The state of UConn athletics

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Sep 22, 2013
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You're not really wrong.
..... the only two programs not headed in the right direction right now are UCF and ECU.....
I never understood why ECU was invited to join the AAC.

ECU brings nothing to the Conference.
 
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Aug 27, 2011
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once again: Realignment Losers

UConn

The Huskies were the unfortunate odd man out during the last round of realignment. The Big Ten picked Rutgers. The ACC went with Louisville. And the Big 12 decided not to expand at all. That left UConn as a basketball power in an ill-fitting American Athletic Conference, separated from its traditional rivals in the Big East and struggling to compete in football in a league dominated by UCF, Memphis and Houston. There was a thought that UConn could be “next man up” if one of the power fives expanded because of its basketball tradition and proximity to New York, but that’s fleeting now that football is a 1-11 wreck and basketball is reeling from the Kevin Ollie dispute. If a power five conference decided to expand, UConn would be no better than the sixth or seventh choice behind UCF, USF, Memphis, Cincinnati, Houston and maybe even Boise State and San Diego State.
 

Fairfield_1st

Sitting on this Barstool talking like a damn fool
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If a power five conference decided to expand, UConn would be no better than the sixth or seventh choice behind UCF, USF, Memphis, Cincinnati, Houston and maybe even Boise State and San Diego State.
I'm not going to deny that our resume is not as shiny as it was some years ago, but this ranking system is asinine. It really depends on which conference is expanding. I'm not sure the B1G would want any of the ones ahead of us using their rules of being contiguous (eliminates UCF, USF, Memphis, Houston, Boise & SDSU) and non-repetitive (Cinci in Ohio). Just an example and not implying the B1G is looking at us right now.
 
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once again: Realignment Losers

UConn

The Huskies were the unfortunate odd man out during the last round of realignment. The Big Ten picked Rutgers. The ACC went with Louisville. And the Big 12 decided not to expand at all. That left UConn as a basketball power in an ill-fitting American Athletic Conference, separated from its traditional rivals in the Big East and struggling to compete in football in a league dominated by UCF, Memphis and Houston. There was a thought that UConn could be “next man up” if one of the power fives expanded because of its basketball tradition and proximity to New York, but that’s fleeting now that football is a 1-11 wreck and basketball is reeling from the Kevin Ollie dispute. If a power five conference decided to expand, UConn would be no better than the sixth or seventh choice behind UCF, USF, Memphis, Cincinnati, Houston and maybe even Boise State and San Diego State.

That's absurd. That might be the pecking order if we are talking Big 12, even then its doubtful. That is a football performance ranking system. It has no thought given to academics, other sports, market share and so on.

The schools on that list that I see as real competition are UCF, USF, Houston, Memphis and Cincy for the Big 12 and only Cincy for the ACC. The ACC would never take any of the others. The B1G would never take any of them. So, if you are banking on the Big 12 being our final landing spot, I'd be concerned. I just don't see it based on geography anyway. If the B1G or ACC expand, we are in the same spot we were 5 years ago.

Bottom line, figure out football asap.
 

Dooley

Captain Smith-ing With UConn Athletics
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Any "realignment loser" list that includes Rutgers can be dismissed immediately. Rutgers is, without question, the biggest WINNER from conference realignment. It's not close whatsoever.

The stuff about UConn only pertains to the Big 12. If the Big 12 ever expanded, it would be for football purposes only. Whoever has the best season or last few seasons in football at the time they decide to expand (or back fill a lost member(s)), they will only look at recent football W/L record. We are obviously not in position to add any football value to the Big 12.

UConn and the ACC, on the other hand, are a perfect match if/when they decide to expand. The last add was a football add and it is/was a disaster. And with Notre Dame already kinda sorta in the ACC, the next add should be "bigger picture" oriented. That means all the boxes that UConn continues to check - markets, academics, brand, basketball, Olympics, etc - are strong indicators for the ACC. And when (not if) the ACC starts banging down MSG's door to hold their basketball conference tourney there, having both UConn and Syracuse in the conference would be way too strong to pass up for MSG.

Of course, the whole "territorial" debate still rages on with Boston College but I *think* relations are improving. Our Hockey East relationship is strong and the Fenway Park game showed the potential of a rivalry northeast game. I know BC doesn't consider UConn a rivalry and that's fine. We are nowhere near in the same football neighborhood as BC right now like we used to be in the early 2000s. But, fact remains that UConn still drew 15K-20K fans to Fenway on a cold, rainy night to go watch our God awful football program get absolutely smoked and, yes, that is pretty impressive. There's interest in this game and if/when UConn can ever elevate its football program out of the deepest end of the dumpster, there *could* be real buzz around it. Real buzz that BC struggles to generate in Boston on its own.

