College Football Rankings: Power Ranking the Big East Heading Into Week 6

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IOctober 6, 2011

College Football Rankings: Power Ranking the Big East Heading Into Week 6

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    Week 5 turned out to be a good one for the Big East, kicking off a week of college football on prime time.

    While Pitt put on its best performance in a very long time in front of a national audience, the week was a pretty lousy one for the rest of the conference.

    Week 6 doesn't offer up a whole lot of action for Big East fans; Only two conference games to go along with a pair of out of conference games for both Louisville and Syracuse.

    Now it's time to take a look at the movement in this week's Big East Conference Power Rankings.

8. Connecticut (2-3, 0-0)

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    Last Week: lost 38-31 to Western Michigan

    Last Week's Ranking: 8

    The good news is that the Huskies offense woke up a little bit against Western Michigan.  The bad news though, is that the pass defense allowed 479 yards in the air.

    The Huskies are the only losing team in the conference and are coming off a very weak out-of-conference schedule that likely should have seen them go 5-0.

    Up Next: October 8th at West Virginia

7. Louisville (2-2, 1-0)

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    Last Week: lost 17-13 vs. Marshall

    Last Week's Ranking: 4

    Coming off their biggest win of the season against in-state rival Kentucky, the Cardinals found a way to lose to Marshall at home.

    Their offensive line is struggling and as a result, Charlie Strong is not off to a good second season.

    If you are scoring at home, that's two losses already at home to non-AQ opponents.

    Up Next: October 8th at North Carolina

6. Syracuse (3-2, 0-1)

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    Last Week: lost 19-16 vs. Rutgers

    Last Week's Ranking: 6

    If there is a more disappointing team than Syracuse, I haven't seen them. The Orange let one slip away last week in their conference opener.

    The defense played very well, but too many turnovers from the offense cost them a win.

    Up Next: October 8th at Tulane

5. Rutgers (3-1, 1-0)

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    Last Week: won 19-16 at Syracuse

    Last Week's Ranking: 7

    For only the second time ever, the Scarlet Knights won a Big East opener on the road. It wasn't pretty, but they will certainly take it.

    They couldn't run the ball once again, but freshman quarterback Gary Nova gave them a big spark.

    The win equalled the same number of conference wins that Rutgers had a season ago and they've steadily made their way out of the basement in the power rankings.

    Up Next: October 8th vs Pitt

4. South Florida (4-0, 0-1)

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    Last Week: lost 44-17 at Pitt

    Last Week's Ranking: 2

    Only one way to put it and that's the Bulls were flat out embarrassed by Pitt on a national stage.

    The defense allowed over 500 yards and quarterback B.J. Daniels never got the offense going.

    They didn't drop down for two reasons. The first being that it was likely the case of a good team that had a really bad night. The second reason is that the teams below them aren't very good.

    Up Next: Bye

3. Cincinnati (4-1, 0-0)

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    Last Week: won 27-0 at Miami (OH)

    Last Week's Ranking: 3

    The extremely poor 2010 Bearcats defense has become the pretty good 2011 Bearcats defense.

    The offense struggled against Miami, but once again, the defense picked them up. They turned in a two turnover, four sack and one touchdown fourth quarter to seal the victory.

    Up Next: Bye

2. Pittsburgh (3-2, 1-0)

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    Last Week: won 44-17 vs. South Florida

    Last Week's Ranking: 5

    After near misses against Iowa and Notre Dame, the Panthers showed up and turned in a complete performance, scoring one of their biggest wins in the past few seasons in the process.

    The offense showed a little more of the "high octane" style that Todd Graham has been preaching as both quarterback Tino Sunseri and running back Ray Graham turned in solid performances.

    Even the much maligned defense turned in a pretty solid performance in the win vs. USF.

    Now the challenge is to build off the success.

    Up Next: October 8th at Rutgers

1. West Virginia (4-1, 0-0)

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    Last Week: won 55-10 vs. Bowling Green

    Last Week's Ranking: 1

    This is probably how the Big East is meant to be with WVU and Pitt at No. 1 and No. 2. At least the Backyard Brawl would be meaningful.

    The Mountaineers got back on track after their loss to LSU with a thrashing of Bowling Green.

    The defense was very sharp, but the offense turned in their best performance of the season.

    They tied a season-high with 55 points, rolled up 643 total yards and collected 33 first downs against the Falcons.

    Quarterback Geno Smith posted another solid outing, throwing for 238 yards and three scores, and freshman running back Dustin Garrison rushed for 291 yards and two touchdowns

    Up Next: October 8th vs. Connecticut