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West Virginia -- coaching drama aside -- appears ready to pick up where it left off, with a talented offense. But will Connecticut still look like the conference co-champ this spring? Syracuse could certainly use a makeover, and Louisville's defense got one.
There was just one head coaching change in the league, but the departure of several successful players should heighten a few position battles this spring. Here's a look at what to watch for this spring in the Big East:
• The Bearcats also have to replace a pair of senior defensive ends in Angelo Craig and Anthony Hoke, along with all-conference safety Haruki Nakamura.
• The running backs job will be contested this spring, as Cincinnati graduated a trio who split time last season.
With playmaking QB Pat White still at the helm, West Virginia enters spring practice on top of the Big East power rankings., writes Heather Dinich. Story
• How Scott Lutrus, who moved to middle linebacker from the outside, progresses at his new spot will be worth watching.
• Quarterback Tyler Lorenzen, a former junior college transfer, will be in his second season as a starter. Whether he can orchestrate a more balanced offense will help determine whether the Huskies can continue last year's success.
• Louisville hired former Western Michigan D-coordinator Bill Miller to coach the linebackers after former Duke coach Ted Roof bolted to Minnesota before the spring even began. All three of the Cardinals' starters are gone. James Bryant, a transfer from Miami, sat out last year but could be the guy in the middle. Chris Campa, a junior college transfer, also will have an opportunity.
• Coach Steve Kragthorpe will coach the receivers, and he also must find players to replace both starting tight ends. But he has no one with any game experience to choose from.
New coaching staffs are making plans. New offensive and defensive schemes are on the chalkboard. Position battles are about to heat up. The games won't count again until August, but the preparation for the 2008 season is about to kickoff. Here's a quick look at what you need to know about spring practice.
• Spring primer
• Spring power rankings
• Both offensive tackle positions are wide open, and it will be tough to replace Jeff Otah and Mike McGlynn, both NFL prospects.
• Former defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads, who directed the Panthers to the top overall defense in the Big East and the No. 5 ranking nationally, left after eight seasons to join the staff at Auburn. Can former SMU coach Phil Bennett maintain that success?
• The offensive line lost three seniors, including two bookend tackles. The coaches are moving highly touted sophomore Anthony Davis from right guard to left tackle, but right tackle is wide open.
• Two new assistants were added to the staff in special teams coordinator Chris Rippon and Ed Pinkham, whose title on defense hasn't been determined yet.
• After allowing almost 35 points per game last season, the defense needs an overhaul. Greg Robinson hired Dan Conley to coach the linebackers and promoted Derrick Jackson to co-defensive coordinator with Robinson.
• Syracuse averaged just 2 yards per rush last season and five rushing touchdowns all season. Can any of the returning backs -- namely Curtis Brinkley -- rush for more than 400 yards?
• USF will also have to replace cornerbacks Mike Jenkins (three interceptions, 12 pass breakups) and Trae Williams (six interceptions, 11 pass breakups), which won't be easy.
• The evolution of junior quarterback Matt Grothe should help the team build on last year's legitimate success.
• The most obvious story line this spring is how the team moves forward with its new coaching staff and whether it can leave the Rich Rodriguez saga behind.
• The Mountaineers have to replace seven starters on defense, including Johnny Dingle, who also opted for the NFL Draft. The staff is hoping junior college transfer Tevita Finau will provide at least one immediate answer.Heather Dinich is a college football writer for ESPN.com. Send your questions and comments to Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org.