Even though its poll means nothing in terms of BCS rankings, West Virginia's placement of 24th in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 could deflect some of the criticism of the league.

Following the release of the coaches Top 25 earlier this summer, in which no Big East team appeared, the league was subjected to a barrage of stories trumpeting that fact. The criticism of the league was certainly valid following its tepid 2010 football season, and its carryover into the 2011 preseason has certainly been a painful item.

Although the Mountaineers aren't on the verge of cracking the Top Ten just yet, and are the only Big East squad represented in the Top 25, at least stories about the release of the poll won't include comments about the league again being shut out.

West Virginia snared 207 votes in the poll, putting it just behind Auburn (219 points) and ahead of USC (160). Pitt (9) was the only other Big East team to garner any votes. WVU opponents in the poll include LSU (4th - 1,286 points) and Maryland (2 points).

According to a breakdown provided by Pollspeak.com the Mountaineers had a wide range of ballot results. WVU was named on 40 of 60 ballots, but was left out of the rankings by notables such as ESPN's Chris Fowler, the Hartfor Courant's Desmond Conner and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ray Fittipaldo. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News, one of the more extreme voters in the poll, gave the Mountaineers their highest vote, placing them seventh in the nation. The Charleston Gazette's Mitch Vingle voted WVU 17th.

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