Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
I spent a couple of hours parsing the Geneva Conventions to see if there were any provisions preventing such cruelty. Then I considered drawing names out of a hat or having my dog, Mini, choose teams by which biscuit she went to first. Seriously, how do you logically rank the teams in the Big East right now? Here is my best effort at providing some order.
1. West Virginia (5-2, 2-0): This one was fairly straightforward, as the Mountaineers earned the top perch with their fourth straight victory and clearly their best performance of the year in beating Auburn, 34-17. The question is, was that a one-time wonder, or has West Virginia truly turned the corner?
2. Connecticut (6-2, 2-1): Barely edged out my initial choice for the No. 2 spot, "Vacant." Look, I have no idea who the second-best team in this league is right now, and neither does anyone else. South Florida and Pittsburgh get bumped down for their losses this weekend, so UConn rises after a impressive 40-16 rout of Cincinnati. And this sets up a 1-2 battle between the Huskies and Mountaineers on Saturday in East Hartford.
3. Pittsburgh (5-2, 2-1): A terrible loss to Rutgers on Saturday probably should have sunk the Panthers even lower than this. But Pittsburgh still is in control of its destiny in the Big East -- if it can figure out what the heck just went wrong. Injuries to quarterback Bill Stull and center Robb Houser are problematic, too.
4. Louisville (5-2, 1-1): The addition of a healthy Scott Long makes a huge difference in the Cardinals' offense. If they can get by Syracuse this week -- which is no given after last year -- they will have matched last year's win total.
5. South Florida (6-2, 1-2): The Bulls are the only Big East team in the Top 25 of either major poll and yet check in No. 5 in my power rankings. Well, I see some serious flaws in this team, and the 1-2 start is going to make it awfully difficult for South Florida to contend for the league championship. It doesn't help that the Bulls' marquee victim, Kansas, got destroyed at home by Texas Tech. Thursday's game at Cincinnati looms as a must-win.
6. Rutgers (3-5, 2-2): A five-win season looks certain, with more than that possible. No one would have believed that two weeks ago. Credit Greg Schiano for sticking by his guys as fans called for major roster overhauls. If, that is, the Scarlet Knights can keep this up.
7. Cincinnati (5-2, 1-1): The Bearcats are way too talented to be this low. But a dreadful offense that has gone 0-for-25 on third downs while averaging 13 points the past two games pulls them down like an anchor. Everything went wrong in a show-me game at Connecticut, where Cincinnati committed six turnovers. But the way this league is going, the Bearcats could be at the top of these power rankings next week.
8. Syracuse (1-6, 0-3): Ah, good old dependable Syracuse. Thanks for giving me one sure thing every week.