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Mini Dig: 113 Days Till Football Edition

Finals, at last, have passed.  Congrats to UTEP's class of 2010.  It's UTEP's biggest class yet.  In this Dig:  A nice preview of Derrick Caracter's draft potential from via Indy Cornrows; Tons of local coverage of conference realignment from C-USA cities, and some Houston Coog sportswriters have a war of words.  In The Dig.

The UTEP Miners

Gaining Interest:  Derrick Caracter is an intriguing second round draft prospect.  Indy Cornrows takes a look at his potential.  Personally, I see him in the mold of DeJuan Blair- I think DC's offensive skill set is vastly underrated.

The Pacers' roster is filled with frontcourt players, but most don't have the post scoring chops of Derrick Caracter. He has the potential to come off the bench, provide some scoring, and give the offense a different weapon besides the long contested jumper.

More DC:  A Golden State Warrior's Blog wants DC too.

Finally, a guy I saw live in San Jose at the NCAA Tourney this year is 6-8, 275-pound PF Derrick Caracter out of UTEP. Watching that guy live is really fun. He is an absolute load. He really reminds me of a Big Baby Glen Davis or DaJuan Blair. I would love to see this guy drafted in the second round. 35 overall might be too high for him, but a big, bruising body like that would be a welcome sight.

End of the Road:  The UTEP softball team's season ended with a loss to UCF in the C-USA Tournament. 

Got a Question for Kelsey Moore?  The Times is having a live chat with her and Rosanne Aguilar on Sunday. 

The Houston Cougars

War of Words:  The Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice wrote a piece kind of slamming Houston Cougars fans for thinking they have a chance to get in to a BCS conference.  The Houston Press took exception, and had some choice words for the Chronicle mainstay.

I'm not asking Justice to be a homer. I'm asking him to be fair. If he's going to write about the Cougars, then make an effort and show up every now and then. Don't just show up for the big games, or the major press conferences. Come out for the games against Marshall and SMU. I know that's probably beneath a big journalist like Justice, but give it a shot for once.

Here's what Justice wrote to merit that response.

No, UH fan, you're not getting a game with the Longhorns. Don't call us, we'll call you. Go finish your Spanish homework. What's that? There isn't any Spanish homework? You're saying Coach Dickey is a nice man? Now that's sweet.

I'll Say 10% Chance:  Can Case Keenum win the Heisman Trophy?  The Memphis Commercial Appeal thinks he has a chance.

The Memphis Tigers

Trying to Bail:  Memphis clearly wants out of the C-USA.  They have ever since they were dumped by the old members who left to the Big East.  Josh Pastner thinks the Tigers are leaving.  Andy Katz has some thoughts on Pastner's comments and also some insight on the state of C-USA basketball play.

C-USA probably won't have the depth it had this past season. Even with Tim Floyd as its coach, UTEP will take a step back after the frontline departed when Derrick Caracter stayed in the draft and Arnett Moultrie withdrew and decided to transfer. Houston, which won the C-USA tournament, is going through a rebuilding situation with James Dickey. Tulsa lost its top player in Jerome Jordan. Marshall saw its best talent, Hassan Whiteside, declare and stay in the draft. Southern Miss returns the most productive players from last season and could be Memphis' top challenger. Still, there may not be another top-25 team in the conference outside of Memphis throughout the season.

Still Impressive:  Memphis had a drop in attendance this season, but the numbers they did have are nothing to make fun of.

For the second straight season, Memphis finished 8th although the school experienced a slight drop in average attendance from 16,993 during the '08-'09 season to 16,498 this past year.

East Carolina Pirates

Bon Voyage?  The Charleston Gazette thinks that one C-USA team has done enough to merit a BCS league invite.  No, it's not Memphis.  It's ECU.

Anyway, there is one school who has earned the right to advance to the next level. Congratulations, East Carolina University. You've aggressively upgraded your facilities and have expanded Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to 50,000 seats. Your fan base travels very well to bowl games. Looooove that "purple haze" opening; it's almost as good as Virginia Tech's "Enter Sandman" ritual.

Speaking of:  The Purple Haze intro is pretty awesome.


League Wide

More Expansion Talk:  The Sun Belt Commissioner, Wright Waters, has some nice thoughts on expansion.  And he points out that no league is safe.

You don’t know because first of all what happens to Conference USA? If you fall below the continuity of membership requirements (eight teams) you have no league because you have no automatic qualifiers. So, the thing institutions have to be prepared to do is not look at what conference’s were last year, but what conference’s are going to be five years from now. Could the Big 12 lose their AQ? Maybe. Could the Big East lose their AQ? Maybe.

Oh, Tulane offered an Orlando quarterback, Sam Richardson, a scholarship.