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Big East poll results, Part V

5/15/2011

The polls are closed, and so too are my reactions to them with this final look at how you voted last week.

The last two Big East elections were on disappointing teams in 2011 and the must-see conference games this season.

Your pick for most disappointing team was Pittsburgh at 32 percent. I'm guessing much of that vote came from West Virginia fans, but the Panthers have disappointed many times during their Big East days. Last year's team was the most disappointing in the conference. I just don't know how high expectations truly are for this year's team; I ranked them fourth in my post-spring power poll, after all. What would register as a disappointment for Todd Graham in Year 1, especially with a tough nonconference schedule? 5-7 or worse?

My choice would be the runner-up in this poll, Connecticut (29 percent). While the Huskies have an excellent defense and strong special teams, plus a cupcake nonconference schedule, they also have major question marks at quarterback and tailback and a new head coach. And though they're coming off a Fiesta Bowl season, let's be honest: they were quite possibly the worst BCS team of all time. So expectations are raised but might not be met.

Picking a must-see conference game is not easy since this league is so balanced that every week is tense. Naturally, the Backyard Brawl won out with a whopping 70 percent of the vote, the biggest winner in any of our Big East polls. It's the conference's one, true bitter historic rivalry, and there are so many subplots to this year's game that emotions could be running at an all-time high. Nov. 25 can't get here soon enough, as far as I'm concerned.

My second choice was also yours: the season finale between West Virginia and USF (17 percent). The Big East title could well be riding on that outcome. What a final two weeks it could be in the league this year if things shake out the way we think they will. Of course, they hardly ever do in this conference. But now we know, after your votes, what the majority of you think will happen in 2011.