Just my opinion.
 
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That's absurd. That might be the pecking order if we are talking Big 12, even then its doubtful. That is a football performance ranking system. It has no thought given to academics, other sports, market share and so on.

The schools on that list that I see as real competition are UCF, USF, Houston, Memphis and Cincy for the Big 12 and only Cincy for the ACC. The ACC would never take any of the others. The B1G would never take any of them. So, if you are banking on the Big 12 being our final landing spot, I'd be concerned. I just don't see it based on geography anyway. If the B1G or ACC expand, we are in the same spot we were 5 years ago.

Bottom line, figure out football asap.

Unless the two Florida schools in the ACC (U Miami and Florida St) improve before the next round of realignment, should it happen, I think they would consider UCF or USF. The ACC already showed that in desperation that it will take a a short-term boost over a potential long-term bust in taking Louisville CC. Of course, if the P5 shrinks into the P5 and the XII is the off conference out, then several XII schools would also be in the mix.
 
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Simply put, this is not the same athletic department I grew up watching. Perhaps for a variety of reasons. I started following UConn athletics in the early 90s. By the time I was a student ('99-03), I'd say we had the best overall athletic department in the 13 team Big East along with Notre Dame and West Virginia. Our bread and butter was strong fall sports (men's and women's soccer, field hockey) with obviously UConn men's and women's basketball to follow. All of these teams were national title contenders year in and year out. The football upgrade was underway with Orlovsky getting the first big wins of the program. Later that decade we watched the baseball program improve due to an alum taking over. 2011 was arguably the watershed year. Men's bball title. Football BCS. Women's bball 90 game win streak. Baseball super regional. 2014 also strong with our 2nd time double win for the men and women. Compared to now, all the years were strong. Some more than others.

Fast forward to 2018.

1. We have by far the worst football program in Division 1. A historically bad defense giving up 50-60 points a game to garbage teams. Likely 3 bad coaching hires in a row. No recruiting. No sign of it ending anytime soon. There are no words I can write here to describe how bad this situation is. Everyone can see it.

2. We just had the 2 worst men's basketball seasons since pre Calhoun with some of the worst losses in 30 years. Obviously that coach is now gone and we are all optimistic about Hurley. We all feel hopeful this situation will improve.

3. The women's soccer program just had it's worst season in history. Benedict hired a coach with no head coaching experience. She was a player here and an assistant under a long time coach. Sound familiar? This was at a time the 2nd best women's soccer program in America. That program appears to be gone and not coming back.

Again, these are historically bad results for these 3 programs. Core programs. Obviously Hurley is off to a promising start and I am confident he will fix men's bball.

4. The men's soccer program hasn't made the College Cup since 2000. Pissed away most of their best chances to return. They sneaked into the NCAA Tournament this year and didn't even belong on the same field as Indiana today. Again it's not just losing it's how we lose. That's what is so disturbing. Our men's athletics teams during these years can't even compete with mid level Power 5 anymore let alone strong Power 5. They usually get annihilated.

5. Obviously women's bball, field hockey, and baseball have seemingly survived this stretch. For now.

6. The big upgrade the last years has been Warde's dream of Hockey East. I've watched it and 6 years in I'm not seeing many things to be excited about. The team plays sloppy hockey. Give up short handed goals. Can't hold leads late. Commit a lot of penalties. Just generally soft. No postseason wins yet. A lot of listless performances like both games this weekend with UMass-Lowell. I'll give Cav a year or 2 with his highly ranked recruiting class. But again, he better have his version of the Dream season soon if this was worth it. Especially with the arena drama.

So, that's where we currently are. Women's bball and field hockey are pretty much shielding the athletic department's general historically bad stretch. Again, there are reasons to be optimistic due to Hurley. But I can't even image the dread that will sink in if he isn't successful.

Blaming the conference is not an option for results this poor. It may be a factor but it can't do what we are seeing. Or could it? I think more likely we have a coaching problem in some of these programs. Or in the case of men's bball had one. If Penders can take the baseball team to NCAA tournaments when he plays the first 2 months on the road than I tend to believe our problems are caused by some really bad or uninspired coaching hires. That would also lay blame on the AD's that made those hires.

