New 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 the SyracuseFan.com message board. 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 27, 2004 (first place gets one point, last place gets eight points). There were eight voters this week.
1. Louisville (9-1) – 8 points, unanimous (#1 last week)
2. Pittsburgh (7-3) – 20 points (#3 last week)
3. West Virginia (8-3) – 23 points (#2 last week)
4. Syracuse (6-5) – 32 points (#5 last week)
5. Connecticut (7-4) – 43 points (#6 last week)
6. Cincinnati (6-5) – 47 points (#4 last week)
7. South Florida (4-6) – 55 points, (#7 last week)
8. Rutgers (4-7) – 63 points, (#8 last week)
My rankings for the week were:
1. Louisville (#1 last week) – Stomped the guts out of
Cincinnati, 70-7, after Cincinnati stomped on the Cardinal logo before the
game. The Cardinals clinched the Conference-USA title with a hurricane
make-up game remaining at Tulane.
2. Pittsburgh (#3 last week) – Gutted out a tough 16-13 win over West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl to earn a likely BCS bowl bid. Assuming the Panthers can win at South Florida.
3. West Virginia (#2 last week) – Ended a
disappointing regular season with a loss at Pittsburgh. West Virginia had
Top 10 aspirations that ended with a thud. The Mountaineers nonetheless
drew a second consecutive Gator Bowl bid.
4. Syracuse (#5 last week) – Followed an improbable loss at Temple with an even more improbably anhiliation of Boston College at Chestnut Hill. The Orange snapped a three-year league road losing streak in impressive fashion. Without their top two TBs for much of the game. It would appear that Paul Pasqualoni has salvaged his job for another year.
5. Cincinnati (#4 last week) – Lost to Louisville by 63 points and still earned a bowl bid. Not a bad week, all things considered.
6. Connecticut (#6 last week) – Beat Rutgers
40-35 on Thanksgiving morning. The Huskies finished 3-3 in their inaugural
Big East season and will earn a bowl bid.
7. South Florida (#7 last week) – Dropped out of bowl contention with a 31-15 loss to Memphis at home. The Bulls finish their season in a hurricane make-up game with Pittsburgh.
8. Rutgers (#8 last week) – Lost their third game to Connecticut in another in a long string of defensive meltowns as the Huskies gained over 500 yards of total offense. Connecticut will be going to a bowl game while Greg Schiano is still talking about processes and progress. Which is real and which is imaginary?
Matei's rankings for the week were (he did not vote last week):
1. Louisville (#1 two weeks ago) – What else can you say? Put a whopping on a decent team that had been playing well. Too bad for Utah, or for that dropped INT at the Orange Bowl. Had this been next year, the Cardinals would be BCS Bound. A contest versus Tulane (5-5) is Louisville's last chance to sneak in to the Elite 6.
2. Pittsburgh (#2 two weeks ago) – All hail Walt Harris. He took a fumbling team that narrowly escaped Furman to the edge of BCS Stardom. Is there another team in the entire country that has improved from week to week as much as this squad? Harris' most important test to date comes against South Florida, December 4th.
3. West Virginia (#3 two weeks ago) – The season that should have been has quickly soured into the season to forget. The high hopes of yester-year have, nevertheless, turned into a Gator Bowl bid for the Mountaineers. Not too shabby for a down year.
4. Syracuse (#7 two weeks ago) – Walking papers in hand, Paul Pasqualoni decided he would like to send a message to the departing Eagles. And what a message it was. The Orange are once more bowl eligible after pounding Boston College, and perhaps putting away any BCS thoughts Eagles fans will have ... for a long, long time.
5. Connecticut (#5 two weeks ago) – Randy Edsall is a college football god. What more can you say about a man that literally had nothing but a dream - no stadium, no facilities, no history, and no tradition - and turned it in to a Bowl reality. At 7-4, the Huskies are actually headed bowling.
6. Cincinnati (#4 two weeks ago) – Too bad they had to play Louisville, who wants nothing more than a chance to impress the pollsters every time out. Still, the hapless early season Bearcats have turned their season into a positive one and will be headed for post-season play, after finishing 6-5.
7. South Florida (#6 two weeks ago) – There is talent on
this team, and being situated within the hotbed recruiting state of Florida, you
might miss this program's rise if you focus too much on their 4-6 record.
8. Rutgers (#8 two weeks ago) – Army is suddenly revived. Navy can remarkably reach double-digits in victories this year (one remaining game, plus bowl game). Arizona State, despite losing to Arizona this past week, exceeded all expectations. Heck, Syracuse romped Boston College in a game the country practically gave to the ACC-bound Eagles. Even lowly Temple had a last laugh as they won their last Big East game. But some things never change - the comatose giant known as Rutgers has gone back to sleep. The paramedics are now rushing in to test whether the giant is even alive.
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