The Big East is terrible. Its teams have combined for just two wins against the AQ conferences. It has fallen below both the Mountain West and the soon to be gutted WAC in CBS Sportsline’s Conference Power Rankings. Coaching turnover has been a major factor. The Big East has had an exodus of promising coaches. Almost every program is rebuilding, facing the threat of rebuilding or in serious need of rebuilding.
Rich Rodriguez left West Virginia in 2007 after three-straight 11-win seasons and two BCS bowl wins. The Mountaineers are still reputable under Bill Stewart, but hardly a juggernaut. They have lost eight games the last two years.
Michigan State vs. Notre Dame was one of the best games this season. Both coaches, Mark Dantonio and Brian Kelly, left Cincinnati in the past five years. The Bearcats have yet to beat an FBS team this season.
Bobby Petrino built Louisville into a reputable BCS-level program. He finished 12-1 in 2006 and beat Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. He left for the NFL and ended up at Arkansas. The Cardinals have not been to a bowl game since.
Randy Edsall and Greg Schiano built up Connecticut and Rutgers but are perpetual flight risks. Edsall has been linked with multiple jobs. Schiano turned down Miami in 2006 and reportedly accepted before eventually turning down the Michigan job in 2007. Those decisions will seem really stupid in retrospect unless he gets the Penn State job. Skip Holtz is a promising young coach who took over at South Florida, but that’s probably a layover until a bigger job opens. Can any of those three promise recruits they will be there in four years?
Syracuse entrusted a mediocre to decent program to Greg Robinson who crashed it into a brick wall with a 3-25 record in the Big East over four seasons. The one “destination” job in the Big East is Pittsburgh. Dave Wannstedt has recruited well but his limited coaching acumen has left it the most underachieving program in the country.
Three coaches who were in the Big East in 2006 have teams in the Top 20, none of them are in the conference. Coaching turnover has been a major cause of the conference’s malaise.
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