Saturday, September 15, 2007

Not a particularly good weekend for the BE

Coming into this weekend (but including Thursday night), the Big East combined was 15-2 this season. Both of those loses came during the Greg Robinson farewell tour. Two of those wins were over presumedly decent teams Oregon State and Auburn. In the AP Poll, the BE was represented by WVU at 4, Louisville at 9, Rutgers at 13, USF at 26 and Cinci falling in at 34 just behind Appy State.

Of course, the biggest hit to the conference was Louisville falling to Kentucky 40-34. Unfortunately, my cable company hates me and decided to pull the plug on ESPN Classic so I didn't get to watch it. But from the Middle Tennessee game and the stats from tonight, the problem is obviously their defense. Coming into the Kentucky game, Louisville had scored on 20 of 25 possessions (16 TDs, 4 FGs, 1 punt, 1 fumble and 3 end of half/game). While that efficiency is gawdy, it was accomplished against less than stiff competition. Enter Kentucky, who managed to stop Louisville on a few drives and suddenly, the Cardinal offense couldn't keep up with the deficiencies in their defense. (Between UK and Mid. Ten., the Cards gave up 1014 yards of offense and 82 points.)

The SEC also hurt the Big East today in a second way: Auburn losing to Miss. St. USF squeaked by Auburn in OT, Auburn lost today to Miss St, and Miss St opened the season by getting pummeled by LSU. So where does that leave the quality of USF's win? Well, it certainly doesn't look as impressive now as it did last weekend.

Pitt, despite looking god awful, hung with a Michigan State team until finally losing 17-13. I doubt it will happen, but if Mich. St. loses to ND next week, jesus... Pitt just sucks. How does Pornstache still have his job?

UConn almost lost to Temple. TEMPLE!

Rutgers played a practice squad again today, so they are neither helping nor hurting the conference at this point. A big test comes next week against a decent Maryland team. I think that game will be the first demonstration of what the Scarlet Knights have this year. Thursday night showed me that Maryland has enough talent to finish in the upper 1/2 of the ACC this year. (Yeah, I know. That's not saying much.)

On the other side of the coin, Cinci helped us today. Yes, their win over Miami Ohio helps some, but I'm talking about their win over Oregon State last week. The Beavers beat Utah 24-7 to open the season. Today, those same Utes knocked off #11 UCLA 44-6. Forty Four to Six!

While most of us recognize the fact that A > B > C does not prove A > C in the world of football, those comparisons unfortunately come into play for voters and computer ranking systems.

Um... I had a point to make when I started writing this post... then I drank 3 more beers while writing it. Hmm..
Three weeks in, four conferences have seperated into the lead team and everyone else: WVU, LSU, Oklahoma (whom I still haven't seen, but the WWL seems to love them), and USC. Similarly, those teams face mild out of conference challenges, if any. Its becoming rather likely that we end up with 3 undefeated teams at the end of the year, potentially even 4. If that comes to pass, for WVU to get the nudge into the championship game, the Big East needs to be stellar this season. We had started out that way, but today was a little bit of a bump. And let's hope that is all it is - just a minor bump.

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