” he said. “We have a talented freshman group, you never know with freshman though, you know. They are going away for the first time, home sickness, all those things come into play so I’ve never banked on them, they are always a pleasant surprise.”
Coach Schiano on what Eric Legrand means to the Rutgers program: “He’s one of the most popular guys on our football team, well before of this happened. And he’s been an inspiration I think not only to our football team but to a whole lot of people. I can’t believe there’s many people that dealt the hand that he’s been dealt would have the attitude that he has.”
Interesting quotes from opposing Big East head coaches:
UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni on the quarterback position: “We don’t have a starter at the quarterback position. I like the players we have on campus but Michael Box is the only guy at the position who has played any college football and his experience is minimal.”
West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen on the change in offensive philosophy: “Just as far as how they did things last year, I mean, one of the things that I try to do is, a long time ago, I developed an offensive philosophy. I believe in what we do and I’m not interested in a lot of the other ways that can be very successful. We are just gonna focus on what we try to do.”
Pitt head coach Todd Graham on the implementation of his offense: “The big challenge is coming in and putting in a brand new system. I have had the opportunity to do that twice as a head football coach at Rice and at Tulsa. And we were able to do it pretty quickly.”
Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone on how Syracuse recruiting has improved: “We lost a lot of our recruiting foundation so it was very important for us that when I took over that we re-established our roots,” he said. “We have done a good job this past year in central New York. We are working our way towards Rochester and Buffalo, the western part of it, and basically that 250 mile radius. Where we need to do a better job is in eastern PA.”
Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones on his 2010 4-8 season: “Well I think you find out about yourself, your program exactly when you suffer through some adversity. And I think we’ve learned a lot about ourselves and we are looking forward to this coming year. And I think laying the foundation and the ground work sometimes is a very difficult and very tedious process, but I think that is gonna lend itself to us being very successful down the road.”
South Florida head coach Skip Holtz on recruiting that state of Florida when being the only program within the league in that state: “When you look at it with all the talent that surrounds you, it’s exciting. But there are 350 athletes that are gonna sign scholarships out of that state. And it is very heavily recruited, it’s very competitive but there are an awful lot of players in that state. You have to make the decision; not if a young man is good enough to play college football, you have to make the decision between him and somebody else. Which one, fits best, fits your need as a football team.”
Louisville head coach Charlie Strong on winning a bowl game in his first year: “Well it’s been just great for this program and you look at just winning that bowl game and going into the offseason and just building a confidence. It’s always good to go to a bowl game but you want to win that bowl game and I had 25 seniors, 14 of them were starters, but my main goal at the beginning was to get to a bowl game and we were able to get to that bowl game and win it.”
Additional Notes:
  • Although TCU, as a team, did not attend today's Big East meetings, their athletic director was in attendance and there was a lot of talk about how TCU will enhance the Big East's credibility.
  • There was also conversation about expansion. UCF, Army and Navy have been mentioned as possible Big East additions. Villanova appears to be on the outside looking in unless they can come up with some stadium expansion plans.
  • Also, the Big East commissioner, John Mainatto, said that the conference is open to the possibility of a conference championship game that would take place around Christmas time in New York City, granted expansion occurs.
  • The commissioner also stated that he hopes to have the expansion plans together by September of 2012, and that there is a lot of excitement surrounding a new television deal. The current deals with ESPN and ABC run out in 2013.
  • The Big East was in negotiations to sign a new deal with ESPN - formerly the only network to truly embrace college soprts - but now there are many more possibilities including NBC/Comcast, Fox and CBS.