Big East coaches and players met with the media on Tuesday, and by all accounts, everyone just wanted to talk about where the media predicted each team to finish. Other things were discussed as well, and here's your chance to get caught up on some of the most notable quotes regarding your favorite team.
(Teams ranked in order by predicted finish as determined by media)
Louisville: "For some reason, I don't know why, they picked us first this season."
Perhaps head coach Charlie Strong is displeased because the media has picked the Cardinals to come in last and seventh place in his first two seasons at the helm -- picks that were, say, less than accurate. But it was to be expected that Louisville enter the season the odds-on favorite (they received 24 of 28 first place votes).
Head coach Skip Holtz actually took to Twitter for this barb, saving his A-material for the microphone (mostly just some "B.J. Daniels is old" jokes). For his part, Daniels was a good sport about his coach's good-natured ribbing. "Ball security is a big thing," Daniels told the Tampa Bay Tribune, "and (coach Holtz) deserves to get on me about this."
Rutgers: "The time is right to win championships."
Indeed it is, coach Kyle Flood, but perhaps not yet for Rutgers, though. The Scarlet Knights, however, could sneak up on the Big East this season with a dominant defense. They haven't yet named a quarterback, and may not until a week before their opener, but Flood drew praise from many media members for his enthusiasm and confidence at Tuesday's media day. Rutgers has a chance to make a splash in a Sept. 22 date with Arkansas.
Cincinnati: "I think we're the most competitive conference in the country."
Head coach Butch Jones, with a broad, general statement on the status of the Big East as a whole. And while the conference may be competitive now -- there really isn't much difference between the top five teams -- it's anybody's guess what the conference will look like in seasons to come. But Jones understands that the race to the Big East title is wide open, and his Bearcats have as good a chance as anyone.
Pittsburgh: "I don't want to put a percentage on how healthy I am. I'll wait to see how I feel when I hit the field."
This from Pitt running back Ray Graham, who tore his ACL last season and missed the team's last five games. Graham is expected to be one of the top backs in the country, not just the Big East. He will be held out of contact drills for much of preseason camp, but he's expected to be ready to play by the start of the season. And he'd better be, for the Panthers' sake.
Connecticut: "Connecticut has had a great tradition of the 1,000 yard rusher."
Connecticut has made a habit of sneaking up on the Big East, and if they are to make a similar run, they'll need another big season from sophomore running back Lyle McCombs. After leading the Huskies with 1,151 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman, McCombs will be leaned upon to carry the offense still looking for a starting quarterback.
Syracuse: “We're probably picked eighth, or seventh.”
The best part of this quote, really, by offensive lineman Zack Chibane, is that he probably started saying eighth until he remembered that Temple was in the league again. That may not have been how it went down, but that's how I imagine it did. The Orange do have a solid core returning offensively, especially with veterans QB Ryan Nassib and WR Alec Lemon. The status of OL Justin Pugh could go a long way in determining Syracuse's success.
Temple: "I brought a kicker to Media Day…It goes against everything I stand for."
That's head coach Steve Addazio admitting that it was not exactly his style to bring a kicker to media day. Still, things aren't as bleak as this would make them seem for the Owls. Addazio also promised "a new Temple" in his second year as coach. But the old Temple was working out just fine. After nearly upsetting Penn State a season ago in Happy Valley, Addazio led the Owls to a 9-4 season, including a victory over Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski @CBSBigEast.