Posted by Chip Patterson
1. Eight teams still have a shot at BCS berth - As crazy as it sounds, the perfect storm of circumstance has brought about a wide open Big East conference race. The first major factor has been the scheduling. For the most part, each team backlogged their conference schedule. So while we are at the midpoint of the regular season, six of the eight teams in the conference are only two games into league play. Even the seemingly hapless Connecticut Huskies are a Pittsburgh upset from climbing back into the race. Knock the Big East as much as you want, but at the wide-open race will at least make each game interesting coming down the stretch.
2. Syracuse isn't flashy, but they are getting it done - After getting throttled by Pittsburgh at home, Syracuse bounced back to stun West Virginia in Morgantown. The Orange got right back to the same kind of tough football that helped them rattle off three straight wins, with aggressive defense and a solid running game. When Delone Carter left the game with a hip injury, backup running back Antwon Bailey stepped and delivered a season high 94 yards on the ground. The defense kept West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith guessing all day, disguising their coverages and blitzes to force a season high three interceptions. Syracuse hasn't put together impressive victories (particularly not scoring a point after halftime) but if they can continue to stack the W's, the Orange could find themselves bowling in 2010.
3. Tino Sunseri has arrived - After a somewhat shaky start, Sunseri has come into his own as the leader of the Panthers offense. The rushing attack has not been what it was a year ago in Dion Lewis' breakout season, but the sophomore signal caller has stepped it up through the air in conference play. After five touchdowns in the first five games, Sunseri has connected with his receivers for seven scores in the last two weeks. If he can continue to find playmaking wide receiver Jon Baldwin, like he did for 139 yards against Rutgers, Pittsburgh could be a difficult team to beat down the stretch.
4. There is some hope in Tampa for South Florida - To reiterate the earlier point, South Florida's 38-30 victory over Cincinnati on Friday kept the Bulls from falling all but out of the Big East hunt. Not only did first year head coach Skip Holtz avoid starting 0-3 in the conference, but he got the best performance of the season from quarterback B.J. Daniels. If Daniels' performance was more than just a flash in the pan, South Florida can do a lot to make up for the rough start.