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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Big East power rankings

By Andrea Adelson

Time for the final regular-season edition of the Big East power rankings. I don't think you will be too surprised by this list, folks.

1. Louisville (10-2, 5-2). The Cardinals are back at No. 1 after their win over Rutgers and subsequent BCS berth into the Allstate Sugar Bowl. This is not a perfect team, but it has a pretty perfect player in Teddy Bridgewater, who got 'em over the top against the Scarlet Knights.

2. Rutgers (9-3, 5-2). The Scarlet Knights could qualify as a disappointment when you consider they had two chances to clinch a BCS berth and could not get the job done. Still, they did win a share of the Big East title for the first time in program history -- and have head-to-head wins over fellow co-champs Cincinnati and Syracuse.

3. Cincinnati (9-3, 5-2). The Bearcats ended with a share of the Big East for the fourth time in five seasons after beating UConn last weekend. But for the second straight season, they will be haunted by a tough November loss to Rutgers.

4. Syracuse (7-5, 5-2). The Orange ended the season with wins in five of their final six games and are also probably going to be haunted by a loss to Rutgers, in which turnovers and special-teams mistakes sealed their doom. A win there, and Syracuse would be going to the Sugar Bowl.

5. Pitt (6-6, 3-4). This was not an easy season for the Panthers, who had to transition to another head coach again. But kudos to players and coaches for not giving up and playing to the end, and making a bowl game for the fifth straight season. Their 27-3 win over USF last weekend got 'em in.

6. UConn (5-7, 2-5). The Huskies were my sleeper pick this season, and, well, that was not such a good pick. I had the defense nailed as the best unit in the Big East, but the offense simple could never get enough consistency going in the run game or at quarterback to get this team over the top.

7. Temple (4-7, 2-5). The Owls beat UConn, so why not rank them higher. Well, because UConn has a much better win on its schedule -- over BCS rep Louisville. I will give this team credit for the way it played. Temple never gave up in any game, and didn't finish last -- better than just about everybody predicted.

8. USF (3-9, 1-6). The Bulls were the biggest disappointment in the Big East this season, and it's not even close. Coach Skip Holtz was shown the door after the worst season in program history ended.