Big East Football: Power Ranking the Conference
With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, the race is the Big East is stuck in a log jam with five teams atop the conference at two losses. The victory by Rutgers over the weekend against Cincinnati gives them a chance to go to the Orange Bowl, but there are a few other teams in the mix and anything could happen in the last two weeks. Here are the rankings of the eight teams in the Big East.
1. Rutgers (8-3, 4-2): The Scarlet Knights only have one game remaining and a win against Connecticut will at least give them a share of the Big East title. Receiver Mohamed Sanu is one of the best in the country at over 1,000 yards and the defense ranks 9th in the country allowing less than 17 points per game.
2. West Virginia (7-3, 3-2): The Mountaineers are in the race once again and if they can win their remaining two games against Pittsburgh and South Florida, there is a good chance they will be going to the Orange Bowl. Quarterback Geno Smith is heading toward a first-team all-Big East selection and the Mountaineers are still the most talented team in the conference.
3. Cincinnati (7-3, 3-2): The Bearcats are coming off of two straight losses and are now back with the rest of the pack. The injury to quarterback Zach Collaros has proved costly and the Bearcats will need to win out and get some help to make it back to the Orange Bowl.
4. Louisville (6-5, 4-2): The Louisville Cardinals have been one of the hottest teams in the country as of late and are winners of four of their last five. Their only remaining game is Friday against South Florida. If Louisville can win and get a little help, they also still have a shot at the Orange Bowl. The defense is second to Rutgers in the Big East.
5. Pittsburgh (5-5, 3-2): The Panthers have played solid football after the season-ending injury to Ray Graham. If they can win out and get a lot of help, they will be in the Orange Bowl, but as it looks, they need to win one of their final two games to become bowl eligible.
6. Connecticut (4-6, 2-3): The Huskies will need to win both of their remaining two games to become bowl eligible. To do that they will need to knock off Rutgers and Cincinnati. Tough sledding for a team that represented the Big East in the Orange Bowl last season.
7. South Florida (5-5, 1-4): The Bulls are coming off a tough loss to in-state rival Miami over the weekend and have lost five of their past six games. They will need to beat either Louisville or West Virginia to become bowl eligible. Quarterback B.J. Daniels ranks in the top 15 in the country in yards from scrimmage.
8. Syracuse: (5-5, 1-4): The Orange have struggled mightily in Big East play since knocking off West Virginia. They have lost three games in a row and like South Florida will need one more win to become bowl eligible. Quarterback Ryan Nassib has thrown 20 touchdown passes so far this season.