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Sunday, October 7, 2012
What we learned about the Big East: Week 6

By Matt Fortuna

1) Pitt is the conference's biggest enigma. Lose two straight games in horrible fashion, turn things around with a historic offensive two-game stretch, lose to a Syracuse team that hasn't won a conference game in almost a year. There's simply no figuring out this Pitt team through five games. Good luck predicting the Panthers' performance this Saturday against preseason favorite Louisville.

Temple's Montel Harris
Temple's Montel Harris rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns against South Florida.
2) Temple is here to play. Did you see how fired up Steve Addazio was on the sideline Saturday? The return to Big East play was a long time coming for the Owls, who pulled off a 37-28 conference-opening win against USF. Montel Harris looked like the Harris of old, rushing for 133 yards and two scores, and Chris Coyer completed 16 of 20 throws. The offensively challenged Owls put it together against the Bulls and will not roll over in their first year in a new conference.

3) Paging USF. On the other hand, the Bulls could not afford a letdown. But they had one. And now they are riding a four-game losing streak into the bye, and an 0-2 Big East record as well. A trip to Louisville awaits them out of the break. Tough times in Tampa, indeed.

4) Rutgers may very well go (at least) 9-0. The Scarlet Knights were their methodical old selves in a 19-3 win over UConn, riding a strong ground game and an even stronger -- and a very opportunistic -- defense to victory. Syracuse, Temple, Kent State and Army are Rutgers' next four opponents. A loss to any would be a disappointment, and there is a good chance this team will be undefeated going into its Nov. 17 matchup at Cincinnati.

5) Will Cincinnati be spotless by then, too? Well, 6-0 should be a certainty, as Fordham and Toledo await before a trip to Louisville. Regardless, the Bearcats hit on all cylinders Saturday, taking care of business against an overmatched Miami (Ohio) team and almost assuring themselves of an AP ranking this week.