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Big East stock report

Take it from Gordon Gecko. Don't get emotional about stock.

Stock up

1. Devin McCourty: You'll notice Rutgers' McCourty appearing in the defensive player of the year race Top 5 today. He's probably the best cornerback in the league and also might be the Big East special teams player of the year. I should have had him in the race earlier, but it was hard to tell how strong his season was against such low-caliber competition. Not anymore.

"I don’t know if there is a defense or special teams player playing better than him in the entire country,” Greg Schiano said Monday.

2. Isaiah Pead: The Cincinnati back has been a big part of the offense all season, but he became a featured runner for the first time against West Virginia and responded with career bests of 18 carries and 175 yards. And Brian Kelly says the Bearcats need to run the ball more in the final two weeks.

3. Chris Campa: The hard-hitting Louisville linebacker was named Big East defensive player of the week after recording 15 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble against Syracuse.

4. Ryan Clarke: Not since Owen Schmitt has West Virginia had a big, bruising back like Clarke. He rumbled for 60 yards against Cincinnati, including a 37-yard touchdown.

5. Dave Wannstedt: Five years after it looked like Charlie Weis would coach circles around him, Wannstedt has a Top 10 team that has beaten Notre Dame two straight years, while Weis is perhaps on his last legs. Credit Wannstedt for adjusting his style to the college game, something Weis has yet to master.

Stock down

1. B.J. Daniels on the Big East road: One reason for South Florida's struggles has been the play of Daniels lately on the road. In the Pitt and Rutgers games, he was a combined 11-of-25 passing for 183 yards, four interceptions and no touchdowns.

2. Syracuse's receivers: How badly do the Orange miss Mike Williams? In the two games since he selfishly quit the team, Syracuse wideouts have a total of 15 catches. Only three of those receptions have gone for 10 yards or more.

3. Bill Stewart's fourth-down play-calling: Against Cincinnati, Stewart opted to go for it on fourth-and-8 from the Bearcats' 24. Incomplete pass. West Virginia lost by three points. At South Florida, trailing by a score in the third quarter, Stewart elected to punt on fourth-and-8 from the Bulls' 33. The punt netted only 13 yards as it went in for a touchback. South Florida then drove for a field goal.

Welcome to the world of coaching, where if a call works you're a genius, and if it doesn't you're an idiot. Ask Bill Belichick.

4. The campus experience for home games: Cincinnati just moved its 2012 "home" game with Virginia Tech to FedEx Field in Washington, D.C., which will be quite a walk from the dorms for students. Rutgers will play a home game in Giants Stadium. Syracuse and UConn have been in talks to play Notre Dame at neutral pro stadiums. South Florida and Pitt already play in NFL buildings, while UConn plays several miles the actual university.

It's just reality in the Big East, but something is lost when games are not on campus.

5. Replay officials: For obvious reasons.

Player of the year race: Offense

1. Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh: The Big East's leading rusher with 1,291 yards on 224 attempts (5.8 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns.

2. Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati: The Big East's leader in total receiving yards, with 68 catches for 930 yards and eight touchdowns.

3. Bill Stull, QB, Pittsburgh: The Big East's leading passer, he has completed 66.3 percent of his attempts for 2,115 yards and 18 touchdowns, with four interceptions.

4. Tim Brown, WR, Rutgers: Brown leads the league in receiving yards per game with 860 yards on 40 catches. He has six touchdowns and is averaging 21.5 yards per reception.

5. Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia: Has been slowed of late with injuries, but he has rushed for 1,098 yards on 192 attempts this season with 10 touchdowns.

Player of the year race: Defense

1. Mick Williams, DT, Pittsburgh: Leads the league with 13 tackles for loss and was part of a wrecking-crew defensive line against Notre Dame.

2. Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers: See above.

3. Greg Romeus, DE, Pittsburgh: Has 7.5 sacks, an interception and forced key fumble against Notre Dame.

4. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida: The Bulls may have fallen off a bit, but Pierre-Paul remains a force with 12 tackles for loss and four sacks.

5. Aaron Webster, S, Cincinnati: Holding on here as the Bearcats' defensive leader, but Cincinnati has shown a few cracks on that side of the ball.

Coach of the year race

1. Brian Kelly, Cincinnati: For leading the Bearcats to a 10-0 start.

2. Dave Wannstedt, Pitt: For guiding the Panthers to a 9-1 start and Top 10 ranking.

3. Greg Schiano, Rutgers: For overcoming early problems, throwing young players into the fire and still being 7-2.

4. Randy Edsall, Connecticut: For his leadership through the Jasper Howard tragedy and keeping UConn very competitive.