A "Wait and See" Approach
So, why are season tickets and Pirate Club memberships down? Maybe its because folks, like me, understand that investing in a Pirate Ship that's hellbent on BCS access is a risky proposition and we're are taking a "wait-and-see" approach. First off, if Terry Holland is able to land ECU into the Big East as an all-sports member, "HALLELUJAH!". But, the following questions need to be addressed at some point: 1) Louisville just about prevented ECU's entry into C-USA, so what's to stop them from a repeat performance, especially if they want to protect the sanctity of Big East hoops...? 2) See #1, only replace "Louisville" with "Cincinnati". 3) Who's to say the Big East will even have automatic BCS access in 5-10 years...? The way things are headed, the Mountain West is perched and ready to replace the Big East at the BCS table, especially if schools like Utah continue to make top-10 appearances not only in the human polls, but the BCS standings on a regular basis. It's clear that Holland's strategy will be to attempt to schedule games with members of the Big East -- although I doubt Louisville will schedule ECU as long as Bobby Petrino and John Thompson are the respective head coaches. It's also reasonable to expect most of these games to be played on the road, simply because 1) ECU has no scheduling leverage, and 2) ECU needs the road(national) exposure. Playing them is one thing, beating them is another. Unless ECU can recruit a different caliber of athlete, losses will pile up one after the other in such an arrangement. Gone are the days where ACC rejects would willingly come to East Carolina. Nowadays, those players are taking the "Prep school" route frankly because they want to play BCS ball and feel its worth the wait, as opposed to playing mid-major ball. Recruiting will become even more difficult because of the changing landscape. The ACC is on the way to creating a monopoly on east coast talent, and those players that aren't ACC-caliber will try to find their way to the Big East. Without the players, it'll be difficult to win, and that's why folks like me are taking a "wait and see" approach to investing in the Pirate Ship. --- Prediction Time: Army vs. East Carolina East Carolina will attempt to get its second win of 2004, as well as only its second home win under John Thompson, when the Black Knights of Army come to town. Bobby Ross, in his first season at Army, has the Black Knights winning with a balanced offensive attack led by QB Zac Dahman (41-for-74, 55.4%, 686, 3 TDs in three starts), and RB Cartlon Jones, who rushed for 5 TDs in Army's last game at South Florida. East Carolina will attempt to do something it's has difficulty doing in its last 6 quarters, and that's find the endzone. Since the 2nd half of the Tulane game, ECU has only found the endzone once -- a useless TD pass from James Pinkney to Chris Johnson. Why those two were even playing in the fourth quarter with ECU trailing Southern Miss 49-3 is a valid entry for a "Top 10 reasons why ECU needs another head coach" list. Neither team understands the concept of defense, with East Carolina allowing 41 points per game, and Army allowing 35 points per game. Expect to go to a football game, only to see a basketball score emerge. I look for Army to get its first win in the young series mainly because Bobby Ross is light years beyond John Thompson as a head coach, and unlike Thompson, has his players not only believing in what he is doing, but believing they can win -- anywhere. Army - 52, East Carolina 35
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