Louisville was chosen to finish second and received the other six first-place votes. In their first season in the Big East in 2005, head coach Bobby Petrino's Cardinals recorded a 9-3 overall mark and finished second in the league with a 5-2 record, earning an invitation to the Toyota Gator Bowl. The U of L was ranked 19th in the final AP Poll and 20th in the final USA Today Poll. This season, Louisville returns 19 starters - eight on offense and nine on defense.
Pittsburgh was picked to finish third in the league. In Dave Wannstedt's first season at the helm of the Panthers a year ago, Pitt finished 5-6 overall and tied for third in the conference with a 4-3 league mark. The Panthers return six players on both sides of the football this season.
|POS||TEAM (1st Pl Votes)||PTS|
|1.||West Virginia (18)||186|
USF was chosen to finish fifth in the conference. In their inaugural Big East campaign a year ago, the Bulls finished tied for third with a 4-3 league mark. In just its ninth season of existence, head coach Jim Leavitt's program went to its first ever bowl game - the Meineke Car Care Bowl - and finished the season with a 6-6 overall record. The Bulls return 15 starters in 2006.
Connecticut was picked to finish sixth in the league this season. The Huskies posted a 5-6 overall record and a 2-5 conference mark in 2005. Despite a number of critical injuries, UConn went into the final week of the regular season still fighting for a bowl berth. Head coach Randy Edsall's Huskies return 15 starters this season.
Cincinnati was tabbed seventh in the preseason poll. In their first season in the league in 2005, head coach Mark Dantonio's young Bearcat squad registered a 4-7 overall record and a 2-5 mark in the Big East. Cincinnati returns 10 starters on defense and seven on offense. Syracuse was selected to finish eighth in the league. The Orange went 1-10 overall a year ago and were 0-7 in conference play. First-year coach Greg Robinson's SU squad was vastly improved defensively last season, ranking 21st in the nation against the pass. The Orange return 42 letterwinners in 2006, including 12 starters.