|Teddy Bridgewater and the Cards are trying to run and hide from the rest of the Big East. (US Presswire)|
Here's CBSSports.com's Rapid Reports Big East power ranking:
1. Louisville (7-0, 2-0 Big East): The Cards returned home for the first time in a month and treated fans to a narrow victory over struggling South Florida. Still, until anyone can prove they can do anything about Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville will continue to do just enough to win -- and that's all that matters. The defense again struggled to stop the run, something that is both recurring and concerning. Last week's power ranking: 1. Next up: vs. Cincinnati, Friday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN).
2. Rutgers (7-0, 4-0 Big East): The Scarlet Knights blasted an up-and-down Temple team in Philly Saturday, and they did it behind a solid game from quarterback Gary Nova (232 yards, 4 touchdowns). If Nova can serve as a proper supplement to running backs Jawan Jamison and Savon Huggins, then the Rutgers offense can put up 20-something points and let the defense do the rest. Last week's power ranking: 2. Next up: vs. Kent State, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3).
3. Syracuse (3-4, 2-1 Big East): When you look at their entire body of work, the Orange really aren't that far off. Their worst loss came on the road to Minnesota, and they've pretty much beaten everyone they're supposed to beat. They destroyed Connecticut on Friday and have a chance to get back to .500 Saturday at South Florida. Last week's power ranking: 5. Next up: at South Florida, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN3).
4. Cincinnati (5-1, 1-0 Big East): The Bearcats probably deserve to fall a little further, but there's no one to put in front of them, so here we are. In the grand scheme of things, Cincy's loss to Toledo has no real bearing on the rest of its season, as its chances of winning the Big East has not changed. But still, it was Toledo. The Rockets are 7-1, to be fair, but this is one Butch Jones' team should win. Last week's power ranking: 3. Next up: at Louisville, Friday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN).
5. Pittsburgh (3-4, 0-3 Big East): The Panthers had a pretty boring, ordinary win over Buffalo, but a win's a win for a team that lost its opener at home to Youngstown State. Pitt has potential, especially with freshman running back Rushel Shell starting to come into his own. Shell and senior Ray Graham are sharing the duties behind quarterback Tino Sunseri, and the results have largely been positive. Last week's power ranking: 6. Next up: vs. Temple, Saturday, noon ET (Big East Network).
6. Temple (3-3, 2-1 Big East): The Owls have bounced around a bit, but as a whole they've been pretty solid in their first year back to the Big East. Temple actually led Rutgers 10-0 at the half, but the Scarlet Knights came out of the break and dropped 35 unanswered points. So much for an upset. Last week's power ranking: 4. Next up: at Pittsburgh, Saturday, noon ET (Big East Network).
7. South Florida (2-5, 0-3 Big East): These guys are a tough bunch to figure out. The Bulls certainly played well enough to win Saturday at Louisville, and they showed flashes of being the team everyone expected to compete for the Big East championship. Alas, they fell short, and Skip Holtz's team has now lost five in a row. Last week's power ranking: 8. Next up: vs. Syracuse, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN3).
8. Connecticut (3-5, 0-3 Big East): The Huskies had been leaning on their defense for the most part, but the D let them down Friday at Syracuse and the offense did not compensate ... at all. Sophomore running back Lyle McCombs -- the Big East's leading returning rusher -- has not been effective, and the offense, in general, is a mess. Last week's power ranking: 7. Next up: at South Florida, Saturday, Nov. 3.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski @CBSBigEast.