- Tom Luginbill, ESPN Staff Writer
Recruiting is the lifeblood of every program in the country, and every conference has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to landing top prospects. In the start of a weeklong series, we'll examine the BCS conferences, plus Notre Dame, to find each's strength, the biggest obstacle each faces and the overall view of the conference. The Big East is up today.
Biggest obstacle: Perception. Although the Big East is an automatic qualifying conference for a BCS bowl game (for now), it is not perceived the same way by prospective recruits as the other five BCS conferences. The departure of Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia did not help its cause, either. Adding quality mid-major programs with more of a national layout has not enhanced the image. You can claim you are a BCS conference, but if the top players in the country don't buy it, there is a ceiling that will be tough to raise. With the departures and additions, this conference is perceived to be more of a glorified mid-major.