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 SyracuseOnline (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 16, 2004 (first place gets one point, last place gets eight points). There were nine voters this week:
1. Louisville (4-1) – 10 points, eight 1st place votes (#1 last
1. West Virginia (5-1) – 17 points, one 1st place vote (#2 last week)
3. Syracuse (3-3) – 28 points (#3 last week)
4. Pittsburgh (4-2) – 40 points (#7 last week)
5. Connecticut (4-2) – 42 points (#4 last week)
6. Rutgers (4-2) – 52 points (#5 last week)
7. South Florida (2-3) – 66 points (#6 last week)
8. Cincinnati (3-3) – 69 points (#8 last week)
My rankings for the week were:
1. Louisville (#2 last week) – OK. Now I'm
really impressed. Louisville gave Miami all they could handle. If
only Bobby Petrino had better managed the clock at the end. And given his
offense one more chance. Another visit to South Florida awaits.
2. West Virginia (#1 last week) – Brought Connecticut back to earth with a dominating second half after getting the Huskies hopes up. The 'Eers host Syracuse this week.
3. Syracuse (#3 last week) – Coming off a bye week at 3-3. Where expected. A tough visit to Morgantown is up next.
4. Connecticut (#4 last week) – Hung with West Virginia for a half before letting the game get away in the second half. Connecticut was expected to give West Virginia a game. With their passing game. Not their defense. The Huskies get well this week against Temple. Temple whacked Connecticut twice in the past three years. This may yet prove interesting.
5. Pittsburgh (#7 last week) – I'm still trying to figure out how Walt Harris thawed long enough to beat Boston College. And stuff the Eagle running game in the process. Pittsburgh beat Boston College in weakness versus strength on both sides of the ball. Go figure. The Panthers host Rutgers in a bowl elimination game.
6. Rutgers (#6 last week) – Set college football back 50 years in a desultory 16-6 win over inept Temple. Rutgers travels to Pittsburgh in a matchup that will help sort the Big East bowl picture.
7. South Florida (#5 last week) – With each passing weak, the Bulls win over Texas Christian looks less impressive. And a loss to Army doesn't help, either. The Bulls host Louisville this week. Suddenly, the season is slipping away.
8. Cincinnati (#8 last week) – Spared further embarrassments with a bye week. The Bearcats host 5-1 Memphis this week. Resume the position.
Matei's rankings for the week were:
1. Louisville (#1 last week) – Not sure if darlings is an appropriate word for them anymore. They seem more like the long lost sibling you have heard so much about and cannot wait to see again. Louisville's performance this past Thursday night stunned many ... and it's a shame that they were 1 single bounce off the chest, with under two minutes to play, from really ... and I mean really ... making themselves heard.
2. West Virginia (#2 last week) – Taking a back seat to Louisville. Did what they had to do at Connecticut and overwhelmed a team that is still a few recruiting classes away from that next step. If the ‘Eers can establish some semblance of a mid-range passing game, they could be tough come January. If not, they could be picked off by just about anyone in the Big East.
3. Syracuse (#4 last week) – Took the week off after an impressive and, at the same time, disappointing finish against the Seminoles. Recouped and refreshed, they travel to Morgantown to face the conference's leader. For now, they remain in the No. 3 slot, but after what a beating at the hands of West Virginia, look for #3-#6 to undergo a slight shuffle.
4. Connecticut (#3 last week) – They performed exactly
as the script dictated against
West Virginia. And so, they remain in the top half of the conference, still awaiting the next step - for now, they face Temple, which will cure any leftover hangover for the Huskies. One thing that Connecticut does well is beat the teams they are supposed to. Look for the Huskies to do what Rutgers could not: whip the Owls.
5. Rutgers (#5 last week) – A win is indeed a win. Any way you slice it, this team is, today, where it hasn't been in over a decade. Period. A huge contest at suddenly revived Pittsburgh awaits this Saturday. The Scarlet Knights are in position to do something special on Saturday - get within 1 game of the "I won't say it" word, with several to play. That's in fact the reality folks!
6. Pittsburgh (#8 last week) – Very impressive against the
Eagles of Boston College.
Controlled the trenches in a game they weren't supposed to even compete in - well, that's why they play the game. A home date versus the Scarlet Knights may have a significant impact on the direction of the Panther program and subsequent fate of Head Coach Walt Harris. The winner regains further hope, the loser resorts to trite commentary.
7. South Florida (#6 last week) – Strong recruiting classes,
especially over the last two
years, have yet to materialize. The latest disaster was a loss against the now torrid Cadets. An upcoming contest at Louisville spells doom for the Bulls, whose once-promising season has quickly slipped away.
8. Cincinnati (#7 last week) – It is official. Temple
is not leaving the Big East. They
are merely re-disguising themselves as outmoded cats willing to serve as the traditional whipping boy every conference so desperately needs.
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