Friday, May 13, 2011
Your vote: Surprise Big East teams in 2011
By Brian Bennett
We're looking for your take on burning questions facing the league for 2011. We'll tally up your votes in the poll below and react to the result later on.
The latest election: Who will be the surprise team in the Big East this year?
It's almost difficult to be a surprise in a league that's so unpredictable. But here are my top five nominees:
- Louisville: The Cardinals were a surprise team last year en route to winning seven games and a bowl in Charlie Strong's first year. So a surprise this year would have to mean a league title or something close to it. They're young, but it's not out of the question with their improving talent level.
- Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights were awful last year, but people forget just how young they were. They are loaded with skill players and could greatly improve if they get the offensive and defensive lines figured out.
- Cincinnati: Butch Jones has won everywhere he's been, so last year's 4-8 season looks like an aberration. A strong offensive nucleus returns along with all 11 defensive starters. If the Bearcats decrease their turnovers and improve even marginally on defense, they can contend.
- Pittsburgh: Expectations are lower this year for the Panthers with an entirely new staff and system. But Todd Graham has won quickly in his last two coaching stops.
- Syracuse: Just like Louisville, the Orange were a 2010 surprise. Still, a league title would register as a mild shock.
So there are your nominees. Now it's time to let your voice be heard.