Pasqualoni Excited About Expansion

STORRS, Conn. – It would appear Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni has expansion of the Big East football conference all figured out. Either he has insider information or he had a lot of time to think about the logistics while he was on the recruiting trail earlier this week.

Regardless, he has a way of making it sound simple.

Pasqualoni said Friday that recruits certainly have "some questions about the conference" during this crazy stage of realignment. And the Big East might want to consider hiring him for a public relations position. The spin he put on things at his weekly press conference Friday might be the most positive, upbeat version offered by the struggling conference.

"It's pretty exciting to me, the possibilities that I hear," Pasqualoni said. "To add Boise [State], a great team. To add Houston, great team. SMU, back on the rise. Air Force, tremendous program. Put them in the western conference with Cincinnati and Louisville. You've got something special there.

"Add Navy and Central Florida, if that's what we hear. Put them in the eastern division with Connecticut and South Florida and Rutgers. Have these two divisions. Play your division, play three crossover games every year, from the western division. Play four non-conference games. Select who you want to play, you know, a Big Ten team, an ACC team, a MAC team, whoever you want to play.

"Guaranteed BCS berth based on the quality of those teams, no issues there. So pretty exciting to me."

Pasqualoni left West Virginia out of his eastern division. We assume that was just an oversight, since the west had six teams and the east only five. Or maybe the UConn coach figures the Mountaineers are headed to the Big 12 to replace Missouri. That may be part of future considerations.

The geography issues don't sound so complicated when Pasqualoni explains them.

"With three cross-division games, one year you're going [west] twice, the next year you're going there once," he said. "You get a chance to go down to Houston, you get a chance to be in the [Dallas/Fort Worth] Metroplex. I'd love it. [UConn offensive coordinator] George DeLeone is as well known in Houston as anybody. And I kind of know a few guys in the Metroplex/Dallas area."

Pasqualoni, who was defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010, already has a restaurant picked out for the UConn team meal.

"Go down there to play SMU, go up by Kincaid's and get the kids a great hamburger," Pasqualoni said. "Without exaggerating, I think it would one heck of a deal. "I'd love Connecticut's place in that. I'm hoping that that's the way it goes. The sooner the better."

Perhaps Pasqualoni should get those invitations in the mail. Who cares if the return address isn't Providence?


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