Big E, taking a break between lobsters, discusses the state of UConn. (Courant)
Mediocrity, meet UConn.
UConn, I believe you know mediocrity pretty well by now.
Big East media day kicked off this morning with the release of its annual preseason media poll, and to no one’s surprise, the Huskies finished a ho-hum sixth, exactly where they were slotted in the blogger poll.
- Pittsburgh (8) 161 pts.
- West Virginia (5) 151 pts.
- Cincinnati (8) 144 pts.
- USF (3) 130 pts.
- Rutgers 126 pts.
- Connecticut 74 pts.
- Louisville 51 pts.
- Syracuse 27 pts.
The voting was pretty tight among the top five, with 35 points separating first and second place, but there is a 52-point dropoff between sixth and seventh. Which means no one knows can predict what the hell will happen this season, but they do feel strongly that UConn will suck.
Which is warranted. Four of the 10 opening-game starters it lost were selected in the top two rounds of the NFL draft, Zach Frazer managed to throw three picks in four pass attempts in his last appearance of '08, this will be the maiden voyage of Joe Moorhead's multiple attack and unless Dwayne Difton does for UConn what one can only assume Ray Allen did for Big State the receiving corps may be the worst in college football.
But the Huskies haven’t been picked higher than fifth in the preseason consensus and have somehow stumbled into three winnings seasons, so who knows. Besides, preseason polls are pretty meaningless. Then again, so is this blog. It’s essentially a giant mind f*ck.
As far as the rest of the poll, the Pitt Wannstaches earned the top spot (161 points), narrowly edging out West Virginia, which now lingers amongst the mortals and peasants after receiving 151 points. Apparently the media wasn’t convinced with the potential of incumbent Jarrett Brown, who takes over at QB now that personal UConn dungeon master Pat White has moved on to melting faces of professional athletes.
Needless to say, Bill Stewart was upset.
Cincinnati (144), South Florida (130) and Rutgers (126) round out the top five, with the Bearcats receiving as many first-place votes (eight) as Pitt.
Louisville (No. 6) and Syracuse (No 7) are the only teams looking up at UConn and … wait a second. Who is voting for Cincinnati?
We know no one who covers the team showed up, so we know this isn’t a homer bias (unless absentee ballots were granted). And Bob Huggins is currently on tour with his jug band, so he couldn’t have taken out any of the media members for moonshine before the voting.
So what gives, Big East media?
I know the conference is at a pretty low point and there was almost no way there would be a consensus front-runner with a lack of -- what’s the word? ... Talent. Yes, talent -- in the league. But the only way this team snacks on orange slices will be during the halftime of a youth soccer game. The offense will probably be decent, but the defense returns one starter from last season and intends on using one of its top receivers, Marcus Barnett, at corner. This is a five-, six-win team.
Since about 20 papers cover UConn, I assume one member of the Connecticut media voted for the ‘Cats. And when I find out who, be prepared for some violent fist-shaking.