Big East Football Power Rankings
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 22:09
8. Temple (1-2): Temple only lost by 11 points, but the game itself was far more lopsided than the final score would indicate. Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin shredded the Owls’ secondary for 313 yards, only part of the total 491 offensive yards gained by the Nittany Lions in 36 minutes of possession. That says it all.
7. Syracuse (1-3): Syracuse played a surprisingly good game against the undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers, though they eventually lost 17-10. A bye week, however, should cool off any chance that their porous overall defense will change for the better – especially with the red-hot Pittsburgh offense visiting them in two weeks.
6. South Florida (2-2): 11 penalties for 112 yards. Yikes. Absolutely killer in a game that USF clearly did not come mentally prepared for. Though the possession time was not as bad as last week, the Bulls’ struggling rush defense still allowed 169 yards on the ground. Think it could not get worse? No. 4 Florida State is coming to town this week. Uh oh.
5. Connecticut (2-2): Even with two costly turnovers, quarterback Chandler Whitmer is not to blame for the Husky’s loss. He threw for 333 passing yards and tossed an additional three passing touchdowns. Running back Lyle McCombs also added in 119 rushing yards on 23 carries. The normally resilient Husky defense just couldn’t stop the high flying Western Michigan offense. Let’s see if UConn can put both offense and defense together this week.
4. Pittsburgh (2-2): Looks like they just needed a few games to get going. The Panthers just mauled Gardner-Webb. With a terrible Syracuse defense coming up, Pittsburgh should cross .500 this year and gain their third straight win. However, this is a classic trap game, especially with Big East leader Louisville looming in the game after. Who will show up against Syracuse: the underachieving old Panthers who did not show up against Youngstown State? Or the rejuvenated Big East contenders?
3. Cincinnati (2-0): Fun fact: the Bearcats boast the nation’s No. 3 defense and No. 12 rushing offense. Another fun fact: they have only played two games. But according to the transitive property, they should beat Virginia Tech. After all, they did beat Pittsburgh, right? We’ll see if they are for real.
2. Rutgers (4-0): Though the vaunted Rutgers defense gave up 26 points, it was their offense that got them the victory. Gary Nova’s career-high 397 yards and five touchdowns set the mark for a high scoring day. However, though the Scarlet Knights remained in control of the game, you can be sure that their secondary will be getting an earful from their coach – especially after allowing an ungodly 301 receiving yards to Arkansas wide receiver Cobi Hamilton.
1. Louisville (4-0): The No. 19 Cardinals had a game they did not expect. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw his first two interceptions of the season in a game that many thought he would dominate. Louisville’s offense could not get anything going against an inspired Florida International team, who could have actually won the game, if not for a costly roughing the punter call. Do not be fooled though – the Cards are still the class of the Big East and should not be looked at differently…yet.
UConn’s loss against Western Michigan does not seem like a sign of good things to come against Buffalo. Even if their offense finally clicked, they still turned over the ball at crucial moments, ones which end up defining whether a team loses or not. Nevertheless, the Bulls’ offense looked terrible against Kent State, only scoring one touchdown. UConn’s ferocious defense won’t be much friendlier for junior quarterback Alex Zordich. Moreover, Buffalo’s defense, which has allowed 34.0 PPG this season, remains ripe for the picking. The Huskies should have their best day of the year and dominate in a match where UConn faithful will finally see their team play well on both sides of the ball.