West Virginia won for the thirteenth consecutive time against Rutgers, while Pittsburgh extended its all-time record against Cincinnati to 7-0 a week earlier. Connecticut broke a streak with its first win in 11 tries against a ranked team (South Florida).
All eight Big East schools are still mathematically alive in the conference championship race. While some schools obviously would have to have many games break just right to get back into the race, this factor speaks to the ever-increasing level of competition in the league.
The Big East has four of the top 10 teams in the nation in turnover margin. Connecticut is ranked second nationally, West Virginia is third, and Cincinnati and USF are tied for ninth. Cincinnati was tops in the nation before suffering a deficit in this stat over the past two weeks (its minus six margin in those two games led directly to its two losses), while WVU's six giveaways were the key factor in its loss to USF.
Connecticut's 22-15 triumph over USF, ranked 21st by USA Today, kept the Huskies atop the Big East standings at 3-0 and kept the benchmarks rolling in. It was UConn's first victory over a Division I-A ranked team. This week, the Huskies also appeared in the USA Today (No. 20) polls for the first time ever. After appearing in the BCS Standings for the first time last week at No. 23, the Huskies shot up to No. 13. UConn hosts Rutgers on ESPNU Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
BLAZING A PATH
One of the big reasons for Syracuse's return to competitive status has been the play of wide receiver Mike Williams. He has caught a touchdown pass in five straight games, helping the Orange to wins in two of those contests. The streak ties the team record, held by jointly by Marvin Harrison, Tommy Kane and Rob Moore
Some of the national awards are down to the semifinal stages and the Big East is well represented. Two USF defenders, linebacker Ben Moffitt and defensive end George Selvie, are on their respective award lists. Moffitt is one of 10 candidates for the Butkus Award, while Selvie is one of 12 for the Lombardi Award. Quarterbacks Pat White of West Virginia and Brian Brohm of Louisville are two of 15 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award. Brohm also is one of 10 for the Johnny Unitas Award, which goes to an outstanding senior quarterback. White is a junior.