As a companion to our post asking readers to vote on whether 'Nova should make the jump to Big East football, I received an e-mail from VU Hoops reader, GPraz1, in support of making the jump to Big East football. Here are some of his key arguments:
"Villanova was voted the 12th best basketball program of all time. Andy Talley "uses" the B-ball program to recruit football players. It is getting more and more obvious that the football powers are using their mega football teams to recruit basketball players (see UT articles). If Jay Wright ever left Villanova OR is if we hit a "speed bump," how will we recruit basketball???"
"The CAA is extremely strong. Some national rating services have the league ranked over one or two FBS leagues. UConn moved up when they were not that good. Is worth it playing in the CAA (the best FCS league) and spending $4 million a year on a football program that nobody cares about in Philadelphia -except when we win? Wouldn’t it better to go 6-6 in the Big East, earning an invitation to a Bowl game that pays for the increased expenses?"
"Villanova, Richmond and Delaware already can compete with the bottom 40 teams in the FBS RIGHT NOW. Despite our small stadiums, small training facilities, and low fan support, CAA teams have beaten Duke, Temple, Ball State, Virginia, Northwestern, and others ON THE ROAD over the past two years."
"Many, like Barney Rubble ’87, feel there is no college football fan base in Philadelphia. They cite Temple’s football program and attendance statistics from the 70's and early ‘80s. Temple at one point won 3 games in three years! They forget Comcast has three networks in Philly, and ESPN 1, 2, Classic, Fox. There are 4.9 million people within 100 miles of Philadelphia. Look at the Temple press these days. Army/Navy game sells out and I will eat my shoe if the Temple/Nova game next years draws less than 40,000 at the Linc! The fan base is untapped!!!"
- "Big East Football is in trouble. The [conference] needs new teams to join and its existing teams are at risk of defection. New entrants will demand admission to the basketball league. How can [the Big East Conference] add more basketball teams? Who would be "asked" to leave?"
"If you love NOVA basketball you better get behind football. Look at the AP top 25 basketball rankings from 2000 until now. In 2002 there were 7 teams not in FBS. There are two today. Do you see the trend?"