Big East Title Up for Grabs

Say what you will about the Big East Conference, but in college football this league is the land of opportunity. It's still possible that all eight teams could go to bowl games. Not likely, but possible.

And if UConn wins one of its last three games (that, I would say, is quite likely), every team in the Big East will have at least five wins this season. The only conference that has had each member finish with at least five wins is the Big Ten – and that was in 1904 and 1905.

Big East Conference power rankings for Week 12 of the college football season:

1. West Virginia (7-3, 3-2): This is where the Mountaineers should have been all season. We dropped them down after the Syracuse loss, but it's back to No. 1 after the victory over Cincinnati. This is where WVU should stay.

2. Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1): Can't keep the Bearcats on top after they lost to West Virginia. And the loss of quarterback Zach Collaros for the remainder of the season doesn't afford much confidence for the future.

3. Rutgers (7-3, 3-2): The Scarlet Knights have been another yo-yo team in the rankings. The winning combination for Rutgers involves defense, special teams and receiver Mohamed Sanu. Big home game vs. Cincinnati on Saturday.

4. Pitt (5-5, 3-2): Win over UConn. Loss to Cincinnati. Win at Louisville. Now Pitt is off until Nov. 25 when the Panthers travel to West Virginia for the Backyard Brawl. Pitt's fate could be in the hands of QB Tino Sunseri.

5. UConn (4-5, 2-2): The Huskies have a chance to make everyone forget about their horrible start. The fact is UConn could and should have three more wins (Vanderbilt, Iowa State and Western Michigan). That would have everyone viewing the Huskies in another light.

6. Louisville (5-5, 3-2): The Cardinals had their three-game winning streak snapped with last week's loss to Pitt. This team is loaded for the future but a win at UConn Saturday would improve the present once again.

7. Syracuse (5-5, 1-4): Syracuse has lost three consecutive games since beating West Virginia. Yeah, the Orange beat up the Mountaineers. Hard to believe then. Hard to remember now. Syracuse has Cincinnati and Pittsburgh left on the schedule.

8. South Florida (5-4, 1-4): The Bulls beat Syracuse. Good for them. Still very disappointed in the way this team has performed. This week USF steps out of the conference to play in-state rival Miami.

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Saturday, Nov. 19

Cincinnati at Rutgers.......................................Noon

Television: ESPNU

Series: Cincinnati leads, 8-7-1

Last Meeting: Nov. 20, 2010 — Cincinnati, 69-38

Louisville at Connecticut..................................Noon

BIG EAST Network Game of the Week

Television: BIG EAST Network

Series: Louisville leads, 4-3

Last Meeting: Oct. 23, 2010 — Louisville, 26-0

Miami (Fla.) at USF.................................... 3:30 p.m.

Television: ESPNU

Series: Miami leads, 2-1

Last Meeting: Nov. 27, 2010 — USF, 23-20 ot

Bye Weeks

Pittsburgh

Next Game: Nov. 25 at West Virginia

Syracuse

Next Game: Nov. 26 vs. Cincinnati

West Virginia

Next Game: Nov. 25 vs. Pittsburgh

BIG EAST WEEKLY HONORS

Offensive Player of the Week: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

Defensive Player of the Week: Julian Miller, DT, West Virginia

Special Teams Player of the Week: Eain Smith, S, West Virginia


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