When Oliver Luck called the Big East a “sinking ship” upon West Virginia’s departure to the Big 12, few blinked an eye. Yet, despite losing Geno Smith — the Heisman front-runner right now — and the Mountaineers, the Big East is holding it’s own early in this 2012 season.
While the competition isn’t as fierce as anything seen in the SEC, Pac-12, or Big 10, don’t discount these three teams as mediocre. The Big East isn’t sending anyone to the BCS Title Game now or in the near future, but all three of these teams have ability.
Louisville was ranked to start the season, is led by a former BCS Title defensive coordinator in Charlie Strong, and has a quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater that could start for most Top 25 teams.
Rutgers is finding success under new coach Kyle Flood because of the program groundwork laid by Greg Schiano. They have a legitimate star back in Jawan Jamison, have won on the road in South Florida and Arkansas, and have a great defense.
Cincinnati could be the most underrated of the three. Their neutral site win over Virginia Tech on Saturday shouldn’t be overlooked. If VT goes on their annual late season run, odds are it won’t be.
Bearcats head coach Butch Jones was asked about the preseason perception of the league earlier this week.
“A lot of the stuff that has been written has been unfair,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of facts that we can back up with our play, from our bowl games to our BCS bowl games, to the level of competition to the amount of players we’ve had in the National Football League. I don’t think it’s been deserving, but the only way we can change that perception is by the way we perform on the field. I think we’re doing that.”
So far, so good.