Who is hot, and who is not in the Big East headed into Week 13?
1. Rutgers (9-1, 5-0). After the defensive performance we saw in a 10-3 win over Cincinnati on Saturday, I feel confident enough in saying I think the Scarlet Knights are now the favorites to win the Big East. I still think Louisville has a very strong team, but its defense must make major improvements quickly. I am still having flashbacks from that performance against Syracuse.
2. Louisville (9-1, 4-1). Getting a bye week after a loss has its pros and cons. Louisville got extra time to work on its mistakes, but it also had to sit on what was a pretty tough loss. And that is the lasting image folks have of this team as the final two weeks of the season approach. Teddy Bridgewater has been dynamic, but he won't be able to win the Big East title on his own.
3. Cincinnati (7-3, 3-2). I thought the Bearcats had an extremely disappointing performance against Rutgers. I expected way more out of that team, playing at home. The Bearcats had their opportunities time and again but were simply outplayed by a better team. Although another Big East title seems remote at this point, the Bearcats can still win 10 games for the fifth time in six seasons.
4. Syracuse (6-5, 4-2). I know there are plenty of "what-if" questions that haunt Orange fans, but just forget about them and enjoy getting back to a bowl game. Ryan Nassib and Alec Lemon have been remarkable of late, and their performance at the end of the Missouri game was simply clutch.
5. Temple (4-6, 2-4). Seriously, throw teams 5-7 in a hat and your order is as good as mine. The Owls have been bad in Big East play of late but set school and Big East records in a win over Army on Saturday. They have wins over two of the three teams down below, so they get the nod in this space.
6. UConn (4-6, 1-4). The Huskies were off this week and are still getting the benefit of their last game out -- a win over Pitt.
7. Pitt (4-6, 1-4). The Panthers also were off, and getting hurt from their last game out -- a bad loss to UConn.
8. USF (3-7, 1-4). The Bulls have not been this bad since joining the Big East. Though they have had mixed results against their in-state rivals, at least they played respectably well. Not Saturday against Miami. The 40-9 loss was the worst under coach Skip Holtz.