As our college football preview rolls on, today we take a look at the state of the Big East. Here is a quick evaluation.
State of the Big East: Average.
Biggest strength: Its coaches. There are some very well-respected coaches across this league, from Charlie Strong to Skip Holtz to Butch Jones. Each has pledged a commitment to stay. No coincidence that their respective teams were all picked to finish in the top half of the league. There are not many nationally recognizable players in this league, but there are nationally recognizable coaches, and that is hugely important.
Biggest weakness: Perception. While Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia have all decided to head for the hills, the biggest hit the conference took from a football perspective was losing West Virginia. The Mountaineers are a preseason favorite in the Big 12 and ranked No. 11 in the coaches' poll. Had they been in the Big East this season, they would be highly ranked as well. Instead, there are no Big East teams in the preseason Top 25, and the league faces yet another uphill battle for respect.
What can be done to make it stronger: Win big, baby. That should be the theme for this season -- getting one of the six teams that will remain in the Big East to run the table and serve notice that the league is thriving and surviving, thank you very much. "You need a team, whomever it may be, if they can make a run like that and make some noise, you’d like to restore credibility," Strong said. "If somebody can make a run, then maybe people will say, 'Hey, that is a league that is trying to get it back together.'"