Cincinnati makes a jump in this week's rankings.
By Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven on Twitter)
Post-Week 4 Big East Power Rankings
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1. West Virginia (3-1) â The Mountaineers gave one of the best teams in college football their best punch, but came up short. West Virginiaâs passing attack shredded LSU for 463 yards and two scores, but quarterback Geno Smith also threw two picks. The Mountaineersâ offensive line came into this game under fire, but played well and did not allow a sack. West Virginia is home against Bowling Green this Saturday.
2. South Florida (4-0) â The gap between No. 1 and No. 2 closed a bit this week. However, the Mountaineers will hold onto the top spot for now. The Bulls easily dispatched UTEP on Saturday, defeating the Miners 52-24. Quarterback B.J. Daniels is off to a great start this season, throwing for 1,071 yards, eight touchdowns and only one interception. South Florida opens up Big East play this week, as they travel to Heinz Field to take on Pittsburgh.
3. Cincinnati (3-1) â What a difference a year makes. After finishing near the bottom of college football in turnover margin, the Bearcats are ranked No. 1 in the nation through four weeks. Itâs no secret Cincinnati is back in contention for the Big East title, as eliminating turnovers was a huge step in the right direction for this team. The Bearcats hit the road for a tricky non-conference matchup against Miami (OH). The RedHawks are off to an 0-3 start, but were picked as one of the MACâs top teams in the preseason.
4. Pittsburgh (2-2) â The fourth quarter has not been kind to the Panthers over the last two weeks. Pittsburgh blew a 24-10 lead over Iowa in Week 3 and lost a 12-7 lead to Notre Dame on Saturday. The offense continues to sputter, as quarterback Tino Sunseri continues to struggle with his deep ball and the offensive line has allowed 19 sacks through four games. Pittsburgh is back at home this week, as they host South Florida in a Thursday night showdown at Heinz Field.
5. Syracuse (3-1) â Sometimes you need a little luck to win games. Syracuse was the benefactor of a horrible call in Saturday's game against Toledo, which improved the Orange to 3-1 on the year. The officiating crew incorrectly ruled an extra point was good, even though replays seem to clearly show it was off to the left. Although there's no guarantee it would have changed the outcome of the game, it's still a careless mistake that officials can't afford to make. Syracuse hosts Rutgers in the Big East opener for both teams this Saturday.
6. Rutgers (2-1) â The Scarlet Knights were a trendy upset pick in Week 4, but took care of business against Ohio. The offense has been under scrutiny all year, but collected 410 yards against the Bobcats. Receiver Mohamed Sanu delivered with a big performance, catching 16 passes for 176 yards and two scores. The Scarlet Knights hit the road for the Big East opener against Syracuse this Saturday.
7. Louisville (2-1) â The Cardinals had a bye last Saturday. The off week came at a good time for this team, as quarterback Will Stein suffered an injury against Kentucky, but the bye will give him time to return to full health for Saturday. The offensive line could get a boost with the return of center Mario Benavides. The junior has returned to workouts, but will likely be a gametime decision for Week 5. The Cardinals host Marshall this Saturday.
8. Connecticut (2-2) â The Huskies snapped a two-game losing streak with a 17-3 win over Buffalo. It was another lethargic performance on offense, as Connecticut managed only 293 yards. Quarterback Johnny McEntee completed 12 of 21 passes for 213 yards and two scores and did not throw an interception for the first time in two games. The offense may have found a new weapon in receiver Nick Williams, who caught two passes for 113 yards and one touchdown. Connecticut hosts Western Michigan this Saturday.