Will, I share with you and Dave Braine the opinion that Tech must by necessity have a weaker schedule for now to assure the number of wins required to secure a decent Bowl bid, if they don't win the Big East and its ubiquitous #6 Alliance spot. As one who suffered through the Charley (luke warm cup of) Coffey years with Strock and no defense, I'm glad the Braine/Beamer regime rolled around with four Bowl bids in the 90s. I'm more than happy to have spent my frequent flyer tickets on the past four Bowl game trips with my wife.
Sure Tech owes some of the credit to the Big East's Bowl deal, but it's time for Mike Tranghese and the ADs to face down one of its major problems--its lack of respect and credibility west of the Alleghanies. Folks just don't give high poll ratings to a conference with an albatross around its neck called Temple. It's time to deep six a football program which has one win in league history. The best thing I can say about Temple is that they once hired Bruce Arians to coach 'em. Heck, even an appearance by Bill Cosby can't draw a crowd there.
The league should step out, drop the Owls, and bring in two of the biggest names in American sports, let alone Eastern football: Army and Navy. These two have programs on the rise and would mean immediate increased national interest in Big East football and its teams like Tech, who remain largely unknown recruiting-wise outside the Eastern seabord (Ok, those hoodlums in South Florida are an exception). The ADs and Mike T. could convince the two academies to come in on a football-only basis. After all, it was somewhat of a stuggle for them to get Bowls to bite this year on them. The Big East and these two would form a true symbiotic relationship (they did teach me a few things at Tech).
Wouldn't it be great to have the Big East championship decided one year in a marquee game like the Army-Navy game with the President in attendance (better than Bill Cosby)? One ancillary effect would be to raise the stature of the league by "sanitizing" it with these squeaky-clean programs. The league is suffering an image problem with the Miami gangstas, BC bookies, and admittedly the Hokies less publicized (nationally) transgressions. The effect on the television packages with CBS, ESPN, and the league's own deal would be substantial and set competing conferences on their ears. I know it would mean an odd-numbered team league, but the Big 10/11 manages.
We can all remember the dog days of the Southern Conference. Tech should lead the way in prodding the league's ADs and Mike Tranghese into the first realignment of the league since its inception. It's overdue, and is the only way the Big East is going to get away from being the final pick of the Alliance unless the Hokies go 11-0, Syracuse can convince some of its fat cat alumni to travel to Bowl games, or Miami can win without the criminal element that stalks it program (they don't travel well, either).
I know these letters are suppposed to be about Tech and the Hokies, but the "Big" in Big East is a name only in the minds of many football fans and scribes away from the East Coast, and Tech suffers along with the league.