What we learned in the Big East after Week 5.
1. See ya, undefeateds. The week opened with unbeaten and No. 16 USF heading to Pitt to try to break a losing streak to the Panthers and a Thursday night jinx. The Bulls were the final undefeated Big East team, so any potential national championship hopes hung with them. Instead, they turned in their worst game of the year and lost 44-17. It was a great win for Pitt, but the Big East now is without an undefeated team in October for the second straight season. For a league in desperate need of some positive national news, well, the Bulls' performance on national television was not what was needed.
2. Worst week of the season. The Bulls' loss was one thing. Then Saturday came. Defending BCS representative UConn lost at home to Western Michigan 38-31. That was the Broncos' first win over an AQ team since beating Illinois in 2008. Louisville lost to Marshall 17-13, its second home loss this season to a team outside an automatic qualifying conference. Rutgers and Syracuse went to double overtime in a game nobody seemed to want to win. The teams combined for nine turnovers, five missed field goals, a missed extra point and 13 penalties. One more result to note -- incoming member TCU also lost to SMU 40-33 in overtime. Simply put, it was a brutal weekend for Big East football.
3. West Virginia is the team to beat. What seems apparent after five weeks is that West Virginia should be the team to beat in the Big East. The Mountaineers have the most talent on offense and continues to get better. The defense still has some questions to answer but given the way every other league team looked this weekend, the Mountaineers should be listed as the favorite to win the league.
4. Running wild. The Big East is going to have a tough time deciding on an offensive player of the week: Pitt running back Ray Graham, with 226 yards rushing, or West Virginia running back Dustin Garrison, with 291? West Virginia had struggled to run the ball in the first four games of the season, ranking as one of the worst teams in the nation with a combined 306 yards rushing. But Garrison clearly separated himself in a 55-10 win over Bowling Green, setting a freshman single-game record 291 yards. Going into the game, Garrison had 65 total yards. But the offensive line played well for the second straight game and now it appears West Virginia has a ground game. Graham, meanwhile, notched his second 200-yard game of the season and showed why he is one of the best players in the league.
5. Cincinnati should go bowling. The Bearcats are sitting at 4-1 after a 27-0 win over Miami (Ohio) -- matching last season's win total with more the half the season to go. They now enter their bye week after yet another dominating defensive performance. The turnaround on defense has been quite remarkable, and for the second straight game they held their opponent to negative rushing yards. Cincinnati needs just two more wins in its final seven games to become bowl eligible.