Is David Benedict bearing the brunt of a gigantic mess that was left for him? Has he failed to provide a clear vision going forward? What are his expectations for each of these programs? Are they being met? As a fanbase what can we do? Just sit around and hope it gets better?
I wish we had a dislike button. Let me refute the issues made by ASourPuss...oops, I mean ASweet

1) Granted the football was bad. Yes, I'll give you that. But was it the fault of DB, or was it before him? RE2.0 is not yet a success, but I hope we will win 4 games next year...

2)Ollie wasn't a good coach, but DB didn't hire him. So why is DB getting the blame? DB was hired in March 2016, Ollie was hired 2012.

3)It seems that 2017, Len didn't do anything either, so if you are blaming the season on a inexperienced coach, you are wrong - unless you think 7-9-3 is fine... I think she'll have the soccer team better next year. No, 4-14 is not what I'd want, but it seems we weren't scoring...is it the coaches fault?

4)Men's soccer? Let's see...maybe they had a bad few seasons...FSU had a bad season in football this year. It happens in sports. They'll come back...

5) I'm surprised you didn't blame DB on the last two final four games that we lost. Field Hockey and baseball are good. But if you are complaining...Baseball hasn't gone to the College World Series...

6)Hockey is playing youngsters, because the old stars are playing pro. Should we tell the hockey players to play college (especially after they played 4 years)?

I believe the only weak part of the Athletics Department is the football team and I believe that it will be back in 2 years. It's not Dave's fault, it was the fault of Ward mostly.
 
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Simply put, this is not the same athletic department I grew up watching. Perhaps for a variety of reasons. I started following UConn athletics in the early 90s. By the time I was a student ('99-03), I'd say we had the best overall athletic department in the 13 team Big East along with Notre Dame and West Virginia. Our bread and butter was strong fall sports (men's and women's soccer, field hockey) with obviously UConn men's and women's basketball to follow. All of these teams were national title contenders year in and year out. The football upgrade was underway with Orlovsky getting the first big wins of the program. Later that decade we watched the baseball program improve due to an alum taking over. 2011 was arguably the watershed year. Men's bball title. Football BCS. Women's bball 90 game win streak. Baseball super regional. 2014 also strong with our 2nd time double win for the men and women. Compared to now, all the years were strong. Some more than others.

Fast forward to 2018.

1. We have by far the worst football program in Division 1. A historically bad defense giving up 50-60 points a game to garbage teams. Likely 3 bad coaching hires in a row. No recruiting. No sign of it ending anytime soon. There are no words I can write here to describe how bad this situation is. Everyone can see it.

2. We just had the 2 worst men's basketball seasons since pre Calhoun with some of the worst losses in 30 years. Obviously that coach is now gone and we are all optimistic about Hurley. We all feel hopeful this situation will improve.

3. The women's soccer program just had it's worst season in history. Benedict hired a coach with no head coaching experience. She was a player here and an assistant under a long time coach. Sound familiar? This was at a time the 2nd best women's soccer program in America. That program appears to be gone and not coming back.

Again, these are historically bad results for these 3 programs. Core programs. Obviously Hurley is off to a promising start and I am confident he will fix men's bball.

4. The men's soccer program hasn't made the College Cup since 2000. Pissed away most of their best chances to return. They sneaked into the NCAA Tournament this year and didn't even belong on the same field as Indiana today. Again it's not just losing it's how we lose. That's what is so disturbing. Our men's athletics teams during these years can't even compete with mid level Power 5 anymore let alone strong Power 5. They usually get annihilated.

5. Obviously women's bball, field hockey, and baseball have seemingly survived this stretch. For now.

6. The big upgrade the last years has been Warde's dream of Hockey East. I've watched it and 6 years in I'm not seeing many things to be excited about. The team plays sloppy hockey. Give up short handed goals. Can't hold leads late. Commit a lot of penalties. Just generally soft. No postseason wins yet. A lot of listless performances like both games this weekend with UMass-Lowell. I'll give Cav a year or 2 with his highly ranked recruiting class. But again, he better have his version of the Dream season soon if this was worth it. Especially with the arena drama.

So, that's where we currently are. Women's bball and field hockey are pretty much shielding the athletic department's general historically bad stretch. Again, there are reasons to be optimistic due to Hurley. But I can't even image the dread that will sink in if he isn't successful.

Blaming the conference is not an option for results this poor. It may be a factor but it can't do what we are seeing. Or could it? I think more likely we have a coaching problem in some of these programs. Or in the case of men's bball had one. If Penders can take the baseball team to NCAA tournaments when he plays the first 2 months on the road than I tend to believe our problems are caused by some really bad or uninspired coaching hires. That would also lay blame on the AD's that made those hires.

