Thursday, July 26, 2012
Vote: Big East champion
By Andrea Adelson
The Big East preseason media poll will be released next Tuesday at media day. But before we hear from the so-called experts, I want to hear from you.
So here is your Thursday poll: Who will win the Big East?
You guys know I always give you four choices and then "other" as a way to give you a chance to submit a team that I have not included. Given the way the Big East usually goes, nearly every team has a legitimate shot to win it all every year. So I am going to give you the top four teams on my ballot as options. If you like somebody else, let me know either in the comments section or the mailbag.
Cincinnati. Bearcats fans get really, really, really angry when their team is overlooked every year. Why? Because they have won at least a share of three titles in the past four years. So if that does not automatically translate into Big East favorite every year, then what exactly does? I think Cincinnati is in the top half of the Big East, but the Bearcats have a lot of talent to replace. There also are some depth issues at key positions up front. If this team stays healthy and can find good replacements for Isaiah Pead, Derek Wolfe, JK Schaffer and Zach Collaros, watch out.
Louisville. I think the Cardinals are going to be the preseason choice to win the Big East when the media poll is revealed next week. Though they are still a young team, they are much more experienced than a year ago and have arguably the best quarterback in the Big East in Teddy Bridgewater. Those of you loyal followers of the blog know why I say arguably. More on that down below. I think they have one of the best secondaries, one of the best offensive lines and major potential at the skill positions. The big question is whether this team is mature enough to win a BCS berth.
Rutgers. I think Rutgers may have been the preseason media choice had Greg Schiano stayed on board. But then again, there would probably still be no answer at quarterback right now. That is the biggest question mark surrounding this team. Rutgers proved last year that it could win without a running game or consistency at quarterback because of its stellar defense. The Scarlet Knights may have to rely on that group once again to win their first Big East title.
USF. The Bulls have been gaining momentum as a favorite to win the Big East. On paper, you understand why, with 15 returning starters and a senior class numbering 24. Nearly all of those players are expected to be contributors this season. The question, of course, is whether this team can get out of its own way, and its history of implosion. The other is whether B.J. Daniels is ready to be the best quarterback in the Big East. Bridgewater is on the rise, but there is no question that title is up for the taking.