Potential Opponent Watch 2018: UCONN


(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