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Sunday, September 11, 2011
Big East power rankings: Week 3

By Andrea Adelson

Power Rankings: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC


After an 8-0 start to the season, the Big East came right back down with a 4-4 week. How will that impact the power rankings?

1. West Virginia (2-0). The Mountaineers were on upset alert at halftime against Norfolk State, but quickly blitzed to 45 unanswered points in the second half and a 55-12 win. Sure, the first half was ugly, but the second half was not -- and they remain the highest ranked team in the Big East.

2. USF (2-0).The Bulls are creeping ever closer to the Mountaineers. They had the best performance in Week 2 and have climbed up to No. 20 in the AP poll with an opportunistic defense and steady B.J. Daniels. With home games against Florida A&M and UTEP, they should be 4-0 headed into their league opener at Pitt on Sept. 29.

3. Pitt (2-0). The Panthers have not looked great to start the season, but very few Big East teams can say they have looked stellar. Both offense and defense are clearly having troubles adjusting to new schemes. They have a gigantic test at Iowa on Saturday.

4. Syracuse (2-0).Neither of their wins have been pretty. Syracuse should not have followed up an overtime squeaker over Wake with a home struggle against Rhode Island. But the Orange are one of four teams still undefeated in the Big East. That could change after Saturday and a trip to USC.

5. UConn (1-1).The Huskies have no offense to speak of, but their defense can be dominating and that is why they are here. Of the four teams that lost, they came the closest to winning. They probably should have beaten Vanderbilt, even without an offensive touchdown. UConn really needs to figure out what to do at quarterback.

6. Rutgers (1-1).Yes, UConn came closer than Rutgers to winning. UConn actually had a late lead in that game. Rutgers got five turnovers from North Carolina and still lost. There were two big factors in the game -- Rutgers did not do enough with those turnovers, scoring 12 total points. The defense had a hard time containing the big play.

7. Cincinnati (1-1). Any time you give up over 400 passing yards in a loss, you should be near the bottom of the power rankings.

8. Louisville (1-1).The Cardinals lost to FIU on Friday night, their first loss to a Sun Belt opponent since 1981. To make matters worse, Louisville will forever be the answer to the trivia question: Name the first AQ school FIU ever defeated.