As a whole, the Big East conference does not look to be good this year. There may be one or two decent squads at the top, but a disappointing week two points towards 2011 being a continuation of last season's futility. Syracuse and Pittsburgh barely survived FCS opponents, with West Virginia trailing at the half against Norfolk State (even Rutgers in 2010 wasn't that pathetic!) before pulling away. Those three stooges pulled out victories however, and remain undefeated, so they on some level remain above criticism at least for the next week. When it comes to truly terrible football, it's a two-team race to the bottom between Connecticut and Louisville. UConn just had a close road loss to a BCS conference team, while UL struggled in week one against a FCS opponent. However, the future for the latter program looks considerably brighter than it does for the former.
As discussed yesterday, Louisville at least kind of has an excuse. They're really young, and FIU might be relatively good for a mid-major. UConn, not so much. An athletic director months away from being fired pulled Paul Pasqualoni out of the mothballs after Randy Edsall high-tailed it out of town. Edsall left an unmitigated disaster at quarterback for his successor after dismissing Cody Endres from the team last fall. The Huskies are thin at running back following Robbie Frey's transfer, and wide receiver is about as bad at quarterback. At two critical offensive skill positions, the Huskies are not equipped to compete at the bowl subdivision level. 2011...is going to be a long season in Storrs, and Pasqualoni will immediately be on the hot seat if the new athletic director wants to put his own stamp on the program.
It's not Johnny McEntee's fault that he completed 10 of 27 passing attempts last night, for 99 yards, zero touchdowns, and three picks. He's a walk-on, with no one to catch the ball. Comatose UConn offensive coordinator George DeLeone was practically ran out of town in Syracuse a decade ago, and makes Pasqualoni look like a vibrant spring chicken in comparison. It simply cannot be possible that DeLeone gave McEntee the starting job as the result of a 4:50 YouTube video. Even he's not that far gone (yet.) No; to The UConn Blog's great consternation, McEntee is starting because the only other "viable options" are true freshman Michael Nebrich and redshirt freshman Scott McCummings.
Pasqualoni and DeLeone may well be correct in believing that McEntee gives them the best chance to win in 2011. They just happen to have no viable options on hand. If the duo had job security, they'd write off 2011 now and throw one of the kids into the fire. With their job security tenuous at best from day one, and now scorching as a result of the search for the new athletic director, now their backs are against the wall. Damn the future of their program, they will now do everything in their power to increase their 2011 win total with zero regard for any possible consequences. It's a defensible strategy in the sense that UConn still has a viable offensive line and defense, but if you can't score points, or even keep the offense on the field, eventually that defense will tire out and break down due to exhaustion. (See: 2005 Syracuse, 2010 Rutgers.) It's thin line between first and worst in the Big East conference, and UConn's 2011 season may well literally exemplify that principle.