- West Virginia
- South Florida
The next four teams on my list are interchangable but I decided not to take weakling way out and call them tied for 2nd. (though the Big East is notorious for multiple teams finishing in the same spot.) I just really like what Charlie Strong is doing in L-ville. I am glad that we get them at home this year. USF is pretty much universally settled in at the 1 or 2 spot in all the other rankings. They certainly will be a player in this process to settle the Big East Crown. It is apparent that Skip Holtz is recruiting very well. Until, USF wins a conference title they will remain undervalued by me. Yes Bulls fans I know you have our number in Tampa. The next incarnation of Panther Football may prove to be impressive, however, unlike WVU where component parts were plentiful for the new staff, Pitt has a long way to go in terms of fitting that system with the right type of player. There placement here is more due to a stout defense than what they will produce on the offensive side of the ball. Though I think they will improve throughout the season and will likely give WVU, Pitt's best shot. Syracuse is definitely moving in a positive direction and Coach Marrone is doing the right things, but I still think they are a long way off in terms of talent.
Cincinnati may very well have the best or second best offensive unit in the league, so why do I have them so far down the list. It is my contention that they will have the worst defense in the league. They will win some games outscoring their opponents, but they will also give up more points than any other defensive unit in my humble opinion. It does not appear that the bad defense of last year is doing anything to remedy that problem this year. Thus they fall to 6th in my power rankings.
Rutgers is a bit of an enigma. They are killing it on the recruiting trail. They have solid coaching. They have talent on the line. So what is going on in Piskataway? I think that they will win some games this year and may even move up in my Power rankings rather quickly as the year progresses, but it is hard to start this team up the power rankings when they did what they did last year. Thus, they are my big wait and see team this year.
Finally, the defending Big East representative to the BCS, resides at the very back of the bus. A bit harsh on my part, maybe, but please tell me where the offense is coming from. They have a new coach, they have mass player replacements to make, they have problems. I see this team on a free fall from the top of the Big East to the very bottom.
A disclaimer on these power rankings. You see that they are a pre-camp evaluation. Once camp starts and injuries and depth charts are stabilized this Power Ranking could look very different. Stay tuned. I know I will.