- Brian Bennett, College Football
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1. Expansion madness: Expansion has been the No. 1 topic for Big East fans the past couple of years, and now it's finally a reality as the league has decided to go to 10 teams in football. It's the right move, and the next couple of months should be full of speculation about who's joining and who's not.
2. Linebackers against West Virginia: Syracuse's Doug Hogue won two national defensive player of the week awards for his performance in a win in Morgantown. Connecticut's Sio Moore did the same thing for his 17-tackle showing in last week's overtime take-down of the Mountaineers. West Virginia has gone from being a team that looks good on offense to one that makes others look good stopping it.
3. Syracuse's second-half road defense: In their last three road games, the Orange defense has pitched a shutout in the second half. The only team in that span to score after halftime was South Florida, which got a kickoff return for a touchdown.
4. Dom DeCicco: The Pittsburgh senior has really helped solidify the defense with his ability to shift between safety and linebacker. He had 11 tackles and an interception against Louisville, and Pitt is allowing fewer than 13 points per game in Big East play.
1. West Virginia return teams: For a team supposedly blessed with so much speed, the Mountaineers sure don't run past many people when the ball is kicked to them. They're last in the Big East in kickoff return yardage and second-to-last in punt returns. "It's absolutely terrible," head coach Bill Stewart said.
2. Cincinnati's running game: Opponents have decided that to stop the Bearcats, you must first stop Isaiah Pead. The junior was running wild for a stretch but had just 15 carries for 48 yards against South Florida and 23 yards on 11 attempts versus Syracuse.
3. Ryan Clarke's hands: The West Virginia running back fumbled twice at UConn, including in the overtime period as the Mountaineers were about to score. He also had a costly fumble at LSU that led to a touchdown in a six-point loss. Stewart said he's not blaming Clarke and will continue giving him the ball.
4. Saturday nights: Doesn't anybody like to play under the lights on the traditional day for college football? The last Saturday night home game in the Big East was Oct. 9 when Cincinnati hosted Miami of Ohio. The league has been playing a ton of weeknight games -- say hello to Wednesday football -- and plenty of afternoon kickoffs. Saturday night specials are becoming extinct. Heck, there's only one game in the Big East on Saturday at all this week.