|The Syracuse Orange celebrate their 31-27 upset victory over Missouri on Saturday night. (US Presswire)|
Here's CBSSports.com's Rapid Reports Big East power ranking:
1. Rutgers (9-1, 5-0 Big East): In perhaps the biggest Big East game of the season thus far, the Scarlet Knights held off Cincinnati on Saturday with a dominant defensive performance. The Bearcats entered the game averaging better than 30 points a game, but the Rutgers defense shut down the Cincy offense, winning 10-3. Kyle Flood's offense is a concern, though, especially with an offense like Louisville's looming. The Cards and Scarlet Knights will likely be playing for the Big East championship next week. Last week's power ranking: 1. Next up: at Pittsburgh, Saturday, noon ET (ESPN2).
2. Louisville (9-1, 4-1 Big East): With a senior day win over Connecticut on Saturday, Charlie Strong's team will set up a matchup with Rutgers for the Big East title on Thursday, Nov. 29. The Cards had a week off to think about what they'd done at Syracuse, so they should be primed and ready to blast a hapless Huskies team. Last week's power ranking: 2. Next up: vs. Connecticut, Saturday, noon ET (Big East Network).
3. Syracuse (6-5, 4-2 Big East): The Orange followed their huge win over Louisville with a thrilling road victory at Missouri. The Tigers aren't world-beaters by any means, but it was still a tough win away from home. If several strange things happen -- Rutgers losing its last two, Louisville loses to UConn, Cincy falls to USF or Connecticut -- Syracuse could find itself in a BCS bowl. Not likely, but, hey, who thought that was possible at the beginning of the season? Last week's power ranking: 4. Next up: at Temple, Friday, 11 a.m. ET (ESPN2).
4. Cincinnati (7-3, 3-2 Big East): So maybe QB Brendon Kay isn't the answer after all. Kay was largely ineffective against a stout Rutgers defense Saturday, throwing for 251 yards and two interceptions. QB Munchie Legaux doesn't figure to re-emerge as the starter, but perhaps the quarterback woes at Cincy are beyond simply who is taking the snap. Last week's power ranking: 3. Next up: vs. South Florida, Friday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).
5. Pittsburgh (4-6, 1-4 Big East): Off a bye week, the Panthers are looking to play spoiler Saturday against Rutgers. However, judging by some of Pitt's past offensive performances, putting points on the board may be an issue this weekend. Last week's power ranking: 5. Next up: vs. Rutgers, Saturday, noon ET (ESPN2).
6. Temple (4-6, 2-4 Big East): Montel Harris' explosion Saturday paved the way for an easy Owls win over Army. Temple can't finish with a winning record (a proposed game with Hawaii was canceled) or become bowl eligible, but a finishing win over Syracuse would be some positive momentum headed into 2013. Last week's power ranking: 7. Next up: vs. Syracuse, Friday, 11 a.m. ET (ESPN2).
7. Connecticut (4-6, 1-4 Big East): The Huskies fell a spot during the bye week, but they could make a huge splash Saturday at Louisville. UConn has a chance -- albeit slim -- to end the season 6-6, but it will have to take out the Cards and Cincinnati to do so. That does not seem likely to occur. Last week's power ranking: 6. Next up: at Louisville, Saturday, noon ET (Big East Network).
8. South Florida (3-7, 1-4 Big East): We are approaching full-on destruction mode in Tampa, and it's only partially due to the Bulls' overall play. Injuries are destroying the USF offense, and the defense has struggled all season. Miami crushed the Bulls on Saturday, and without B.J. Daniels and Lindsey Lamar, South Florida didn't really have much of a chance. Last week's power ranking: 8. Next up: at Cincinnati, Friday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski @CBSBigEast.