Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

Big East Pre-Spring Preview - Early Rankings
Rutgers WR Mark Harrison
Rutgers WR Mark Harrison
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 14, 2011


2011 Big East Pre-Spring Preview - Rankings For All The Big East Teams Before Spring Ball Kicks In

2011 Pre-Spring Preview   

Early Rankings - Big East


Click for each team's pre-spring lookback and lookahead
- Cincinnati | Connecticut | Louisville | Pittsburgh
- Rutgers | South Florida | Syracuse | West Virginia
 
2011 Big East Pre-Spring Preview
- Big East Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On
 
1. West Virginia

2010 CFN Final Ranking: 26
2010 Record: 11-3
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 24
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 10-2
2009 Final Ranking: 21
2008 Final Ranking: 29

The dysfunctional West Virginia coaching situation should overshadow a loaded team that should be the king of the Big East. RB Noel Devine and WR Jock Sanders are gone, but QB Geno Smith and seven other starters are back. The defense has a wee bit of work to do, especially in the linebacking corps, but the focus ill be on the offense. Can Oklahoma State offensive coordinator, and head man in waiting, Dana Holgorsen, make the attack explode? This is a team to watch out for.

2. Syracuse

2010 CFN Final Ranking: 42
2010 Record: 8-5
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 67
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 4-8
2009 Final Ranking: 79
2008 Final Ranking: 104

Was the Pinstripe Bowl the awakening for the offense that sputtered throughout the year? RB Delone Carter is gone, but the receiving corps should be great with Marcus Sales and everyone else returning. If QB Ryan Nassib can take the next step, the attack should be better. Only five starters are back on defense, but the safeties should be strong. They'll have to be with linebackers Derrell Smith and Doug Hogue done.

3. Pittsburgh

2010 CFN Final Ranking: 30
2010 Record: 8-5
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 17
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 10-2
2009 Final Ranking: 14
2008 Final Ranking: 13

Can Todd Graham get the Panthers over the hump? He might have had a chance had RB Dion Lewis and WR Jonathan Baldwin not turned pro early on, but Ray Graham is a good-looking back and QB Tino Sunseri is ... Ray Graham is a good-looking back. The defense should be terrific with a linebacking corps that should be among the best in the Big East.  
 
4. Connecticut

2010 CFN Final Ranking: 8-5
2010 Record: 8-5
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 36
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 7-5
2009 Final Ranking: 36
2008 Final Ranking: 48

Randy Edsall might be gone, and there still might not be any semblance of a passing game, but there are some very, very nice pieces to work with. Nine starters are back on defense including the entire front four and the whole secondary, but losing linebackers Scott Lutrus and Lawrence Wilson isn't a plus. RB Jordan Todman is gone off the offense as is QB Zach Frazer. The O will need tuning up.

5. Cincinnati

2010 CFN Final Ranking: 75
2010 Record: 4-8
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 42
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 8-4
2009 Final Ranking: 6
2008 Final Ranking: 21

Butch Jones might have far more success in his second year with all 11 starters returning on a defense that was full of sophomores last year. Despite losing a slew of starters, the offense should be dangerous with QB Zach Collaros and RB Isaiah Pead leading the way. The problem, though, will be an offensive line that loses three starters.

6. Rutgers

2010 CFN Score: 73
2010 Record: 4-8
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 37
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 7-5
2009 Final Ranking: 32
2008 Final Ranking: 38

Was 2010 an aberration? It might have been, but head coach Greg Schiano has to get more out of his defense even though just five starters are back. The miserable offense of last year gets nine starters back and needs Chas Dodd to take command of the attack right away. The line has to be night and day better, and it should be with four starters back.

7. Louisville

2010 CFN Final Ranking: 43
2010 Record: 7-6
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 72
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 3-9
2009 Final Ranking: 86
2008 Final Ranking: 94

Charlie Strong might have turned things around last year, but he'll have his work cut out for him with just three starters back on offense and five gone from the strong, nasty defense. The defensive tackles, Brandon Dunn and Roy Philon, should grow into something special, while the safeties have the potential to be great. None of it will matter if skill players don't show up right away this offseason.
 
8. South Florida

2010 CFN Final Ranking: T48.
2010 Record: 8-5
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 41
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 8-4
2009 Final Ranking: 50
2008 Final Ranking: 44 

South Florida had among the worst offenses in America last year, and now it has to try to rebuild with seven starters gone. B.J. Daniels is a nice quarterback to work around, but he and the Bulls have to count on a ton of inexperienced prospects to shine right away. The defense should be fantastic with a little bit of time, especially in the secondary. 

Click for each team's pre-spring lookback and lookahead
- Cincinnati | Connecticut | Louisville | Pittsburgh
- Rutgers | South Florida | Syracuse | West Virginia

2011 Big East Pre-Spring Preview
- Big East Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Team Needs To Work On