Is David Benedict bearing the brunt of a gigantic mess that was left for him? Has he failed to provide a clear vision going forward? What are his expectations for each of these programs? Are they being met? As a fanbase what can we do? Just sit around and hope it gets better?
I think Asweet makes a well meaning post but he-she is completely lost as to why soccer and other sports have suffered. It has nothing to do with Benedict or the athletic department in general, bad coaching hires, etc. Being in the AAC has hurt both men's and women's soccer and other sports much more than national stage sports such as men's and women's basketball, and football. The average fan does not realize how being asked to travel all over middle America to play a soccer game, tennis or volleyball match can put a strain on an athletic department, the coaches, players, recruiting, players families, etc. Other sports like baseball it actually can help, since you're playing in warmer climates early in the season or the Fall. A nationally ranked kid in Volleyball or soccer coming out of HS, and his-her family, has to look at some big negatives before committing to UConn. If UCONN is in the ACC or Big Ten, you're in a much more prestigious conference and those negatives suddenly don't look so bad, but who wants to be in a crappy conference and STILL have to travel thousands of miles every year, unless your coach is in the HOF. When Uconn was in the Big East in all sports back in the day, all sports benefited, football, basketball, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, tennis, all had miniscule travel costs, and families of prospective recruits could go to home games and be within driving distance of many away games too. Lol
 
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Such are the conferences of today...with USF and UCF playing soccer in Storrs as they did this year...

Or with FSU women playing in Chestnut Hill, Pittsburgh, and West Bend, and voluntarily, Madison Wi.in August (maybe going north in August is akin to going south in February).

Many of us have bemoaned the lost regionality of conferences
 
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Such are the conferences of today...with USF and UCF playing soccer in Storrs as they did this year...

Or with FSU women playing in Chestnut Hill, Pittsburgh, and West Bend, and voluntarily, Madison Wi.in August (maybe going north in August is akin to going south in February).

Many of us have bemoaned the lost regionality of conferences
The only school with lost regionality is UConn, if we remain in the AAC. The nearest member school to Storrs is in Philadelphia, and beyond that Cincinnati, and beyond that is the Gulf of Mexico. Trying to say the travel is equal for everyone now is just not true, FSU has regional rivalry with Miami, and is fairly close to Clemson and GTech. Pittsburgh has Syracuse, and reasonably close to Louisville. I would bet that Uconn's travel expenses for all sports are two or three times that of a typical ACC or Big Ten school. Just simply add up the distances UConn has with all the other AAC schools, and do the same for some Big Ten or ACC schools, and I would bet UConn has far greater travel miles in conference than a typical ACC or Big Ten school. If UConn is the ACC it all of a sudden has regionality. Even the Big Ten would mean less travel miles for UConn than in the AAC.
 
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Miami is about 500 miles from FSU.....sure its the same state...but a lomgish drive.

But Cuse to Tallahassee is 1232 miles...and 1418 miles from Cuse to Miami.

GT is, as you mention, is the closest to FSU and Noles go to Atlanta for football once every 12 years (go figure why they would do that)....

BUt it still does not make sense to me to go from an inner tube ride away from Cuba to 50 miles from the Canadian border in one conference....just as going from Storrs to Houston makes little sense.

The SEC is closest to being a regional conference...TAMU stretches that some...
 
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Miami is about 500 miles from FSU.....sure its the same state...but a lomgish drive.

But Cuse to Tallahassee is 1232 miles...and 1418 miles from Cuse to Miami.

GT is, as you mention, is the closest to FSU and Noles go to Atlanta for football once every 12 years (go figure why they would do that)....

BUt it still does not make sense to me to go from an inner tube ride away from Cuba to 50 miles from the Canadian border in one conference....just as going from Storrs to Houston makes little sense.

The SEC is closest to being a regional conference...TAMU stretches that some...
Hey BB, in Syracuse's case you're just looking at the longest road trips for a school, for UConn it's all of them except for Temple. Cuse to Pitt is only about 300 miles, Cuse to BC again about 300 miles. UConn travels to Houston (1800mi), SMU (1700mi), Tulsa and Witchita both (1500mi), Tulane (1500mi), and that's not even including UCF andSouth Florida. UCONN's total miles from it's 11 other member schools is upwards of 15,000 miles. Name me an SEC school, ACC school or Big Ten school that even approaches that mileage for 11 schools.
 
