Big East lunchtime links

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

  • The Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs reflects on the life and tragic death of UConn's Jasper Howard.

  • Brian Kelly is already taking on critics who might not believe Cincinnati is No. 5 in the country or BCS title-worthy, Bill Koch writes in the Cincinnati Enquirer."There’s a system that’s set up,” Kelly said. “But you have these people that say it doesn’t matter, Cincinnati is not playing for the national championship. That’s a bunch of baloney. If you keep winning, keep playing and doing the right things, every team should have a fair opportunity at it.

“Let the teams play. The rankings are what they are. Let it play itself out. We continue to go down the same road: Are they worthy or not worthy?”

  • Pitt believes its best football is yet to come. That's good, because the schedule is about to get far more difficult, Paul Zeise writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

  • South Florida drew more fans for its Thursday game against Cincinnati at Raymond James Stadium than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did on Sunday, Greg Auman notes in the St. Petersburg Times.

  • Greg Schiano was happy with Rutgers' offensive plan against Pitt even though the Scarlet Knights struggled to move the ball, Keith Sargeant writes in the Home News Tribune.