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 our selections and commentary. I missed the voting deadline this week so my picks are not reflected in the poll.
Here are the rankings after the week of October 30, 2004 (first place gets one point, last place gets eight points). There were nine voters this week:
1. Louisville (5-1) – 11 points, seven 1st place votes (#1 last
2. West Virginia (7-1) – 16 points, two 1st place votes (#2 last week)
3. Pittsburgh (5-2) – 32 points (#3 last week)
4. Syracuse (4-4) – 33 points (#5 last week)
5. Connecticut (5-3) – 43 points (#4 last week)
6. Rutgers (4-4) – 57 points (#6 last week)
7. Cincinnati (5-3) – 59 points (#7 last week)
8. South Florida (2-4) – 71 points (#8 last week)
My rankings for the week were:
1. Louisville (#1 last week) – Coming off a bye week,
the Cardinals travel to Memphis for a showdown with the 5-2 Tigers.
2. West Virginia (#2 last week) – Held off Rutgers for a 35-30 win behind a powerful running game and a big-play passing game. Host lowly 1-7 Temple this week.
3. Syracuse (#5 last week) – The Orange slapped down Connecticut, 42-30, but not without a fight from the pesky Huskies. Syracuse hosts Pittsburgh in a showdown for bowl positioning that could yet prove to be a bowl elimination game.
4. Pittsburgh (#4 last week) – Pittsburgh did not play
last week. The Panthers travel to Syracuse, where they traditionally have
not fared well. Except for their last visit. But Larry Fitzgerald
won't be around to carry the Panthers this year.
5. Connecticut (#3 last week) – The Big East continues to welcome the Huskies with hard slaps of reality. Last week, Syracuse took its turn in a 42-30 victory. The Huskies led at halftime but couldn't stay with the Orange in the 2nd Half. Connecticut gets a bye this week.
6. Rutgers (#6 last week) – After sloppy, uninspired efforts against Temple and Pittsburgh, Rutgers battled West Virginia in a 35-30 loss but the sloppy play – four TOs – again did in the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers travels to Boston College with a chance to get in a parting shot on the Eagles and potentially deny Boston College a coveted sixth consecutive bowl appearance.
7. Cincinnati (#7 last week) – Handled suddenly mediocre Texas Christian, 21-10 to even their season record. However, the Bearcats visit 5-1 Southern Mississippi this week. Bowl eligibility will be an uphill climb for Cincinnati.
8. South Florida (#8 last week) – Coming off a bye week. The Bulls travel to 5-2 Alabama-Birmingham as their season continues its freefall.
Matei's rankings for the week were:
1. Louisville (#1 last week) – Enjoyed the week off. Next up is an important road date at Memphis (5-2). Louisville needs this game to keep pace with Southern Mississippi atop the Conference USA standings.
2. West Virginia (#2 last week) – After a quick start the Mountaineers were pushed nearly to the brink at Piscataway versus Rutgers. In the end, Rasheed Marshall may be too much for a single team to handle. A home date versus the hapless Temple Owls looms next, the last non-test of the year.
3. Pittsburgh (#3 last week) – That sound you hear is the
shrieking 'hell-yeah' coming
out of Walt Harris' office. Left for dead, Pittsburgh holds its BCS destination in its hands. The Panthers must travel to the Dome where the Orange are always tough - the last tune-up before a potential brawl against West Virginia on Nov. 25th to decide the Big East's victor.
4. Syracuse (#5 last week) – The critics have spoken ... and the critics have been silenced. Paul Pasqualoni and his squad had little problem in putting away Connecticut in the 3rd Quarter of their contest, placing Syracuse just two wins from bowl eligibility. Syracuse continues to impress at home, where they face suddenly revived Pittsburgh in a crucial Big East showdown.
5. Connecticut (#4 last week) – So we can assume they
are not quite ready for a BCS bid. The Huskies have but three games left
on their schedule and a single conference
game left. This weekend they're off before heading down south to battle the enigma known as Georgia Tech.
6. Rutgers (#6 last week) – Minus 4 in the TO
department and yet, only a correct call
away from having a chance to recover an onside kick against the conference's top dogs, with a chance to win the game. How is that possible? Simple, Rutgers is not that bad; they are just inconsistent. If the Scarlet Knights remember how to hold on to the ball, they will beat someone ... maybe more than just a single someone.
7. Cincinnati (#7 last week) – Defeated Texas Christian at
home to move to 0.500. Gino Guidugli paced an offense that decided to take
the 2nd Half off. They will need to up
the ante significantly when they travel to Southern Mississippi this weekend.
8. South Florida (#8 last week) – Rested this past week and
prepared for Alabama-Birmingham (5-2). If not for the promising talent
signed sealed and delivered to the Bulls the past few years, one would think
this program was about to go in the tank.
They've shown little life since a victory at Texas Christian more than a month ago.
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.