Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Big East power rankings, Week 2
By Brian Bennett
1. West Virginia (1-0): The Mountaineers weren't especially impressive on offense versus Coastal Carolina, but their defense pitched a home shutout for the first time since 1997. And with Pitt, UConn and Cincinnati losing, West Virginia moves to No. 1 almost by default.
2. Pittsburgh (0-1): Yes, the Panthers lost and had some problem areas exposed in the process. But falling on the road in overtime to a really good Utah program in the opening week isn't reason to penalize Pitt too much.
3. Connecticut (0-1): The 30-10 loss to Michigan was wildly disappointing. Still, had the Huskies converted a couple of opportunities deep in Wolverines territory, the game would have been a whole lot more interesting. I maintain that the Huskies will have a good season.
4. Cincinnati (0-1): There was almost nothing to like about Cincinnati's performance from about the final three minutes of the first half until the end. Yet I'm going to give the teams that lost on the road in tough spots a break this week. But they'd better improve in a hurry.
5. Rutgers (1-0): The defense looked terrific, but it should look terrific against Norfolk State. The offense took way too long to get going. Not sure how much more we'll know about this team after Week 2 when it plays Florida International.
6. South Florida (1-0): The Bulls scored 59 points. They were also tied 14-14 with Stony Brook at one point. This is an incredibly young and inexperienced team that will show what it's made of this week in The Swamp.
7. Syracuse (1-0): I know, I know. The Orange were the only Big East team to beat an FBS team in the opening week, and they did it convincingly on the road. So why aren't they higher? Well, I'm not convinced that Akron is any good at all, and I want to see more from Syracuse before I vault it up in the rankings. If the Orange pull off the win this week in Washington, they'll do just that.
8. Louisville (0-1): After Kentucky raced to an early 20-3 lead on Saturday, I thought I was going to have to create a new No. 9 spot for the Cardinals. Give them credit, though. They made adjustments and played much tougher in the second half, losing only by a touchdown. This team will compete hard under Charlie Strong. It will also probably come up short against most good teams on the schedule.