Big East 2012 Top 25 countdown: No. 14

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
10:30
AM ET
On to our first offensive lineman ...

No. 14, Mario Benavides, C, Louisville

Making the case: Benavides paved the way for a pair of 700-plus-yard rushers and started all 13 games for the BCS-bowl winning Cardinals, giving him 47 for his career. He was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy (nation's best center), and he was named first-team All-Big East by both the conference and ESPN.com. Benavides was a linchpin in the middle of Louisville's offense, protecting conference offensive player of the year Teddy Bridgewater throughout the Cardinals' historic season. He will be sorely missed next season as Louisville goes for its third straight conference crown.

Preseason ranking: 17

The countdown

No. 15 Adrian Bushell, CB, Louisville

No. 16 Sio Moore, LB, UConn

No. 17 Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse

No. 18 Scott Vallone, DT, Rutgers

No. 19 Jerome Smith, RB, Syracuse

No. 20 Devin Street, WR, Pitt

No. 21 DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

No. 22 Matt Brown, RB, Temple

No. 23 Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

No. 24 Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple

No. 25 Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt

Matt Fortuna | email

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