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Monday, October 6, 2008
Big East power rankings: Pitt power


Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Hoo, boy. This is not an easy week for power rankings in this conference. Ideally, I'd leave the No. 1 spot vacated and have a six-way tie for second. But there's no fun in that. So here goes:

1. Pittsburgh (4-1, 2-0): Yes, the team that lost to Bowling Green at home and trailed Syracuse by double digits in the second half tops my power rankings. Crazy. But you can't put Pitt behind South Florida after it beat the Bulls on the road, or even behind Connecticut after the Huskies got hammered at North Carolina. So here go the Panthers. They are in control of their own destiny in the Big East. Let's see what they can do with it.

2. South Florida (5-1, 0-1): Injuries on the defensive front really hurt the Bulls against Pittsburgh, and a week off could work wonders. I still believe this is the most talented team in the league from top to bottom, but I'm far less confident in that after last week.

T-3. Connecticut (5-1, 1-0): OK, so I'm wussing out and going with a three-way tie here for third. I just don't see much difference between the three, and I simply can't decide who's better. Sue me. UConn was uncharacteristically sloppy at North Carolina, but the Huskies will still have to be reckoned with in league play.

T-3. West Virginia (3-2, 1-0): We're still waiting for that big, breakout offensive game from the Mountaineers. If it doesn't come this week against Syracuse, then they won't be ranked this high next week.

T-3: Cincinnati (4-1): Chazz Anderson managed the game well in his debut at quarterback, but more impressively, the Bearcats put together an outstanding defensive performance and ran the ball better than they have all year at Marshall. We'll find out a lot more about Cincinnati as it gets into Big East play.

6. Louisville (2-2, 0-1): The Cardinals have just as much chance as anybody to win this league if they can cut down on their drive-killing mistakes.

7. Rutgers (1-4, 0-1): How much longer before Greg Schiano cuts bait on this season and starts working in young players for next year?

8. Syracuse (1-4, 0-1): Greg Robinson is still the coach, but a road trip to Morgantown isn't going to help his cause.