Each week, we’ll examine schools that could potentially join the ACC at some point if/when the conference decides that 14 isn’t good enough. While it appears that conferences (ACC, and SEC soon) are content with 14 for now, any moves by conference cornerstone programs could cause even more shifting. With that in mind, we wanted to take a look at how each potential addition stacks up.
This week’s resume: Connecticut Huskies
School: University of Connecticut
Team nickname: Huskies
Location: Storrs, CT
Current League: Big East
Year Established in FBS: 2002
2011 W-L: 2-4
Overall W-L: 480-504-38 (incl. all games)
Bowls: 5 (1 BCS)
The Good: The Huskies have appeared in a BCS bowl. something which many current ACC schools cannot claim. In spite of their eventual drubbing at the hands of Oklahoma, the Huskies won an automatic-qualifier league, and that was their prize. Adding UConn would not stretch the borders of the conference at all, since Connecticut is next to both Massachusetts and New York. Connecticut has existing rivalries with Syracuse and Boston College in football, and also enhances the basketball side of the house, winning last year’s national title. In other good news, they want to come to the ACC very badly.
The Bad: Adding on to the note above about BC’s rivalry with Connecticut, it seems UConn was the ACC’s first choice to pair with SU in this last round of expansion until the Eagles’ administration blocked it. According to sources, Boston College wanted to be “the New England team” in the league, something UConn would have encroached upon. Petty nonsense aside, other problems include a 40,000-seat stadium, general disinterest in the team when they’re bad (and sometimes, when they’re good too) and the fact that they’ve only been playing FBS-level football for a decade.
Our vote: Yes, but only as a tag-along to Notre Dame. Without the Fighting Irish, adding UConn is growing to 16 just for the sake of it, and in a league that already struggles to find consistent football powers, that’s a terrible idea. If Notre Dame came off the table for some reason (move to Big Ten?), chances are those circumstances would also give way to adding Connecticut without them. In the meantime, it appears UConn’s admins are shutting their mouths about leaving the Big East as they prepare for “rivalries” with potential new additions like Temple, Air Force and Navy.