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Monday, September 10, 2012
Big East power rankings: Week 3

By Andrea Adelson

Some surprising results this weekend have led to a shift in the power rankings. But not at the top.

1. Louisville (2-0). Teddy Bridgewater is turning some heads across the nation and that can only be a good thing for the Big East. Bridgewater had the first 300-yard passing game of his career, and the Cardinals beat Missouri State. A big test awaits Saturday against North Carolina. Previous ranking: 1.

2. Cincinnati (1-0). The Bearcats had to wait a week to get their season started, and when they did, they were just about perfect in a win over Pitt. The defensive front was as ferocious as last season, Ralph David Abernathy IV is going to be a breakout star this year, and it is just fun to watch Munchie Legaux run. I am still wondering, though: Is Cincinnati THAT good or Pitt THAT bad? Previous ranking: 5.

3. USF (2-0). OK, seriously. For three and a half quarters, the Bulls deserved to lose at Nevada, where the Wolf Pack racked up 549 total yards and led for all but the final 38 seconds of the game. That makes one lackluster showing against Chattanooga and one near-loss to Nevada. Gotta drop you. Previous ranking: 2.

4. Rutgers (2-0). The defense has been as good as we thought it would be. But major questions remain about an offense that has been stagnant in two games. Jawan Jamison is the only bright spot. We'll see if everybody comes to life in Tampa on Thursday night. Previous ranking: 3.

5. Syracuse (0-2). The Orange are the best 0-2 team in the nation and have looked stronger in defeat than the teams down below. They should have beaten Northwestern, and they played USC close in what has to be the toughest opening two-game stretch for any team from an AQ conference. Previous ranking: 7.

6. UConn (1-1). If the Huskies had any semblance of an offense, they would have beaten NC State. But they don't, and they look like they are going to have major problems if they don't fix the offensive line and figure out how to get Chandler Whitmer to cut down on the mistakes. Previous ranking: 5.

7. Temple (1-1). Worst performance of any Big East team Saturday. Nobody expected Temple to lose to Maryland. Nobody. Previous ranking: 6.

8. Pitt (0-2). The Panthers have looked like one of the worst teams in football in consecutive games. This is how bad it is for Pitt: Ray Graham actually played a whale of a game against Cincinnati with 154 total yards, and that still was not nearly enough to keep his team competitive. Previous ranking: 8.