MAIL: Answering your questions (March 11, 2022)

      Comments Off on MAIL: Answering your questions (March 11, 2022)

Another edition of the ASOR Mailbag! Thank you for submitting your questions and keep sending them and we will be happy to answer them in our next feature. You can send them to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, by e-mail or as a comment on the site. We’ve had a ton of great questions this week, so let’s get to it.

  1. It’s probably too early to give an accurate assessment of the defensive line, or any position, in the first week of practice. So far, only four practice windows have been open to the media, and interview sessions so far have focused primarily on the quarterback position and getting to know the new assistant coaches and new responsibilities. as a staff trainer. That said, the defensive line should be the team’s strength in 2022 with the level of depth and talent they’ve accumulated over the past two years.
  2. It all depends on where the quarterback stands on the football team’s cap this fall. The Flames open with a very difficult schedule from the start playing Southern Miss in the first game of the year before facing UAB and Wake Forest, two very good teams. Liberty will be, at best, a draw to win all three games. To come out of this first list of three games at 2-1 would be a great achievement. The back half of the schedule includes more games where the Flames should be favored, but also games against BYU, Arkansas and Virginia Tech. I expect the football team to compete again to be eligible for bowling and have a winning record, but the schedule is very daunting.
  3. Excellent question. It probably depends on each year, with winning football being the default answer. For example, Liberty’s victory over Coastal Carolina in the 2020 Cure Bowl was one of the most watched and best bowling games of the 2020-21 bowling season. Now, if Liberty were to make a run to the Sweet 16 in men’s hoops, it would likely be worth more than a Lending Tree Bowl victory over Eastern Michigan. A College World Series run would be on par with all of them, but spring sport typically doesn’t bring the same number of eyeballs as football and men’s hoops.

I’m not convinced that CUSA is looking to add a 10th team at this point. This could certainly change over time. It’s also nearly impossible to predict what will happen in the future of the conference realignment where everything is on the table. UMass and UConn would be potential football-only members, but it doesn’t appear to be something all parties agree on. The next most likely thing is for CUSA to revert to FCS with a school like Tarleton State, should they decide to expand further. It might also make sense for the conference to wait and hope that the new league will rebuild itself into a position of power it had not too long ago and be able to swoop in on other strong FBS programs.

  1. I really think the offensive line has the potential to be much better in 2022. That position has been a priority for the coaching staff this offseason. With a new OL coach and several new transfers, as well as an attack that is not designed primarily around one person, I expect to see improvement on the O-Line.
  2. Last round in the ASUN and the Flames have won three of the last four championships. It’s incredibly hard to do in a one-candidate league, and next year is expected to compete for a fourth title in five years before moving to CUSA.
  3. It’s still very early in the season and a lot may change over the next few weeks and months, but the way Derek Orndorff has started this season certainly puts him on scouts’ radars. Aaron Anderson has been a very productive at-bat over the past two seasons and he’s sure to get some looks as well. Stephen Hill and Brady Gulakowski are others who could make the case.

The early favorites entering spring practice were Johnathan Bennett and Charlie Brewer with Kaidon Salter and Nate Hampton being the dark horses. That’s probably still the case, but the more I ask around and watch this battle take shape, the more I think Salter has a real shot to push in this battle. Coach Freeze mentioned that he hopes to have the top two challengers by late spring, so be sure to check back for our frequent updates over the next few weeks.

The best thing to do is contact Liberty Athletics and its Fan Experience & Promotions group at 434-492-7097.