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2011 Big East
College Football
Season Preview


Please note: Our conference reports analyze what the Congrove Computer Rankings preseason forecast predicts. Team power ratings change weekly during the season to reflect the actual results of the games. For projecting results, 3 points are added to the home team.

During the 2010 season, from beginning to end, including bowl games:
Overall, 11 teams gained 10 or more "power points". San Diego State led the gainers at 13.57, followed by Hawaii at 13.28.
In the Big East, Louisville gained the most at 11.28.
Overall, 16 teams gained 5.00 - 9.99 points.
Overall, 28 teams gained less than 5 points.
Overall, 34 teams fell less than 5 points.
Overall, 28 teams fell 5.00-9.99 points.
Overall, 3 teams fell 10 power points or more. Texas fell the most at 15.88, followed by Buffalo at 10.73.
In the Big East, Rutgers fell the most at 9.25
Overall, the average change of teams in 2010 was a loss of 0.02 points.
In the Big Ten, the average change of teams in 2010 was a loss of 0.46 points.

2011 Projected Order Of Finish
Big East
Team Over-All
W-L
Conf.
W-L
Nat'l
Rank
Power
Rating
Sched.
Rank
1. *-West Virginia 10-2 6-1 24 73.60 63
2. *-Pittsburgh 10-2 6-1 26 72.70 66
3. *-Connecticut 9-3 4-3 36 70.32 94
4. *-Syracuse 7-5 4-3 57 70.33 60
5. *-USF 8-4 4-3 44 71.66 73
6. Cincinnati 5-7 3-4 75 69.21 72
7. Louisville 3-9 1-6 98 65.58 61
8. Rutgers 4-8 0-7 83 64.77 69
Tie-breakers: West Virginia beats Pitt by 3.90 to earn Big East's automatic BCS bid. Connecticut goes 2-0 vs. Syracuse and USF to take 3rd. Syracuse beats USF to claim 4th.

2011 Conference Preview

Also See:
Big East Preseason Media Poll

Preview

A year ago, CollegeFootballPoll.com's Congrove Computer Rankings offered the only major preseason forecast that correctly picked UConn as the Big East's automatic BCS bowl qualifier. The Huskies went on to lose 48-20 to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl after tying Pittsburgh and West Virginia for the conference title. All three schools made head coaching changes.

Former Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni (1991-2004) is the new man at Connecticut after Randy Edsall left Storrs for Maryland. Pitt ran off Dave Wannstedt to hire Michael Haywood from Miami (Ohio), but finally settled on Tulsa's Todd Graham after Haywood was arrested on New Year's Day on a domestic violence charge. And West Virginia hired Dana Holgorsen to replace Bill Stewart after the 2011 season, but eventually made the switch on June 10th instead.

Given the computer's 2011 forecast, those coaching changes will seemingly have very little impact on the conference title race as West Virginia, Pitt and UConn are expected to once again be the top three teams. And once again, the conference is expected to be extremely tight from top-to-bottom with only 8.83 power points separating first from last. The top five teams are separated by no more than 3.28 points, and the top six by 4.39 points.

It is the tremendous parity among its members that reduces the perceived strength of the conference. But while Big East teams seem to beat up each other during the season, this year's expected trio of frontrunners are among the conference's most-frequent contenders. West Virginia has won or shared the title five times since 2004. UConn and Pitt are joined by Cincinnati as the only other teams to have won or shared the title at least twice in that same time span.

Louisville has one Big East title (2006) and Syracuse hasn't been at the top since 2004. Rutgers and USF have never won the title.

If there's any lack of respect for the Big East, it's simply because the conference hasn't produced a team with fewer than 3 losses in two of the last three seasons. And when Cincinnati emerged with a 12-1 record in 2009, the Bearcats were routed by Florida in the Sugar Bowl after head coach Brian Kelly had already left for Notre Dame.

2011 provides several shots at redemption for the Big East. USF opens at Notre Dame, West Virginia entertains LSU on September 24, Pitt hosts Notre Dame and Utah, and Syracuse visits USC.