Early Upsets Aplenty Within the Big East Conference

By Ryan Darcy
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The Big East Conference, as a conference, has almost completely crumbled. For the ranked teams in the Big East, they continue to fall as well. Most teams are two games in to their conference schedule, but already the mighty are falling. It’s nothing new, really, as home teams tend to dominate early on due to the lack of stiff competition they play early on at home.

The No. 15 Georgetown Hoyas fell to the unranked Marquette Golden Eagles at the Bradley Center on Saturday to send them to an 0-1 start. This is more of a mild upset since Marquette was picked fourth in Preseason Coaches’ Poll while the Hoyas were selected 8th. This Saturday, they’ll travel to the Pittsburgh Panthers, a team that is also reeling thanks to Big East play.

Pitt, the 24th-ranked team in the country, is off to an 0-2 start thanks to losses at home to the then-No. 8 Cincinnati Bearcats and on the road to an unranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights team. Though it’s never easy going to the RAC, a win over Rutgers, which is a team with six Big East wins a year ago, should have been a lock. The Panthers travel to Georgetown and then host Marquette, so an 0-4 start might be in the cards.

This is the one no one saw coming–Cincinnati–losing to the St. John’s Red Storm at home. The Bearcats were ranked 14th in the nation before the loss, which will surely drop them in the rankings. A battle with the No. 21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish is on tap tonight as the Bearcats look to get on track after two losses in their past three games. The bad news for Cincinnati is besides their loss to St. Joseph’s, the Irish have crushed every team they’ve played.

Not all the big dogs have dings in their armor thanks to Big East battle. The Louisville Cardinals, Syracuse Orange and the Fighting Irish, picked one through three, respectively in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll have all passed their initial tests. There’s still plenty of time, though.

So my question to you is simple. Should we be worried about the top-ranked teams in the Big East? The answer is simpler: No. We all know the reputation the Big East has as a dog-eat-dog conference. There are no easy games, as was proven true by Rutgers–picked 11th in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll–who defeated a Pitt team picked sixth.

If this is any indication as to how the rest of the season will play out in the Big East, we’re in for a tremendous swan song for the conference.

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