Big East Football Power Rankings
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 22:10
8. Temple (1-2): Maybe their bye week gave them some time to “soul search”, as Rex Ryan’s Jets did during Monday and Tuesday. But I doubt that it would do much, especially against a USF team that gave their all against Florida State and are eager for some blood.
7. Syracuse (1-3): Normally a bye week is a good chance for tired teams to rest. But Pittsburgh has looked stellar in their last two games, and Syracuse’s defense has been less than impressive so far this season. This should be an ugly week for them, as the Orange go back to irrelevancy.
6. South Florida (2-3): So close, yet so far. It was clear that the Bulls gave the Seminoles their all, but they still lost by 13 points. They should be able to get their frustration out against a Temple team that hasn’t played in a while, but it shouldn’t mean much. The Bulls need to watch their time of possession; teams cannot win a football game with only 25 minutes to hold the ball on offense.
5. Connecticut (3-2): At least they beat Buffalo. The offense didn’t commit a single turnover, and quarterback Chandler Whitmer looked steady in the pocket, throwing for 227 yards and completing 68% of his passes. Nonetheless, UConn managed to let a 24-7 lead slip, and it took a last drive defensive stand for them to hold onto their lead. If they don’t keep their foot on the gas pedal, it will be an ugly week for them against the red hot Scarlet Knights.
4. Pittsburgh (2-2): Has any team had more of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dichotomy from their first four games of the year? The Panthers looked like trash in their first two game, which they should have won. Afterwards, they proceeded to throttle highly ranked Virginia Tech and embarrass Gardner-Webb. Keep the parade going; they’re facing an ice cold Syracuse team that didn’t need to face a Pittsburgh team that has been on a tear.
3. Cincinnati (3-0): Well, looks like they’re for real. The Hokies couldn’t stop their offense and though they gave up 24 points, the Bearcats’ defense played a fantastic first three quarters, allowing only seven points. Most impressive moment of the game: Munchie Legaux’s final drive to lead his team back to victory. Did I mention his 376 passing yards as well? That may have something to do with the Bearcats’ victory.
2. Rutgers (4-0): With a week to think about their last game, I don’t think the intimidating Scarlet Knights defense is going to give up so many receiving yards again. Led by the No. 10 defense in the nation, as well as featuring an offense scoring 27 points a game, they should be balanced enough to beat an inconsistent UConn team this week.
1. Louisville (5-0): Louisville won once again, which is why the No. 19 ranked team in the country remains the best Big East team. That said, they are looking vulnerable. The Cardinals gave up as many as 35 minutes of possession to an Old Miss team that hadn’t won a single game all year. Louisville even fell behind midway through the second quarter by 11 points, trailing 6-17, before they finally woke up and scored 15 unanswered points to win. If they want to keep their undefeated streak going, they need to not get caught with their pants down by teams that have no business playing with them.
UConn is in for a rough week against a Rutgers team that has consistently looked great throughout the year. Their offense should struggle to score against the Scarlet Knights’ ferocious defense. It’s asking a lot of the Husky defense to lead them to victory against a high flying, fast paced offense spearheaded by quarterback Gary Nova and Ray Rice incarnate Jawan Jamison. Don’t expect an upset here; the Scarlet Knights are too fast, strong, ferocious, and determined for a UConn team that hasn’t shown those traits enough all year.