Paul Pasqualoni Returns To Different Big East Conference, UConn

Mike MuellerContributor IIJanuary 14, 2011

Paul Pasqualoni returns to the Big East as head coach of UConn.
Paul Pasqualoni returns to the Big East as head coach of UConn.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

In case you missed it, former Syracuse head football coach Paul Pasqualoni is coming back home to the Big East.

The Connecticut native takes over for Randy Edsall who skipped out on the Huskies after 12 years for his apparent "dream job" at Maryland.

News like this would have been a national story ten years ago but not now. This isn’t the same conference Pasqualoni left behind back in 2004.

Coach P remembers the golden days of Big East football.

He led Syracuse to three straight conference titles from 1996-98 and took the Orange(men) to nine bowl games in his 14 seasons on the sidelines.

Syracuse actually did Pasqualoni a favor by firing him back in 2004 (the same season he won a share of the conference title). That year, football as we know it in the Big East became irrelevant.

Three teams decided to jump ship to the Atlantic Coast Conference: Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College.  

In response, the Big East had the bright idea of adding five teams in Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette and South Florida.  Add it all up and that’s a total of 16 members with just eight watered down football teams left in the conference.

The move has killed the legitimacy of the Big East and should have Miami second-guessing itself. The Hurricanes were the class of the conference from 1991-2004. They won nine Big East titles during that stretch and two national titles. Since joining the ACC, the Hurricanes have yet to win a conference title, suffered one losing season and have had five straight seasons with four or more losses.

The overall perspective on the Big East is that it’s very strong in basketball and a joke in football.

When Pasqualoni was still coaching at Syracuse, his current team, UConn was still a Division I-FCS school. Since then, UConn has won a share of two Big East titles, Syracuse is just now recovering from the Greg Robinson era (10-37) and for some reason TCU is joining next season.

Maybe with Pasqualoni back in the Big East some legitimacy will come with it. Teams like UConn, West Virginia, Syracuse, South Florida and Pittsburgh are vital to the life expectancy of the conference.

 With TCU leading the charge, the Big East has a chance to slowly rebuild its reputation but it never will be what it once was. I just hope Pasqualoni realizes that.