Big East power rankings

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Finally, there is clarity.

I've complained the past couple weeks about how hard it is to rank the teams in this league. This week, it actually seems pretty easy. Which can only mean another shakeup is coming. But here's how I see things right now:

1. West Virginia (6-2, 3-0): Even with only one good half of football in each of the past two games, the Mountaineers look better than anyone else in the Big East right now. If they take care of Cincinnati at home this week, Pittsburgh may be the only team that can catch them.

2. Pittsburgh (6-2, 2-1): The Panthers are 4-0 on the road but just 2-2 at home. Not good news, since Louisville comes to Heinz Field this week. But this is good news: Dave Wannstedt has pronounced quarterback Bill Stull healthy and ready to play. And LeSean McCoy keeps running like Tony Dorsett.

3. Cincinnati (6-2, 2-1): The next three weeks will determine this team's legacy. After going to Morgantown this Saturday, the Bearcats travel to Louisville, an annual thorn in their side. Then Pittsburgh comes to Nippert Stadium. Win all three, and a BCS game will await.

4. Connecticut (6-3, 2-2): The Huskies get a bye week to figure out why they keep making mistakes in big games (five turnovers against West Virginia, three at North Carolina, plus missed kicks and a safety at Rutgers). They also need to straighten out their passing game and find a replacement for cornerback/receiver/kick returner Darius Butler, who's out with a knee injury. That's a lot of work to do. But with two struggling teams -- Syracuse and South Florida -- up next, UConn can still finish the season strong.

5. Rutgers (3-5, 2-2): The Scarlet Knights probably would have preferred to play last weekend and build on the momentum of their two-game win streak rather than have a bye. With Syracuse, South Florida, Army and Louisville left, seven wins is not out of the realm of possibility.

6. Louisville (5-3, 1-2): At least the Cardinals don't have to play Syracuse again until next year. Some of the players admitted they relaxed early on in the 28-21 loss on Saturday, which is disappointing to hear from a team that doesn't have much margin for error. That defeat basically negated the South Florida win, which doesn't look that impressive anymore anyway.

7. South Florida (6-3, 1-3):
The same team that held the top spot in these rankings much of this season slides all the way to seventh after losing three of its last four. The Bulls have a week off to lick their wounds and then get two straight home games to try and right the ship.

8. Syracuse (2-6, 1-3): No one thought Greg Robinson would make it this long, and if the Orange can find a way to knock off Rutgers this week, he may last past Thanksgiving. New offensive coordinator Mitch Browning has really brought vibrancy the running game; Curtis Brinkley set a school record this weekend with his fifth straight 100-yard game.