Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Villanova's Talley trying to avoid distraction from Big East upheaval

People like Andy Talley have enough to do during the week without being distracted by trying to figure out whether his team will finally move up from Division I-AA to I-A.

Villanova's Talley trying to avoid distraction from Big East upheaval

I went to the weekly local college football coaches' luncheon this afternoon, mainly on account of the upcoming Villanova-Penn game on Saturday at Franklin Field. The Quakers are looking to beat the Wildcats for literally the first time in a century, while the Wildcats are looking to finally get a win after losses to Temple, Towson and Monmouth.

I couldn't help, though, asking Andy Talley for his thoughts on the upheaval in the Big East at the moment. Obviously, Villanova is right in the middle of it - read Mike Jensen's story in this morning's Inquirer for the details.

I knew there was only so much Talley would be able to say, so I put the question to him of how much it has affected his players, not just his program as a whole.

We are almost a month into the season, after all, and all of this furore across the country is going on while coaches and players are trying to play football games on Saturdays. People like Talley have enough to do during the week without being distracted by trying to figure out whether his team will finally move up from Division I-AA to I-A.

"It hasn't affected our team or our coaching staff," Talley said. "I think it's probably affected our fan base more, because people are wondering: 'Wow, we had three or four years when we were a national power, and we just lost our third game."

The man who Talley will be coaching against on Saturday, Al Bagnoli, is in almost the opposite position in terms of where his conference stands. The Ivy League isn't involved in this mess, and it's hard to believe the Ancient Eight will be blown up any time soon.

(Though who knows for sure?)

Perhaps because of this security, Bagnoli was quite open and forthright when I asked him for his views of what's going on among the major conferences.

"They [complain] about coaches' salaries or players getting added benefits, and then they think nothing of throwing away a hundred years of rivalry just so they can make 10 million more dollars in the coming year," he said. "Hopefully it's not the death of football, because if you get down to two or three super-conferences... I don't know what the rest of the world is going to do."

There's more from Talley and Bagnoli in the video below.

What do you think will happen with Villanova? Are you also fed up with all the realignment stuff that's going on? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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