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What was written about USF/ the Big East on ESPN.com

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Big East power rankings: Bulls still the best

September 15, 2008 10:44 AM

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

1. South Florida (3-0): I now have little doubt that the Bulls are the Big East's best team. The question is: can they be the most consistent?



Updated Conference Rankings

Monday, September 15, 2008 | Feedback | Print Entry

Posted by Bruce Feldman

7. Big East:

Preseason: 5 -- A Thursday night home game appeared to be the springboard West Virginia would use to bound into the top 5 and a possible BCS title shot.

Early Returns: If it weren't for USF rallying to beat Kansas, the league would be completely irrelevant after Pitt got upset at home by Bowling Green, WVU got pounded by ECU and the next level teams have come up flat on offense.

Prediction: Even if the Bulls keep winning, they're going to need a few of their league brothers to climb into the top 25 to boost the Bulls competition stock.



SEC is top conference so far, but Big 12 isn't far behind

By Mark Schlabach


Updated: September 15, 2008

7. Big East

What we believed: West Virginia would be too good to skip a beat in coach Bill Stewart's first full season. With quarterback Pat White and tailback Noel Devine returning, the Mountaineers would pick up where former coach Rich Rodriguez left off. South Florida would contend for a Big East title, despite losing several key players on defense. Rutgers would have one of the country's best passing games after losing star tailback Ray Rice. Pittsburgh would be one of the country's most improved teams and might even challenge for a Big East title.

Big East What we know: After saving itself in the past two seasons, the Big East isn't very good this year. West Virginia lost at East Carolina 24-3 in a game that wasn't that close. Rutgers is 0-2 after being embarrassed at home by Fresno State and North Carolina. Pittsburgh lost to Bowling Green 27-17 in its opener. Louisville isn't much better in coach Steve Kragthorpe's second season. Syracuse might be the worst team from a BCS conference. South Florida is carrying the Big East flag this season and might be good enough to finish 11-1.



We are the Big East and we are ...

September 15, 2008 11:16 AM

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

... taking a step back.

Two years ago, Louisville, West Virginia and Rutgers were all in the top 10. But then Bobby Petrino left for the Atlanta Falcons (on his way to Arkansas). Rich Rodriguez bolted for Michigan. And Greg Schiano hasn't been able to sustain the momentum in New Jersey. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has yet to climb above mediocrity and Syracuse is enduring its worst stretch in history. Both those tradition-rich programs should be league tent poles.

So it's no wonder the Big East is struggling in 2008.

But ...

South Florida is blossoming into the power everyone always thought it could be. It's way too early to count out Steve Kragthorpe at Louisville or Bill Stewart at West Virginia. Brian Kelly is building a consistent winner at Cincinnati, and Randy Edsall is taking Connecticut to new heights. Perhaps this is a step back for now, with a major leap forward on the way.

Best case scenario: South Florida runs the table and forces its way into the national title mix. West Virginia or UConn wins enough to earn consideration for an at-large BCS bid.

Worst-case scenario: A falling tide sinks all boats. South Florida loses a league game, and everyone writes off the entire league as subpar. A poor bowl season makes critics wonder why the Big East deserves an automatic BCS bid instead of the overachieving Mountain West.


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I'm curious if the Mountain West will hold up, currently being ranked above the ACC and Big East.  It appears they just went purely by record against FCS, though. 

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