Cincinnati Bearcats Fall to NC State Wolfpack: Why Is the Big East So Bad?

Jeremy Lookabaugh Correspondent ISeptember 17, 2010

Cincinnati's Loss to NC State 

The Cincinnati Bearcats fell to the NC State Wolfpack Thursday, 30-19, and are now 1-2 this season with a game against the No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners next week.

NC State quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns to help the Wolfpack beat Cincinnati, giving NC State its first 3-0 start since Philip Rivers was the quarterback in 2002.

NC State drove 93 yards on its first scoring drive, ending with a 16-yard touchdown catch from Wilson to receiver Jay Smith.

The Wolfpack drove another 90 yards on their second scoring drive, which ended in a 31-yard touchdown run by Mustafa Green. It was 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

NC State never trailed in the game, putting up close to 500 yards of total offense. The defense finished with five sacks, hurried quarterback Zack Collaros four times, and notched a 4th-and-1 stop early in the fourth quarter. The only blemish was allowing Cincinnati to score a pair of meaningless touchdowns in the final six-and-a-half minutes.

"Its inexcusable," Bearcats head coach Butch Jones said. "Our players have got to play better, our coaches have got to coach better, everything in our program."


Preseason Rankings

NC State, predicted to finish fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference alone, defeated a team that some experts had finishing second in Big East. 

The worst part is that Cincinnati was never in Thursday night's game. They were dominated on both sides of the ball.

The rest of the ACC did not help its cause last week when Virginia Tech lost to James Madison and Oklahoma blew out Florida State.


The Other Big East "Powers"—Pitt Panthers 

The Pittsburgh Panthers were the preseason favorites to win the Big East, but lost to Utah in their opener, and they play the Miami Hurricanes next Thursday night.

Greg Romeus, the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, has to get back surgery, and it is unknown when he will return.

The Panthers' pass defense was horrendous against Utah's Jordan Wynn; imagine how many yards they will give up when Jacory Harris comes to Heinz Field.


The Other Big East "Powers"—Connecticut Huskies

Michigan absolutely destroyed the Huskies in Week 1. The score was 30-10, but could have easily been much worse.

They play a weak non-conference schedule, with games against Temple, Buffalo, and Vanderbilt in the next three weeks before Big East play begins.


The Other Big East "Powers"—West Virginia Mountaineers

The Mountaineers are No. 21 in the latest AP Top 25 poll, but how? They defeated Coastal Carolina at home 31-0 and then had to pull off a late fourth-quarter comeback to defeat a Marshall team that is in rebuilding mode.

West Virginia plays some quality non-conference opponents, including Maryland at home, traveling to No. 15 LSU, and then hosting UNLV.


The Big East

Questions arise every year on whether the Big East Conference deserves the automatic BCS bowl bid for the conference champion.

There are some non-BCS football teams that could win the Big East or put up a strong fight.

The only way Big East teams win games is by beating each other. Pitt will still win the Big East, but the Panthers will lose two games out of conference and another in conference play.

The Big East is not overrated because there is not a single person who had them as a quality conference. The problem is when the top-tier Big East teams continue to struggle against subpar teams.

The ACC is not a power football conference, and a team that was predicted to finish as low as fourth in its division alone, not the entire conference, beat Cincinnati.

It is mind-boggling. The Bearcats might just be a bad team this year, but why did some experts have them picked to finish as high as second in the conference? That goes to show how weak the Big East is.


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