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Monday, December 8, 2008
Big East power rankings, final regular-season edition


Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

1. Cincinnati (11-2, 6-1): Survived Hawaii trip to post first 11-win season in school history. An Orange Bowl win could bring a final top 10 ranking.

2. Pittsburgh (9-3, 5-2): Pitt's schedule this year featured nine bowl teams. The Panthers beat seven of them.

3. Rutgers (7-5, 5-2): The best 7-5 team in America? The red-hot Scarlet Knights sure have an argument.

4. West Virginia (8-4, 5-2): Head coach Bill Stewart on his first year: "It was a good year and now it's over and we're going to roll up our sleeves and start knuckling. We need a tougher football team at West Virginia University. We're going to get tougher. There is a method to my madness. It will show in a year or two."

5. Connecticut (7-5, 3-4): The Huskies had much bigger things in their sights after a 5-0 start. Many fans were disappointed with the finish. Coach Randy Edsall had this to say after the loss to Pittsburgh, "We're still in a building process with this program. ... You all need to understand that. This program has accomplished a lot more than a lot of people ever thought it could. And we set the bar so darn high that now if we don't win every game or if we don't win the championship every year, people take issue with that."

6. South Florida (7-5, 2-5): The Bulls have won one bowl game in their history, and it came against a Conference USA team (East Carolina in 2006). They can make it two by beating C-USA's Memphis in 12 days.

7. Syracuse (3-9, 1-6): The coaching search seems to be entering the home stretch, and a hire could be coming this week.

8. Louisville (5-7, 1-6): Why last? They finished the season on a five-game losing streak, got blasted 49-0 in the first half at Rutgers and, of course, lost to Syracuse.