- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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The pecking order is becoming mildly clearer with just two weeks to go in the regular season.
1. Pittsburgh (6-4, 4-1 Big East): The Panthers stay on top after a key win on the road at South Florida. They could clinch the Big East title this week if they beat West Virginia and UConn loses.
2. Connecticut (6-4, 3-2): The Huskies have won three straight and have beaten the other two top contenders, West Virginia and Pitt. They were impressive in shutting down Syracuse on the road Saturday. It took a while, but this team is finally playing like the Big East contender we thought it would be.
3. West Virginia (7-3, 3-2): That defense is spectacular. Oddly, though, the offense has only scored 13 points and just one touchdown in the second half during its five Big East games.
4. Syracuse (7-4, 4-3): The 4-0 road/0-3 home split is mind-boggling. Doug Marrone is an excellent coach, but he makes a lousy ticket salesman.
5. South Florida (6-4, 3-3): The Bulls' deficiencies on offense, especially in the passing game, came back to haunt them in the Pitt game. But this is a program moving in the right direction.
6. Louisville (5-6, 2-4): What could have been for the Cardinals this season. Four of their five losses have come by margins of of eight points or fewer. I imagine Charlie Strong will be winning those kinds of games once he gets his program where he wants it to be.
7. Cincinnati (4-6, 2-3): Where in the heck did that 69-point outburst against Rutgers come from? One clue: The Bearcats finally won the turnover battle (2-1) and showed what their offense could be when they stay out of their own way.
8. Rutgers (4-6, 1-4): No contest for the worst team in the league right now. The Scarlet Knights have lost four straight, and for a Greg Schiano-coached team to surrender nearly 70 points is nearly unfathomable.