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.
Here are the rankings after the week of November 6, 2004 (first place gets one point, last place gets eight points). There were only seven voters this week:
1. Louisville (6-1) – 7 points, unanimous (#1 last week)
2. West Virginia (8-1) – 17 points, unanimous (#2 last week)
3. Syracuse (5-4) – 21 points, unanimous (#4 last week)
4. Pittsburgh (5-3) – 32 points (#3 last week)
5. Connecticut (5-3) – 36 points (#5 last week)
6. Cincinnati (5-4) – 40 points (#7 last week)
7. Rutgers (4-5) – 50 points (#6 last week)
8. South Florida (3-4) – 52 points (#8 last week)
My rankings for the week were:
1. Louisville (#1 last week) – The Cardinals won at
Memphis in an epic shootout, 56-49, scoring the winning TD with 0:39
remaining. Louisville hosts Texas Christian next.
2. West Virginia (#2 last week) – The Mountaineers cruised to a comfortable 42-21 victory over Temple. The Mountaineers host Boston College in a showdown the Big East title.
3. Syracuse (#3 last week) – The Orange beat Pittsburgh 38-31 in 2OT at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse blew a 15-point, 1st Half lead but tied the game on a FG with one minute remaining. Syracuse travels to Philadelphia to face Temple.
4 Cincinnati (#7 last week) – After opening the season
at 2-4, including an embarrassing loss at Army, the Bearcats have clawed their
way back into bowl contention with a three-game winning streak. A 52-24
win at #21-ranked Southern Mississippi emphasized the Cincinnati
resurgence. The Bearcats do not play this week.
5. Pittsburgh (#4 last week) – Missed two 4th Quarter FGAs in a double OT loss at Syracuse. Pittsburgh travels to Notre Dame this week. One week ago, this game appeared to be a chance for the Panthers to deny Notre Dame bowl eligibility. Now, Pittsburgh has its own bowl invitation riding on the outcome as Pittsburgh must win out to avoid the Irish denying a bowl bid for the Panthers.
6. Connecticut (#5 last week) – The Huskies did not
play last week. Connecticut travels to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech.
7. South Florida (#8 last week) – Used a 28-point, 4th Quarter blitz to beat Alabama-Birmingham at Legion Field. The Bulls host hapless East Carolina.
8. Rutgers (#6 last week) – Blew yet another 2nd Half lead in losing to Boston College, 21-10. A season promise is rapidly eroding into another year of frustration. Rutgers has a bye week.
Matei's rankings for the week were:
1. Louisville (#1 last week) – Combined with Memphis (5-3) to amass more than two entire football fields worth of yardage. They have the mark of a winner: they win despite not being "on". Louisville moves to 6-1 and will next face Texas Christian (4-4) in a Wednesday night game.
2. West Virginia (#2 last week) – Allowed Temple to crawl back before they put the clamps on in the 3rd Quarter and squish any Owl rally. Did not look good doing it but won convincingly anyway. West Virginia will face Boston College this Saturday, at home, in a crucial game for both teams. The Mountaineers and Eagles are both Top 25 BCS teams.
3. Syracuse (#4 last week) – Paul Pasqualoni has made his case. Barring some disaster, he will take his Orange to a Bowl game this year. The Big East's most surprising team defeated Pittsburgh to claim the conference's #2 spot. The Orange travel to Temple this week for that all-elusive sixth win.
4. Pittsburgh (#3 last week) – Suffered a tough loss at the Carrier Dome, where the Orange play everyone tough. Squandered a sizeable 4th Quarter lead, and the feel-good Panther resurgence of weeks past has vanquished. Pitt (5-3) will face an uphill climb toward eligibility: this weekend they travel to South Bend to face the Irish, followed by the Backyard Brawl two weeks later versus the Big East's defending Champion.
5. Connecticut (#5 last week) – Did not play. Travel to Georgia Tech this week, before closing out against Buffalo and Rutgers.
6. Cincinnati (#7 last week) – Gino Guidugli and his Bearcats moved within a single game of bowl eligibility by stunning #21 Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. For the season, Guidugli has thrown 21 TDs and been picked off only 7 times. Next up is a bye week before facing South Florida.
7. South Florida (#8 last week) – Scored an incredible 28 points in the 4th Quarter and defeated Alabama-Birmingham (5-3) to move to 3-4 on the year. The Bulls look to continue to turn their fortunes around when they face East Carolina (2-6) this coming Saturday.
8. Rutgers (#6 last week) –The good, the bad, and the ugly: 6.5 is the margin of victory for Rutgers' 4 wins this year (that's the good: 4 wins is wonderful for Rutgers ... any year). 12.2 is the margin of defeat for Rutgers' 5 defeats this year (that's the bad: 5 losses ... so far). The ugly: what were the odds that the Scarlet Knights would win but 3 games after their season-opening victory against Michigan State? I would have lost my house on this one - thankfully, I don't have one.
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.