|Rutgers coach Kyle Flood leads his team in celebration after winning Saturday at Arkansas. (Getty Images)|
Here's CBSSports.om RapidReports Big East power ranking:
1. Louisville (4-0, 0-0 Big East): The Cardinals barely hang on to the top spot after sneaking past Florida International Saturday in Miami. Let's chalk their uninspired and largely poor play up to the literal swamp-like conditions, and -- with several Cards hailing from south Florida -- perhaps a lack of focus. Most alarming, though, was quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who has been near-perfect in the early season. The sophomore threw his first two interceptions of the season Saturday, and if not for a brainless roughing the punter penalty against FIU, he and the offense would have given the ball back to the Panthers with just under four minutes remaining and up just a touchdown. Last week's power ranking: 1. Next up: at Southern Mississippi, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network).
2. Rutgers (4-0, 1-0 Big East): The Scarlet Knights -- under first-year coach Kyle Flood -- leapt into the top 25 with a win at Arkansas on Saturday night. The jury is still out on the Razorbacks, who started the season in the top 10 but have been a mess. Still, Rutgers faced the Tyler Wilson-led Arkansas squad -- not the imposter that Alabama blasted -- so it deserves recognition. It is entirely possible that the Scarlet Knights and Louisville will both be undefeated heading into the season finale, but that's still a ways away. Last week's power ranking: 2. Next up: vs. Connecticut, Saturday, Ot. 6.
3. Cincinnati (2-0, 1-0 Big East): The Bearcats benefitted from not playing last week, as they jumped over South Florida without having done anything. Cincinnati is always in the mix by the end of the season, but we'll certainly know a lot more about this team after this weekend, when they face Virginia Tech. Last week's power ranking: 4. Next week: vs. Virginia in Landover, Md., Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU).
4. Pittsburgh (2-2, 0-1 Big East): The bottom half of the Big East is really just a bunch of really confusing teams, and leading the way is Pitt, a team that has: lost to Youngstown State; looked like a clueless mess against Cincinnati; and beaten Virginia Tech handily. The Panthers crushed a weak Gardner-Webb squad Saturday, so, sure, a climb up the rankings is their reward. Last week's power ranking: 5. Next up: at Syracuse, Friday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).
5. South Florida (2-2, 0-1 Big East): The Bulls are a Nevada defensive lapse away from being 1-3, but as it is, they're on just a two-game skid after losing Saturday at Ball State. That sounds bad -- the losing to Ball State part, especially -- but this team has enough talent to beat almost anyone. They'll have a chance to prove that Saturday when No. 4 Florida State visits Tampa. Last week's power ranking: 3. Next up: vs. No. 4 Florida State, Saturday, 6 p.m. ET (ESPN).
6. Connecticut (2-2, 0-0 Big East): There's no real reason to put UConn ahead of Syracuse, but then again, the Orange don't deserve to be ahead of UConn. The Huskies fell Saturday to Western Michigan, but they still have a win over Maryland on their resume. The shine is fast coming off that victory. Last week's power ranking: 6. Next up: vs. Buffalo, Saturday, noon ET (Big East Network).
7. Syracuse (1-3, 0-0 Big East): The Orange lost to Minnesota on the road Saturday night, and their only victory thus far is over Stony Brook. Quarterback Ryan Nassib is doing all he can, but he's just not getting much help. Expect Syracuse to win a few games, though, especially once conference play commences. Last week's power ranking: 7. Next up: vs. Pittsburgh, Friday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m. (ESPN).
8. Temple (1-2, 0-0 Big East): Though they've been respectable in two losses to Maryland and Penn State, the Owls look like they are really going to struggle offensively. They could not get the run game going Saturday, and if that isn't ironed out, it's going to be a tough stretch moving forward. Last week's power ranking: 8. Next up: vs. South Florida, Saturday, Oct. 6.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski @CBSBigEast.