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Big East power rankings, Week 6

I had to get creative with last week's power rankings thanks to every Big East team losing to any opponent with a pulse. This week, I'm trying to get a more regular order going. It's still not easy.

1. West Virginia (3-1): A good way not to lose the top spot in the rankings is to not play. Mountaineers remain comfortably No. 1.

2. Connecticut (3-2): The Huskies leapfrog from a tie for fifth last week to the second spot. Why? They've beaten their past two opponents by a combined score of 85-42. Sure, it was just Buffalo and Vanderbilt, but do you know how many other Big East teams even have beaten more than one FBS opponent this year? I'll let you think about it for a moment.

3. South Florida (3-1): But not too long. The first three teams on this list are the only Big East teams with multiple FBS wins (though South Florida's -- Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic -- are clearly the worst of the bunch). The Bulls turned in a good all-around effort on Saturday and may be getting healthy at the right time. We'll find out more when league play arrives this week.

4. Cincinnati (1-3): The Bearcats needed a week off after a rigorous schedule in the first month. The key will be if they can continue the momentum they built in the Oklahoma loss.

5. Pittsburgh (2-2): The Panthers looked more like the team we expected them to be against Florida International, but not enough to say they're back. There were still too many penalties and mistakes, and Pitt led just 16-10 going into the fourth quarter.

6. Syracuse (3-1): The Orange have done all you can ask in dispatching opponents they should have beaten. It doesn't help that Akron might be one of the worst teams in the country. Syracuse can prove a whole lot more this week in Tampa.

7. Louisville (2-2): The Cardinals are better than I thought they were, though admittedly I held little optimism about their 2010 season. Charlie Strong has them playing above their talent level, which is more than can be said for No. 8 on this list.

8. Rutgers (2-2): Harsh, especially for a team so good on defense. But what's on the résumé? A five-point win over Florida International, an unimpressive victory over Norfolk State and home losses to a battered North Carolina program and, inexcusably, Tulane. Sounds like a bottom-rung team to me at this point.