Let us call a spade a spade: The Big East has been an abomination of a football conference this year.
Pittsburgh leads the way with a respectable 3-1 Big East record, and a mediocre 5-4 record overall, but its one loss came against a UConn squad that entered the game just 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the Big East.
The Panthers are still favored to win the conference this year, at least for now, but that could change on Saturday, November 20 if USF can beat Pitt at Raymond James Stadium.
South Florida goes into the matchup 6-3 overall, with a Big East record of 3-2. Many folks still do not like USF to win the conference, due to their recent reputation of shutting down as the season goes on.
One may be wondering, what about last year’s Conference champs, the Cincinnati Bearcats?
Well, once former head coach Brian Kelly left the school, so did this defense apparently.
While Cincy’s offense still looks potent with Zach Collaros under center, averaging 25.4 points per game on offense, the unit is giving up 25.8 on defense.
That probably does not sound too bad, but the reality is that the Bearcats have given up between 28 and 38 points a game against formidable foes.
Why is the Big East even worse than usual this year?
Cincy blew out Indiana State and Miami (Ohio) by scores of 40-7 and 45-3 respectively, but honestly every other Big East team should be capable of doing the same.
The Bearcats are a putrid 3-6, and arguably may be more disappointed with their 1-3 Big East record.
Cincy has a battle of the basement dwellers in Week 11 of the NCAA season, as Rutgers (4-5, also 1-3 in the Big East) visits Nippert Stadium.
On that note, what happened to the Scarlet Knights? This team has been a dark horse candidate to win the Big East for God only knows how many years now, and has yet to live up to expectations.
The more time that goes by, the more the Knights' epic 11-2 2006 season looks like nothing more than a flash in the pan, as the team has not eclipsed more than eight wins since then, and continues to be a hot and cold team.
Right now, Rutgers would be ecstatic to sneak into a no-name bowl game at 6-6 at the end of the regular season.
All of a sudden, eight wins doesn’t seem so bad.
Ok, well outside of the most diehard Rutgers fans, no one expected much out of them anyway.
Perennial BCS contender West Virginia is still doing their thing right…right?
All right, well it is not like the Mountaineers have been hard to watch this season, but they are not doing what many have come to expect from them.
They currently sit at 6-3 with a 2-2 Big East record, following two shocking back-to-back Big East losses to Syracuse and UConn.
WVU was nationally ranked at No.20 heading into the Syracuse game, but after the loss at UConn, it does not look like they will be ranked for the rest of the season.
Also realize that Louisville is one of just two teams that have exceeded expectations within this conference in 2010, currently sitting at 5-5 in what many though would be another rebuilding year.
While they have little shot at a conference title with a 2-3 Big East record, the squad remains optimistic for a bowl bid, an accomplishment they haven’t seen since 2006.
Finally, Syracuse is the only bright spot, and probably the biggest surprise, in the Big East right now. Syracuse has basically been written off as a Division I football team since Donovan McNabb left the squad, but they have finally found some nice and consistent options on both sides of the ball.
Junior quarterback Ryan Nassib has 16 touchdowns to just six interceptions, with senior wide receiver Van Chew being his favorite target along the way with 563 yards and five touchdowns so far.
Additionally, Delone Carter has led the backfield impressively, with fellow running back Antoine Bailey being a great third down/change of pace back.
With all the praises being sung, the Orange are still only ranked 37th nationally with their 7-3 record (4-2 Big East).
It would take some monumental collapses for any Big East squad to tap the Top 25 for the rest of the season; of course meaning that the Big East champs of 2010 would not be ranked.
This would make the Big East the first league ever to have a BCS representative outside of the Top 25.
Previously, the worst mark of a Big East champions was when Pittsburgh won the title in 2004 at 8-3.
This less than prestigious record is all but assured to be broken this year.
Perhaps the additions of a team like Texas Christian University or the University of Central Florida can help the legitimacy of the conference next year.
Still, the bottom line is that the Big East is on life support right now and is needs a whole lot of medicine before it is healthy again.