Big East Power Poll
I have been asked to participate in a weekly poll ranking the members of the New Big East Conference. TexanMark, an administrator of SyracuseFan.com, coordinates and tallies the voting. He has recruited voters from each of the member schools. The weekly rankings are published on a weblog on Syracuse Online (scroll down to the Tuesday entry). Each week, I'll provide a link to the new rankings and publish my selections and commentary.
Here are the rankings after the week of September 18, 2004 (first place gets one point, last place gets eight points):
1. West Virginia (3-0) – 9 points (unanimous)
2. Louisville (2-0) – 18 points (unanimous)
3. Pittsburgh (1-1) – 30 points
4. Syracuse (2-1) – 40 points
5. Connecticut (2-1) – 46 points
6. Cincinnati (1-2) – 59 points
6. South Florida (1-1) – 59 points
8. Rutgers (2-1) – 63 points
My rankings for the week were:
1. West Virginia – A big win over Maryland, 19-16. Though the Mountaineers should have put the game away early, they got the turtle off their back. And kept their national championship dreams alive.
2. Louisville – Clearly the second best team in the New Big East. The Louisville received a hurricane-induced bye.
3. Pittsburgh – There is big dropoff after the top two. The remaining six are pretty evenly bunched at this time. Only time will really sort them out. I give Pittsburgh the nod based upon their usually strong defense and passing game. The postponement of their game at South Florida is an advantage to Pittsburgh. QB Tyler Palko won't be inexperienced in December. The loss to Nebraska, 24-17, was expected.
4. Connecticut – The Huskies lost a grudge match to Boston College in which Connecticut was atypically unpoised – TOs and stupid penalties. The Huskies outplayed Boston College in the middle of the game but couldn't translate that advantage into points. The game was closer than the final score, 27-7, indicated. Connecticut had Boston College worried in the 2nd Half.
5. Syracuse – The Orange won a game that had to win against Cincinnati, 19-7. The Syracuse ground game carried the Orange as Walter Reyes and Damian Rhodes combined for nearly 200 rushing yards. Why doesn't Pasqualoni play both in the same backfield, like West Virginia does with their RBs?
6. South Florida – The Bulls were taken to the woodshed in Columbia, South Carolina. The Gamecocks put it them, so to speak, 34-3. The South Florida defense was supposed to be better than this.
7. Cincinnati – The Bearcats self-destructed, as they so often have behind QB Gino Guidugli (3 INTs). Cincinnati had the offensive firepower to overwhelm Syracuse but apparently couldn't get out of its own way.
8. Rutgers – I had Rutgers ranked #4 early in the season. But, following a loss to Division IAA, it's going to take a few wins for the Scarlet Knights to win back my respect. A shaky win over Kent State, 29-21, isn't going to do it.
Please send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome and appreciate your feedback. And please put "Rutgers" in the message header because I wouldn't want to miss your email in a sea of spam. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss the New Big East power poll with other Rutgers fans, please visit our message board.