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Monday, September 13, 2010
Big East Power Rankings, Week 3

By Brian Bennett

Two games are in the books, and there's more shuffling in our Big East power rankings.

1. Pittsburgh (1-1): The choice this week was either Pitt or West Virginia. Let's break it down. Pitt lost in overtime at Utah, which looks like a top-20 team. West Virginia won in overtime at Marshall, which looks like a mid-pack Conference USA team. Edge: Panthers. Pitt beat a top-5 FCS team in New Hampshire, while West Virginia beat a mediocre FCS outfit in Coastal Carolina. Edge: Panthers.

2. West Virginia (2-0): Great comeback by Geno Smith and the Mountaineers at Marshall, but that glossed over the disturbing fact that they needed a huge comeback in that game. Next two -- against Maryland and at LSU -- will be telling

3. Connecticut (1-1): The Huskies' 62-3 rout of Texas Southern didn't tell me as much as the way Denard Robinson played against Notre Dame did. Looks like the Huskies just ran into a buzzsaw in the opener.

4. Cincinnati (1-1): These next three spots are hard to separate. The Bearcats weren't all that impressive in a 40-7 win over Indiana State, but at least the offense finally got going. Their next two games are against NC State and Oklahoma, so it's put up or shut up time.

5. Rutgers (2-0): Had the Scarlet Knights put together a solid all-around game at Florida International, I would have moved them up. Instead, they played well on defense and special teams but awful on offense. So they don't move.

6. South Florida (1-1): I was tempted to flip-flop the Bulls and Scarlet Knights even though USF lost by 24. At least they showed some potential. But without some receiver help, that potential may not be fulfilled.

7. Syracuse (1-1): After the Orange took the 10-0 lead on Washington, I started thinking how high I would rank them this week. First? Second? Alas, Syracuse then fell apart and stays in its familiar low spot.

8. Louisville (1-1): The Cardinals failed to score in the second half against Eastern Kentucky after taking a 23-3 lead. That doesn't bode well for this week's game at Oregon State.