BIG EAST REPORT

Looking for a reason to love the Big East? Search no further than this week's power rankings. UConn rises from No. 8 to No. 5 without scoring an offensive touchdown. The Huskies knocked USF to 0-2 in league play. In all fairness, UConn probably deserved the No. 7 spot last week because Louisville looks solid at No. 8.

Big East Conference power rankings for Week 8 of the college football season:

1. West Virginia (5-1, 1-0): The Mountaineers enjoyed a week off after that dismantling of UConn. At this point, there can be no argument about West Virginia being the best team in the league

2. Cincinnati (5-1, 1-0): The Bearcats already have more wins that last season, when they finished 4-8. Cincinnati leads the Big East in scoring offense (41.7 ppg).

3. Rutgers (5-1, 2-0): The Scarlet Knights have won four straight games for the first time since 2009 after beating Navy (future Big East opponent?) 21-20. Rutgers ranks first in scoring defense (16.0).

4. Syracuse (4-2, 0-1): The Orange move up to No. 4 strictly by default. Who would you put ahead of them? West Virginia comes to the Carrier Dome this week. That should be interesting.

5. UConn (3-4, 1-1): This is a big jump up for the Huskies, who were No. 8 last week – especially since UConn hasn't scored an offensive touchdown in two weeks. But the defense was outstanding against USF.

6. Pitt (3-4, 1-1): When UConn plays at Pitt on Oct. 26 it might feel like a playoff game. Both have defeated Buffalo and USF. Pitt has lost four of five after falling to Utah.

7. South Florida (4-2, 0-2): Maybe Skip Holtz was right about the officiating, but that's not the reason the Bulls lost at UConn. USF couldn't find the end zone.

8. Louisville (2-4, 0-1): The Cardinals are desperately searching for some offense. Until they find that, they are stuck in the basement.

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Friday, October 21

Rutgers at Louisville.......................................8 p.m.

Television: ESPN2

Series: Rutgers leads, 7-3

Last Meeting: Nov. 26, 2010 — Louisville, 40-13

West Virginia at Syracuse................................8 p.m.

The Schwartzwalder Trophy

Television: ESPN

Series: Syracuse leads, 31-27

Last Meeting: Oct. 23, 2010 — Syracuse, 19-14

Saturday, October 22

Cincinnati at USF.............................................Noon

BIG EAST Network Game of the Week

Television: BIG EAST Network

Series: Cincinnati leads, 5-3

Last Meeting: Oct. 14, 2010 — USF, 38-30

Bye Weeks:

Connecticut

Next Game: Oct. 26 at Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh

Next Game: Oct. 26 vs. Connecticut

BIG EAST WEEKLY HONORS

Offensive Player of the Week: Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati

Defensive Player of the Week: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut

Special Teams Player of the Week: Brandon Jones, CB, Rutgers


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