Sports Commentary 8/29/13
So just how big is this UConn Football Season again ??
it may be now or never
don’t take it from me, take it from uconn athletic director warde manual…for the future of the entire athletic department at uconn this is a critical year for huskies football…manual informed every staff and team member of as much in no uncertain terms immediately following the final game of their second straight five and seven campaign a season ago…another losing season would not be acceptable…the implication is clear…the pressure is on head coach paul pasqualoni to produce a winner this year…the huskies enter their first season in the new american athletic conference, made up of remnants of the old big east and newcomers that include smu, central florida, memphis and houston…it is not a conference that generates a lot of respect on a national landscape that is now dominated by five power conferences, the acc, the big ten, the sec, the big twelve and the pac ten, the bcs leagues that have drastically realigned over the last three years and are now sending out loud and clear messages that they view the rest of college football as a weak sister and they may be ready to elevate into their own stratosphere, leaving the rest behind…you can include among the weak sisters the american athletic conference, which will lose louisville to the acc and rutgers to the big ten after this season…the red flags are everywhere, the future is now for those who move along with the power five, maybe never for those who don’t get an invitation…after a decade in the big east uconn is now a member of a conference without an automatic entre to a bcs bowl game and, beyond this season, a conference that has no bowl affiliation for it’s champion…the horizon doesn’t look promising for any program left behind by the power leagues…those left behind may be relegated to a position not unlike the old division one double a, which was the biggest losing proposition in all of college sports…but it’s not just about football…without a football presence that will earn uconn an invitation to the big ten or the acc or, perhaps, the big twelve, all of the huskies national level programs, with the exceptions of women’s basketball, which will always command a national schedule, and hockey, which is now in hockey east, the equivalent of the old big east in basketball, could be in for a downgrade…it’s not just about winning in football, it’s about sizzle, about fannies in the seats…nine thousand unsold seats for tonights towson game won’t impress anyone, not after a full court football press by louisville last fall stole an acc invite right uconn’s grasp…cincinnati is another aac program in search of an upgrade and their likely to use the louisville tactics if it comes down to them and uconn…at the moment, cincinnati would win…it doesn’t matter if it’s towson or buffalo or michigan or louisville, empty seats could spell doom for uconn’s athletic future…manual could have sent a message through all five power conferences after last season if he fired pasqualoni and ate three years of his contract while opening a nationwide search for a successor…that he didn’t is an indication he thinks pasqualoni is the man to get this program back on the track to the big time but, make no mistake about it, the pressure is all on pasqualoni this year…that means better production from the rushing and passing games, filling the right holes in that formidable defense, enough sizzle to put forty thousand fannies in the seasts seven times this season…anything less than that and a winning season will have pasqualoni watching from the outside while the next head coach hopes he still has enough time to get the job done…that time is rapidly running out…with a comment from the sports world, i’m scott gray…