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The AAC...CUSA....ACC...are just conglomerations of programs that have disparate geography and culture.
 
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I've always thought that conference alignment for the TV revenue sports should differ than the rest. Let the non-revenue sports align regionally.
 
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How about most of the Pac-12?
I purposely did not include the PAC 12, because everything out west takes more driving with much larger states. Driving to the grocery store can take 100 miles in some states, or going to the DMV can take 500 miles. Lol. Even that being said though I don't think any PAC 12 members can top UCONN's total travel miles to 11 of its members with the possible exception of Colorado which might come close, but if you feel the need to try and prove me wrong and have the time, be my guest. I also don't think any PAC 12 members travel 1800 or 1700 miles like UConn has to do to two or three schools. As for regionality, UConn has nothing whereas USC, Stanford, UCLA, or UC Berkeley don't need to book charter jets to play each other. Same thing with ASU and Arizona and Washington, Washington State, Oregon and Oregon State. Although Cal might opt for a half hour or so plane ride instead of a long bus trip. Lol
 
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I purposely did not include the PAC 12, because everything out west takes more driving with much larger states. Driving to the grocery store can take 100 miles in some states, or going to the DMV can take 500 miles. Lol. Even that being said though I don't think any PAC 12 members can top UCONN's total travel miles to 11 of its members with the possible exception of Colorado which might come close, but if you feel the need to try and prove me wrong and have the time, be my guest. I also don't think any PAC 12 members travel 1800 or 1700 miles like UConn has to do to two or three schools. As for regionality, UConn has nothing whereas USC, Stanford, UCLA, or UC Berkeley don't need to book charter jets to play each other. Same thing with ASU and Arizona and Washington, Washington State, Oregon and Oregon State. Although Cal might opt for a half hour or so plane ride instead of a long bus trip. Lol
Everything is relative. I once had a gal working for me who hailed from Providence. When I mentioned to her that I'd driven through Providence on my way to Hyannis (honeymoon), she admitted that neither she nor her parents had ever been to Cape Cod. "It's so far," she said.

What is it, sixty miles?

Out here in western Colorado, my wife and I think nothing of driving 130 miles to Aspen for lunch. Yeah, we have a larger carbon footprint, but my point is, folks in different parts of the country view distance differently. Out here in the wide-open spaces where there's a lot of in-between, speed limits are high and traffic volumes low, and miles aren't as intimidating as they are back east.
 
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Everything is relative. I once had a gal working for me who hailed from Providence. When I mentioned to her that I'd driven through Providence on my way to Hyannis (honeymoon), she admitted that neither she nor her parents had ever been to Cape Cod. "It's so far," she said.

What is it, sixty miles?

Out here in western Colorado, my wife and I think nothing of driving 130 miles to Aspen for lunch. Yeah, we have a larger carbon footprint, but my point is, folks in different parts of the country view distance differently. Out here in the wide-open spaces where there's a lot of in-between, speed limits are high and traffic volumes low, and miles aren't as intimidating as they are back east.
Say you had 22 kids and they all did the same thing you and your wife did, would you pay for all their lunches and gas? Dave Benedict and his athletic department have 22 kids each named after an NCAA sport, and Dave pays for all their gas, jet fuel, hotels, food, insurance, tutors, during a 1300 mile trip not 130 miles. The distances may be relative, but the huge costs to UConn relative to when they played in the old Big East are not.
 
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We need Lacrosse.
We have a women's lacrosse team for whatever reason. They seem to be good for opening the season getting absolutely murdered vs Syracuse every year.

Another heckuva a year this has been in light of the Dunn and Jalen news today. But don't worry. It's shaping up to be an even worse year next year.
 
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So true....Regions have a difference. We live 100 miles from a mall, Best Buy, or Target....we routinely drive 50-70 miles for lunch (one way)...

Here, in the mountains, when you ask how far something is...the answer is never in miles...but rather "it's about 45 minutes"...or "it's two and one half hours"...
 
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So true....Regions have a difference. We live 100 miles from a mall, Best Buy, or Target....we routinely drive 50-70 miles for lunch (one way)...

Here, in the mountains, when you ask how far something is...the answer is never in miles...but rather "it's about 45 minutes"...or "it's two and one half hours"...
Yes different regions do have those differences, The only constants between the regions is the price of gas, the price of jet fuel, plane tickets, and how much money Dave Benedict has on his pen.
 
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Old Dominion will play (in 2019) 9 of their football games in the state of Virginia, and one each in Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee.

And this is in CUSA.
 

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