The final countdown of the top 25 players in the Big East rolls on.
Up today: Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia.
Making the case: Bailey was the most sure-handed and consistent receiver for the Mountaineers this past season and set career marks in every major category -- 72 receptions for 1,279 yards and 12 touchdowns. Working in the wide-open offense Dana Holgorsen brought with him surely benefited Bailey and Tavon Austin, who also has his spot secure higher in these rankings. Bailey also set a school record for consecutive 100-yard games with five. He actually had seven total, and they all happened in the span of eight games.
Now, if any of you need a reminder of just how clutch Bailey was last season, just think back to his fourth-down reception against USF -- a play that no doubt saved the season. It was the best catch of his career, as he dove to the ground to make the 26-yard reception from Geno Smith. Six seconds remained on the clock, and the reception allowed Tyler Bitancurt to kick the game-winning field goal, clinching West Virginia's spot in the BCS.
Preseason ranking: NR. (I can't believe it, either).
No. 25 Ryne Giddins, DE, USF
No. 24 Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia
No. 23 Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers
No. 22 Antwon Bailey, RB, Syracuse
No. 21 Lyle McCombs, RB, UConn
No. 20 Dexter Heyman, LB, Louisville
No. 19 Hakeem Smith, S, Louisville
No. 18 Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
No. 17 Aaron Donald, DE, Pitt
No. 16 Trevardo Williams, DE, UConn
No. 15 Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
No. 14 Julian Miller, DE, West Virginia
No. 13 Bruce Irvin, DE West Virginia
No. 12 Najee Goode, LB, West Virginia
No. 11 Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn
No. 10 JK Schaffer, LB, Cincinnati
No. 9 Zach Collaros, QB, Cincinnati
No. 8 Ray Graham, RB, Pitt