Big East power rankings: Week 7

October, 10, 2011
10/10/11
9:00
AM ET
These power rankings were fun to do this week: five teams with winning records; four with one loss. How to separate them all? I judged them on their cumulative game performance, plus strongest win and worst loss. Needless to say, teams 2-4 are probably interchangeable, depending on whom you ask.

1. West Virginia (5-1). The only ranked Big East team, now up to No. 13, remains the class of the league. The Mountaineers easily dispatched UConn after a big third quarter and have a week off before facing Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.

2. Cincinnati (4-1). The Bearcats' best win is over NC State (3-3). Lone loss: a bad one at Tennessee (3-2). But since that loss, the Bearcats have looked like a different team. They have a more complete team than Rutgers at this point, given their better offense behind Zach Collaros and Isaiah Pead. So they move up to No. 2.

3. Rutgers (4-1). Best win: Pitt (3-3). Lone loss: a close one at North Carolina (5-1). As I said at the top, you can make an argument for the Scarlet Knights. Their defense and special teams have carried them through the early part of this season. But they still have problems running the ball and along the offensive line, and are now starting a true freshman quarterback. Still, it is hard to argue with a 2-0 start in league play -- and those two victories came against bowl teams a year ago.

4. USF (4-1). Best win: Notre Dame (4-2). Lone loss: a bad one at Pitt (3-3). The Bulls have the best win of the top four teams, but they also have a pretty terrible 44-17 loss to Pitt in which Ray Graham had 303 all-purpose yards. They were off this week, so they didn't have an opportunity to let us forget about the last time they took the field. But that loss does look even worse after Pitt's performance at Rutgers.

5. Syracuse (4-2). The Orange let another game against a non-AQ go down to the wire. Five of their six games have been decided by a touchdown or less. Average margin of victory for their four wins: five points.

6. Pitt (3-3). The Panthers followed up a 44-17 win over USF with a 34-10 loss to Rutgers. Tino Sunseri had three interceptions, and the Pitt offensive line gave up six sacks. Coach Todd Graham failed to get his team ready to play.

7. Louisville (2-3). The Cardinals continued their anemic showing on offense, scoring just seven points in a loss to North Carolina. They have scored 20 combined points in their past two games and now rank No. 112 in the nation in scoring offense.

8. UConn (2-4). The Huskies kept it close for a half against West Virginia, but a fumble by Johnny McEntee deep in Mountaineers territory turned the tide early in the third quarter. UConn has given up more than 400 yards passing in back-to-back games.

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