Potential Opponent Watch 2018: UCONN (Updated: We ain't playing them)


(Patrick) #1

Connecticut Huskies

Head coach: Edsall (73-72, 13th year … and 3-9, second year)

2017 record and S&P+ ranking: 3-9 (119th)

Projected 2018 record and S&P+ ranking: 3-9 (124th)

Five key points:

2018 might only be slightly better. The Huskies will undergo another youth movement while Edsall figures out which pieces go where.

Defensive coordinator Billy Crocker couldn’t overcome a young, banged-up secondary. Now he has to rebuild the front seven.

The good news: the sophomore class is loaded with linebackers and DBs who could end up excellent … in 2019 or 2020.

The offense boasts its share of sophomore talent as well, though senior David Pindell will likely end up the starter behind center. His rapport with a new OC will dictate the Huskies’ point total.

S&P+ projects UConn as the favorite in only one game and projects about three wins overall. Edsall’s building for 2019 and beyond.


(Patrick) #2

“When I was here before, I tried to build a program that would stand the test of time,” Edsall said. “And it didn’t, because people didn’t maintain what we had going on, or they couldn’t duplicate it in terms of what you need to do here. Now, it’s like you have to go back and start all over again. It’s more than just the product on the field. … There was a lot of damage done to this program. And so now you have to go back and re-do things and work to gain, I guess you could say, the trust and interest of people out there because people have gotten disenchanted. You can’t do it just sitting back and waving a magic wand.”


(Patrick) #3

Outlook: UConn hasn’t had a winning season since 2010, the final season of Edsall’s first tenure and the year the Huskies landed in the Fiesta Bowl. Since then, the program has won just 32 percent of its games (27-58).

The Huskies have struggled to produce elite talent recently, with just one player drafted in 2018 (Foley Fatukasi) and one in 2017 (Obi Melifonwu). In fact, the program has had just five offensive players selected in the NFL draft since 2010 and none since 2015.

Edsall’s return was supposed to spark a return to winning ways, but victories have been elusive. It’s hard to imagine that changing this season, especially with depth and experience issues on the defensive side of the football.

But if the offense can show enough improvement, the Huskies could deliver some surprises.


(Patrick) #4

The difficulties UConn has had getting fans to games has translated into a drop in home-game revenue, which can be crippling for an athletic department at a university that is facing financial hurdles. In 2017 the university saw a $143 million cut in state funding. Despite bringing in $83,374,223 — over $20 million more than any other school in the AAC — the department made just $252,403 after expenses. Of the $83.3 million counted as revenue, however, about $43 million is considered a subsidy and includes student fees and financial support from the state and UConn.

UConn is currently sitting outside of the Power 5, which means it’s missing out on significant broadcast revenue, and many opponents that have past connections with the Huskies that would be sure to lure fans. While the Huskies have vied for a spot in one of the top conferences, they haven’t had any luck. Their best shot was likely the open ACC position that Louisville took. With the ACC’s recent TV deal, Louisville looks to make upwards of $10 million on the contract alone while UConn received just over $7.3 million from the AAC in the last fiscal year. Part of that money came from the last of the Big East exit fees that ran out in June.


(Patrick) #5

(Patrick) #6

“We need our fan base to step up and be accountable if they want to have a quality football program and quality programs in general,” David Benedict told the Journal Inquirer. “You’ve got support the programs through thick and thin. That’s what great programs do. We have to try to re-engage our fan base and get them to start buying into that.


(Patrick) #7

“The problem I have is that you don’t have anybody that’s sitting around working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year figuring out what the problems are in these individual sports,” he says. “There’s not one main football guy in the NCAA working on those problems.”


#8

They are getting paid, they are getting tuition, room and board and meals all PAID for, it’s worth about 30-50 K per year, let the kids pay for all that and then they could consider “paying “ them


(Patrick) #9

Altogether, it’s an awfully experienced group and one that has coach Randy Edsall fairly optimistic one week into camp. UConn’s coach said Wednesday that the offense, led by new coordinator John Dunn, has caught onto schematic concepts that not every group can handle.

“I think we’re executing pretty well on offense after seven days,” Edsall said. “There are things we have in [the playbook] that they’re executing that places I’ve been before and seen, I don’t know if they’ve executed them as well as we’re executing them right now.”


(Patrick) #10

(Patrick) #11

OOF:


(Cary) #12

What the hell!


(Alfred Matthews) #13

good lord


(Patrick) #14

Thanks, Randy…I’m sure this won’t be used all season if they both go undefeated.

“I think they’re both very fine football teams,” Edsall told the Hartford Courant. “As I studied the tape and watched the tape overall and now being here tonight and playing them live, I think Boise State is probably a little bit better and a little ahead of Central Florida right now.”


(Patrick) #15

Q: “Wake Forest just fired their defensive coordinator. Just curious your philosophy on that.” “What does that have to do with us?” Randy Edsall interjected. “I’m done. I can see where this is going. I’m done. “ Walks away from podium.


(Patrick) #16

(Patrick) #17

#### Jeff Hathaway (Athletic Director, 2003-11)

Hathaway inherited a very good situation, including two Hall of Fame basketball coaches and the leader of a rising football program, and yet oversaw a decline in ticket sales, donations, and significant dilution of the fan experience. Hathaway also hired Paul Pasqualoni, which had the double whammy effect of sending the football program head over heels and also causing a top donor to ask for his many millions in donations back. He also had a great deal to do with Randy Edsall feeling like there were greener pastures elsewhere and had a bad relationship with Jim Calhoun.

When it comes to the reason UConn is in the bad place and not the good place, everyone else is fighting for second. Just read both of the linked articles above.


(Patrick) #18

(Patrick) #19

If you thought our defense was bad:


(Munzell Milluns) #20

I don’t hate Uconn. Not satisfying seeing them struggling so much. There are so many other programs I hate more that I’d prefer be in this position.

Although the EC media are completely nauseating when one of their teams are winning.