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2011 Spring Preview - Big East Attitudes
Cincinnati QB Zach Collaros
Cincinnati QB Zach Collaros
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 9, 2011


The attitude for each Big East team going into spring practices.


2011 Big East Spring Preview

The Spring Attitude

Click for each team's spring preview
- Cincinnati | Connecticut | Louisville | Pittsburgh
- Rutgers | South Florida | Syracuse | West Virginia
 
2011 Big East Spring Preview
- 2011 Big East Schedules & Game-By-Game Picks
- 2011 Big East Spring Buzz   
- 2011 Big East Spring Attitudes 
- 2011 Big East Big Spring Questions  
- 2011 Big East Positions To Watch  

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  
 
- Cincinnati

The storm has passed and better days are ahead for Cincinnati. At least that’s the mantra, as Butch Jones enters a pivotal second season as the head coach. Going 4-8 after winning back-to-back Big East titles was a disaster for the program, but that’s now in the rear view mirror. For the Bearcats, this spring represents an opportunity to recapture some of the confidence and swagger that existed when Brian Kelly was still on the sidelines. The slate is clean and the stakes are high for a school that can ill-afford consecutive losing years.

- Connecticut

Has Connecticut’s success vanished with Randy Edsall, who’s now the Maryland head coach? The new staff is determined to prove otherwise. It’s going to have its hands full in the early going, as it attempts to get acclimated with the new surroundings and personnel. Neither the offense nor the defense will stray dramatically from the old regime, which will allow Paul Pasqualoni & Co. to focus more attention on teaching and establishing a soft depth chart. They’ll want to pay special attention to a backfield that’ll be a question mark right through summer camp.
 
- Louisville

After going 7-6, capped by an improbable bowl victory, and scoring big on Signing Day, the Cardinals are looking to build on that success. While there are challenges and the overall talent level remains questionable, Charlie Strong has momentum and a much better feel for the program in his second year on campus. Best of all, the players have bought into his philosophies and with each new class, his presence at the university gradually erases the dark days when Steve Kragthorpe was still calling the shots.

- Pittsburgh

More than anything else, this is going to be a month-long meet-and-greet. Obviously, the new staff brings a fresh outlook and heightened expectations, but this first spring will be more about setting the table for the summer than anything else. The defense has enough quality players, like Brandon Lindsey and  Jarred Holley to be the cornerstone in the early stages of the year. The offense, on the other hand, will get a lot more attention, as it exits the 20th century and begins installing a whole new methodology for putting up points.
 
- Rutgers

After hitting rock bottom under Greg Schiano with last season’s 4-8 debacle, Rutgers is in rebuilding mode whether it accepts it or not. While getting back to .500 isn’t an unreasonable goal, there simply isn’t enough talent to be thinking about the first division of the Big East. Only one player, S Joe Lefeged was named all-conference, and he’s used up his eligibility. The staff has been retooled, highlighted by the hiring of offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, in the hopes of bringing a fresh outlook to the program.

- South Florida

Skip Holtz’s first season at South Florida couldn’t have gone much better, winning eight games and beating Miami and Clemson down the stretch. Now the plan is to seize that momentum and get the program a little closer to the top of the Big East. While no one wants to get carried away so soon, if Holtz can go 8-5 with a team that was supposed to be rebuilding, what can he achieve in his second full year on campus? The growing fan base is eager to witness the answer to that question.

- Syracuse

For the first time in almost a decade, Syracuse is enjoying a positive vibe in the offseason. Not only did it finally return to the postseason, but it knocked off Kansas State in a thrilling game in Yankee Stadium. These are unusually heady times in Upstate New York. Doug Marrone plans to capitalize in the spring, adding more blocks to the foundation and further instilling his work ethic and philosophy. The Orange isn’t so loaded with talent or natural resources that it can afford to take a step in reverse. It needs to keep moving forward in order to remain competitive in the Big East.  

- West Virginia

With the changes in the coaching staff and the shift in offensive philosophy, you could argue that this is West Virginia’s most important spring in over a decade. The month of April will be the staging area for what takes place in September and beyond. The Mountaineers want to see the baton get passed without any fumbles, and begin filling holes on both sides of the ball. Jeff Casteel’s defense is a sore spot, but the offense also needs to mine new playmakers now that RB Noel Devine and WR Jock Sanders are gone.

Click for each team's spring preview
- Cincinnati | Connecticut | Louisville | Pittsburgh
- Rutgers | South Florida | Syracuse | West Virginia
 
2011 Big East Spring Preview
- 2011 Big East Schedules & Game-By-Game Picks
- 2011 Big East Spring Buzz   
- 2011 Big East Spring Attitudes 
- 2011 Big East Big Spring Questions  
- 2011 Big East Positions To Watch  

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