The 2010-2011 Big East Football season is about to begin within the next couple of weeks. The Big East Conference was just about ready to be broke up with all the Big Ten expansion stories floating around all summer. However, nothing was ever settled on the expansion, so the Big East continues on for now. The Big East prediction for team finish is below:
West Virginia Mountaineers-the Mountaineers return 9 defensive and 9 offensive players from a team that finished 9-4 in the Big East last year. However, with an unproven sophomore quarterback the Mountaineers season could go either way regarding win/loss record. West Virginia returns a tough defense that should keep them in most games and as long as Noel Devine is carrying the ball the Mountaineers have a chance to put points on the board.
Pittsburgh Panthers-the Panthers return three of the top players in the Big East in Dion Lewis at running back, Greg Romeus at defensive end and Jonathan Baldwin at wide receiver. However, the Panthers will also be starting a new quarterback and a young defense that will keep them from winning the Big East conference.
South Florida Bulls-the Bulls under the new regime of Skip Holtz who took mediocre East Carolina teams to bowl games will look to put the Bulls back into the top of the Big East. Sophomore B.J. Daniels will be the quarterback again with a year of experience under his belt. However, Holtz inherited a team that lost 7 players on the defensive side of the ball. Holtz will have the Bulls ready to compete in the Big East when conference play begins.
Connecticut Huskies-the Huskies could be a title contender this year returning 8 players on both sides of the ball this year. The Huskies should improve on last years 8-5 season last year. Quarterback Zach Frazier should help guide the Huskies to at least a 9-4 record this year. Coach Randy Edsall has built the Huskies up to a contender this year so this might be the dark horse team of the league.
Cincinnati Bearcats-the Bearcats also have a new coach in Butch Davis since Brian Kelly left to become the head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Davis is known to put points on the board and with Zach Collaros taking the reigns of quarterback for good this season will help the Bearcats put points on the board. However, Davis’ defensive unit will give up a lot of points as well. Be prepared to see high scoring games from the Bearcats and their opponents this year.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights-the Scarlet Knights return freshman sensation quarterback Tom Savage, but they still have an unproven running game and offensive line. The Knights could be a contender, but could fall fast if they don’t get an early win in the Big East. Rutgers return 6 starters on defense from last year and with the addition of some new freshman the Knights defense should keep them in games.
Louisville Cardinals-the Cardinals have a new coach as well in the Big East when they hired Charlie Strong from Florida as their head coach. Strong is known for his offense and will have senior quarterback Adam Froman and running back Victor Anderson to lead them offensively. However, the Cardinals must improve the defensive side of the ball or it could end up in last place in the Big East. The Cardinals could be a surprise in the Big East, but Strong will need a few years of recruiting to get the players he needs to compete every year in the Big East.
Syracuse Orangemen-The Orangemen only return 4 starters on the offensive side of the ball. Overall, the Orangemen will be playing players that lack any playing experience. Coach Doug Marrone will have to make do with the players he has and it could be a long season for the Orangemen.