Big East Power Poll
I have been asked to participate in a weekly poll ranking the members of the New Big East Conference. Matei has also agreed to contribute to the poll (as a separate voter). 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 October 9, 2004 (first place gets one point, last place gets eight points). There were ten voters this week:
1. Louisville (4-0) – 15 points, five 1st place votes (#1 last
1. West Virginia (4-1) – 15 points, five 1st place votes (#2 last week)
3. Syracuse (3-3) – 34 points (#4 last week)
4. Connecticut (3-2) – 38 points (#3 last week)
5. Rutgers (3-2) – 57 points (#8 tie last week)
6. South Florida (2-2) – 58 points (#6 last week)
7. Pittsburgh (3-2) – 64 points (#5 last week)
8. Cincinnati (3-3) – 79 points (#7 tie last week)
My rankings for the week were:
1. West Virginia (#1 last week) – Coming off a bye
week. The Mountaineers get a chance to put upstart Connecticut in its
place on Wednesday night on national TV.
2. Louisville (#2 last week) – Also idle this week. The Cardinals have a huge showdown at Miami ahead of them on Thursday night on national TV. This is a huge statement game for the NBE.
3. Syracuse (#4 last week) – Syracuse dropped a heartbreaker to Florida State, 17-13. Syracuse failed to capitalize on plenty of opportunities as the Orange missed 37- and 42-yard FGAs and TB Walter Reyes fumbled at the FS05. OUCH. After looking so poor against Rutgers, who would have expected the Orange to throw such a scare into Florida State? If only the Orange could have pulled it out. The Orange have a bye week next.
4. Connecticut (#3 last week) – It was Idle Week in the Big East and Connecticut played along. The Huskies have an opportunity to make a national statement on national TV against nationally-ranked West Virginia.
5. South Florida (#5 last week) – Also idle..... There's a recurring theme here. The Bulls host a rejuvenated Army team fresh off a huge upset.
6. Rutgers (#8 last week) – The Scarlet Knights set a
school-record with a 24-point comeback victory over Vanderbilt,
37-34. On the road. With a game winning TD drive on the final
possession. But how did the Scarlet Knights manage to spot Vanderbilt a
27-3 lead? Rutgers hosts Temple this week.
7. Pittsburgh (#7 last week) – Trailing 16-6 after a scoreless 3rd Quarter, Pittsburgh scored 21 unanswered points to pull out a lackluster 27-22 win over hapless Temple. Another uninspired effort against an inferior opponent. Will Pittsburgh be able to afford to eat Harris' contract? Pittsburgh hosts everybody's favorite émigré, Boston College.
8. Cincinnati (#6 last week) – Shutout in the second half in a 48-29 loss to Army, breaking the Cadets 19-game losing streak. How do you lose to Army? They are as bad as a Division IAA team. The Bearcats get a desperately needed week off to regroup.
Matei's rankings for the week were:
1. Louisville – The real darlings of the fledgling conference. A victory over hapless Kentucky, a mauling of East Carolina, a destruction of Army's cadets ... and a not so unimpressive wipeout over a Tar Heel team that's already surprised North Carolina State and Georgia Tech's Yellow Jackets. First real test of the year is a big one, at the Orange Bowl against the vaunted Hurricanes.
2. West Virginia – Coulda/woulda/shoulda ... nevertheless, much remains at stake for the Mountaineers and it starts this Wednesday when West Virginia travels to Connecticut in the Big East's first important showdown of the year.
3. Connecticut – Orlovsky has had himself a subpar year thus far - that's pretty scary if he and that offense do get on track. He has a chance to put Connecticut in the national spotlight against mighty West Virginia. With West Virginia's top 2 RBs ailing, the Huskies could be taking yet another step toward the promised land.
4. Syracuse – If there is one squad that has improved from Week 1, it's the Orange. Certainly, improving after their opening game performance wasn't exactly difficult. Could the Orange be this year's Big East sleeper team? After nearly upsetting Florida State, the Orange lick their wounds before traveling south to Morgantown.
5. Rutgers – Better known as Jekyll and Hyde. Who can get a read on this team? One week they beat a mid-level Big 10 team, the next ... If there ever was a chance for the Scarlet Knights to seize the momentum and reel off a few wins, this is it. All-World panacea Temple is in town for its goodbye wave to Piscataway. Will Rutgers reverse back to its dismal ways or have they really found their niche?
6. South Florida – After a week off they now prepare to face an Army squad that's sky high after their first win in 19 tries.
7. Cincinnati – Took an early lead against Army. Then they fell asleep at the wheel. Difficult task at Memphis this week. Is this the Big East's new version of Temple?
8. Pittsburgh – They would be ahead of Temple, even if only by the smallest of margins. Without an offensive line and no rushing attack this once feared offense looks like a clown on stilts. They have a heck of a quarterback in Tyler Palko, but that's not nearly enough.
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.