Blog Entry

What I learned from the Big East (Oct. 30)

Posted on: October 30, 2010 9:32 pm
 
Posted by Chip Patterson

1. West Virginia has been giving away their season, one turnover at a time - Just three weeks ago, West Virginia was "leading" the Big East. They toted a 5-1 record and a national ranking, as well as a top ranked defensive unit that was holding opponents to less than two touchdowns per game. But while the season was at a midpoint, the conference schedule was just getting started. But in the last two games, turnovers have almost cost the Mountaineers their shot at a BCS bowl berth. The eye test said that the Mountaineers were cruising on easy street down to Miami, until they decided they were tired of taking care of the ball. Against Syracuse West Virginia turned the ball over three times, all of which were turned into points for the Orange. Saturday's matchup with Connecticut was more of the same from the Mountaineer offense. West Virginia racked up 414 yards of total offense, but four lost fumbles prevented them from scoring more than 13 points on the Huskies defense.  If the Mountaineers avoid coughing the ball up, they could be 3-0 in conference play and looking down the road to a potential BCS bowl game.  But instead of the Mountaineers, it is the Pittsburgh Panthers.  Speaking of...

2. Lewis has reclaimed the favor of the Pittsburgh coaching staff - Earlier in the season, Pittsburgh running back Dion Lewis was struggling to get his season going.  His yards per carry were down from his 2009 Rookie of the Year campaign, and he was sharing many of his carries with backup Ray Graham.  Now that conference play has begun, Lewis has emerged as the clear-cut but first stringer in the Panther backfield.  After a phenomenal performance last week against Rutgers that included 17 rushes for 130 yards and a touchdown, Lewis appeared to have regained the starting job despite Graham continuing to lead the team in rushing by a convincing margin.  In the win over Louisville, Lewis carried the ball 18 times compared to Graham's nine attempts.  Earlier in the season, that was much more of a 50-50 divide between the two backs.  Now Lewis must make the most of his increased opportunities in order to hold that spot. 

3. Syracuse's tenacious second half defense is a key to their success - In five of the Orange's six victories, the defense has shut out the opponent in the second half.  Syracuse's offense has relied on a dominant running game led by Delone Carter and Antwon Bailey.  The smash mouth brand of football under second year head coach Doug Marrone has turned last season's 1-6 conference record around to 3-1 at the midpoint of the conference schedule.  Syracuse has only been to a bowl game twice since since 2000 and not at all since 2004, but the 2010 Orange are already bowl eligible at 6-2.  A conference championship may be out of reach after the loss to Pittsburgh, but anything is an upgrade from the way things have been at Syracuse.
Comments

Since: Oct 31, 2010
Posted on: October 31, 2010 8:47 pm
 

What I learned from the Big East (Oct. 30)

That's exactly why a non-conference game should be scheduled at the end of a season.  Both Syracuse and Washington are not the same teams they were a month ago.   



Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2010 2:21 pm
 

What I learned from the Big East (Oct. 30)

If the football schools really want to make a bold move, they could leave the Big East, bring in East Carolina, Central Florida and Memphis, and form a new 11 school all-sports conference.   That way, the Big East could go back to being a basketball conference which was its original intent.  



Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2010 11:34 am
 

What I learned from the Big East (Oct. 30)

The big east needs two more teams and my picks are Central Florida and Villanova

Villanova is dominate in what used to be D1AA and plays in the big east in just about every other sport
and Central Florida is on the rise. Top 25 team right now. And it works geographically for me.


Go right ahead take away the BCS bid. ... THE BCS SUCKS and i hate it 




Since: Apr 26, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2010 10:11 am
 

What I learned from the Big East (Oct. 30)

Big East has a BCS bid.  Deal with it. 

Also... this year's schedule was a bit of an anomaly as almost all of the Big East OOC games against BCS teams were on the road.  WVU lost at LSU, not exactly a shocker there.  USF lost at Florida.  What Big 12 or Big 10 teams go to LSU and Florida for road games?  Cincy, Lville, Pitt, and Syracuse traveled 2,500+ miles for their games.  How many ACC teams travel across the country and win in tough venues? 

Pitt losing to Notre Dame was on the road and when ND was healthy.  Not a good loss, but not awful.  ND was a whisker away from beating MSU on the road.  Pitt laid an egg against Miami at home and deserves criticism for same.  Same with UConn losing to Temple (anywhere) and Rutgers losing to UNC at home and Tulane at home.  Cincy, last place in the BE, held theri own against Oklahoma.  What does that tell you?
With the Big East having no weak teams, they need to start scheduling like the other BCS conferences.  That way, they can all be 4-1 and 5-0 going into conference play like the fraudulent bottom feeders of the BCS conferences that provide "good wins" for the upper echelon.

No objection to the MWC gettign an auto bid either.  But let's not get carried away with taking the Big East's away based on one season. 



Since: Jun 24, 2009
Posted on: October 31, 2010 10:00 am
 

What I learned from the Big East (Oct. 30)

Fine, take away their auto-bid....you can do it as soon as they take the ACC's bid too.

Last I checked the BE was 3-1 in their last 4 BCS games. So everyone has a down year at the
same time.

The BE criticizm is nothing new. They were still called the "Big Least" when Miami, V-Tech, Syracuse & WVU
were perennial top 15 teams. It's more about the league being formed in 1990 that roiled the old guard.

and, yeah I know we've played virtually no one, but it's about time we had a winable schedule. Re-building is
harder when you've got a stacked schedule like we have the last few years.



Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2010 9:11 am
 

What I learned from the Big East (Oct. 30)

Too funny.




Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: October 31, 2010 1:08 am
 

What I learned from the Big East (Oct. 30)

Syracuse is not bowl eligible, someone forgot to check their facts it seems, wins over 2 FCS schools in Colgate and Maine ='s a little more work to do for  Syracuse so apparently you didn't actually watch any of the games or else you would have known this, I wish I could get paid by this site but I actually would check my facts and I actually watch games so I couldn’t get hired it seems.

What I learned this weekend from watching games involving Big East teams is what everyone else knows, the conference stinks and should not get a BCS bid because you are talking about a first place team in Pitt that lost to ND and a 2nd place team in Syracuse that got destroyed by a pathetic Washington team!

 



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com