By The Numbers 0-2 21 0
One-Word Wonders The eight head coaches were asked to answer the following questions in one word. Describe theDescribe Describe Describe Favor aFavor a ninthCoach, schoolBig East your team Matt Grothe George Selvie plus-one playoff? football member?Randy Edsall, UConn Balanced Competitive Athletic Fast No YesBrian Kelly, UC Balanced Stronger Headache Athletic Yes NoSteve Kragthorpe, UL Competitive Hungry Playmaker Disruptor No Who?Jim Leavitt, USF Strong Strong Strong Strong Don't know PerhapsGreg Robinson, SU Competitive Competitive Competitive Get-off Yes No opinionGreg Schiano, RU Competitive Good Tough Fast Yes DeferBill Stewart, WVU Tough Chemistry Winner Playmaker No YesDave Wannstedt, Pitt Competitive Hungry Playmaker Difference-maker Yes Yes Crunch-Time CoachesA look at the Big East's coaches and their records as Division I coaches in games decided by seven points or less: Coach, school Rec.Pct. x-Brian Kelly, UC 12-10 54.5 Randy Edsall, UConn 15-13 53.5 Jim Leavitt, USF 18-16 52.9 y-Steve Kragthorpe, UL 10-12 45.4 Greg Schiano, RU 9-11 45.0 Greg Robinson, SU 3-5 37.5z-Bill Stewart, WVU 2-4 33.3 Dave Wannstedt, Pitt 3-7 30.0 x-Includes Kelly's years at Central Michigan (2004-06), but does not include 13 seasons at Division II Grand Valley State; y-Includes Kragthorpe's years at Tulsa (2003-06); z-Includes Stewart's years at VMI (1994-96). Q&A With Big East Commish Mike Tranghese In 1979, Mike Tranghese was the first employee hired by the Big East Conference. In July 2009, Tranghese, 64, will retire as the Big East's commissioner, a position he has held since 1990. What played into your decision to retire? My fear of flying. It's really gotten bad, especially in the small planes. I've got claustrophobia. Flying on regional jets is not something I want to do. You can't get around unless you fly regional jets nowadays. What will you miss the most? I'll miss the games. I've got a lot of relations, I'll miss the people, but I love the games. It's still the best part of the job. Do you want a ninth-football member? I just don't think there's anybody out there that makes us better. If there was somebody out there who could make us better, I think our people would react to it very quickly. We talk about it all the time. I don't think there's anyone there that makes us better. Are you surprised how fast USF has made an impact since joining the league? Not really. I talked to people who I really respect in football - I'm not going to tell you who but big-time football people - they all told me this is what's going to happen. I think anyone knows that investigated the South Florida situation, understands the potential because of its geographic location and the fact they're surrounded by so many talented football players. In one word, describe the Big East? Vibrant. QB Matt Grothe? Special. DE George Selvie? Dynamic. Big East Media Poll 1. West Virginia (22) 189 2. USF (1) 149 3. Pittsburgh (1) 128 4. Rutgers 110 5. Cincinnati 98 6. UConn 97 7. Louisville 69 8. Syracuse 24 (First-place votes in parenthesis.) How The Tampa Tribune's Brett McMurphy voted: 1. West Virginia, 2. Pitt, 3. USF, 4. Cincinnati, 5. Rutgers, 6. Louisville, 7. UConn, 8. Syracuse. McMurphy also will have a vote in The Associated Press poll (WVU, Pitt and USF are all in his Top 25). The AP preseason poll will be released Aug. 16. West Virginia's record against USF the past two seasons. The Mountaineers are 22-2 against every other team whose defense is not coached by Wally Burnham. Since the spring of 2007, Louisville has had 21 scholarship players leave the program. In cards, 21 is a blackjack. For UL's Cards, it might mean bust. Number of dollars for Greg Schiano to buy out his contract if Rutgers' stadium expansion is not completed by 2009. Schiano is considered the favorite to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State.