What we learned in the Big East: Week 13

November, 28, 2010
11/28/10
10:30
AM ET
1. Either UConn or you can't: It's all in Connecticut's hands now. The Huskies need only to win at South Florida this week to make their first BCS game in school history. They've won four straight and dispatched Cincinnati 38-17 in the home finale. The Bulls will have to stop the running game led by Jordan Todman, who churned out 175 yards and three touchdowns with an injured arm Saturday. This will be the biggest week in UConn's short FBS history. Randy Edsall has already told his players that BCS talk is off-limits, but everybody knows what's at stake.

[+] EnlargeWest Virginia defense
Charles LeClaire/USPRESSWIREWest Virginia's defense forced four turnovers and limited Pitt to just 10 points.
2. West Virginia is peaking: The Mountaineers need some help to make a BCS game because of their loss to Connecticut. But since that loss, they've been playing as well as anyone. Saturday's 35-10 win at Pitt was their most complete performance of the year, and the defense continues to play at an astronomical level. It's still a little hard to believe this team managed to lose three games, but at least it has put things together at the end of the year and will be a load to handle in whatever bowl game it reaches.

3. Dave Wannstedt may be in trouble: The grumbling by Pitt fans reached a new high after the Panthers fell flat on their faces in the Backyard Brawl. Pittsburgh was the runaway choice as the preseason league favorite, but is just 6-5 and has stumbled and bumbled through just about every big game. This is going down as a lost year in Oakland, and it's especially disappointing given the lack of dominating teams in the Big East. Wannstedt signed an extension before the season began after winning 19 games the past two years. But his support is waning among fans, if not the school administration.

4. USF may have found a new quarterback: B.J. Daniels told coach Skip Holtz that he heard a pop in his injured quad late in the first half at Miami. Daniels had trouble moving and making accurate throws all half. Freshman Bobby Eveld came in for the second half and led the Bulls to the milestone overtime victory. Daniels has struggled for long stretches this season and might have to miss the UConn game because of his injury. South Florida looks like a totally different, and much better, team when its quarterback is delivering throws in the right places and not making mistakes. Maybe Eveld is that guy now, at least for the end of the season.

5. Charlie Strong waited way too long: How in the world did it take so long for a school to hire Charlie Strong as its head coach? Strong was one of the best defensive coordinators in the nation at Florida and South Carolina but kept getting passed over for head gigs. Other schools' loss was Louisville's gain. Strong turned in one of the most impressive debut seasons in the country by leading the Cardinals to a 6-6 season and a Big East bowl slot. He did it with mostly the same players from the Steve Kragthorpe era, only they played much better for Strong. And he did it without much elite talent. Strong's 6-6 campaign was as noteworthy as Doug Marrone's work to get Syracuse to 7-5 this season. Perhaps they should share the Big East coach of the year award.

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