Big East Power Rankings: Week Four
I was wrong.
After a 36-27 loss to woeful Maryland on Sept. 8, I said Temple was still better than Connecticut, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. But that was before Pitt stunned then No. 13 Virginia Tech and UConn beat the Terrapins' team the Owls couldn’t defeat.
That’s changed my mind about the Owls (1-1), who dropped to seventh in the updated Big East Power Rankings.
Here’s a look at my power rankings:
1. LOUISVILLE (3-0)
Skinny: Are you tired of me writing about Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater? I hope not, because he’s a beast. The sophomore has completed 81.8 percent (72 of 88) of his passes without any interceptions. Twentieth-ranked Louisville is 3-0 for the first time since 2006.
Previous ranking: 1
Up next: at Florida International at 7 p.m. Saturday
2. RUTGERS (3-0, 1-0)
Skinny: There’s a thought that Rutgers lacks the big passing plays needed to contend for the conference title. I disagree. The combination of tailback Jawan Jamison and the nation’s fifth-best scoring defense (8.3 points per game) will keep them in the hunt.
Previous ranking: 2
Up next: at Arkansas at 7 p.m. Saturday
3. CINCINNATI (2-0, 1-0)
Skinny: The Bearcats have a conference-best five game winning streak, dating back to last season. But Cincinnati needs to hold onto the football after last weekend’s 23-7 victory over Delaware State. If not, the Bearcats won’t be able to beat Rutgers and Louisville.
Previous ranking: 4
Up next: vs. Virginia Tech at FedEx Field (Md.) on Sept. 29
4. PITTSBURGH (1-2, 0-1)
Skinny: Talk about making a statement. The Panthers pulled off the Big East’s biggest win by stunning then No. 13 Virginia Tech, 35-17, on Saturday. Was it a fluke? We will find out. But for now, it moved Pitt up four spots.
Previous ranking: 8
Up next: vs. Gardner-Webb at 3:30 p.m. Saturday
5. SOUTH FLORIDA (2-1, 0-1)
Skinny: The Bulls might be the most overhyped team in the Big East. After Thursday’s setback to Rutgers, they have lost nine of their past 10 conference games. It’s hard to take a team seriously when that happens.
Previous ranking: 3
Up next: at Ball State at 4:30 p.m. Saturday
6. CONNECTICUT (2-1)
Skinny: The Huskies have limited their first three opponents to an average of 2.9 yards per play. Connecticut had six sacks in Saturday’s 24-21 victory at Maryland. Dismal offensive play is the only thing keeping UConn from moving up the power rankings.
Previous ranking: 6
Up next: at Western Michigan at 2 p.m. Saturday
7. TEMPLE (1-1)
Skinny: Perhaps the Owls aren’t as good as I thought. Sure Temple defeated Villanova, an undermanned Football Championship Subdivision squad. But it lost to an unimpressive Maryland squad that was limited to 205 yards of total offense last week versus Connecticut.
Previous ranking: 5
Up next: at Penn State at 3:30 p.m. Saturday
8. SYRACUSE (1-2)
Skinny: The good news is the Orange snapped a seven-game losing streak, dating back to last season. However, Syracuse wasn’t overly impressive in Saturday’s 28-17 victory over Stony Brook, an FCS program. That’s why it is back in the basement.
Previous ranking: 7
Up next: at Minnesota at 8 p.m. Saturday