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Blog Entry

Big East schedule breakdown

Posted on: February 25, 2010 9:21 am
 

Remember the Big East. Remember it well, because it may not be long for this earth.

OK, maybe that's an exaggeration but with expansion winds blowing throughout college football, maybe it isn't. Once again, the conference is on notice with the Big Ten looking to improve its television profile. If the Large Eleven picks off Connecticut, Syracuse, Rutgers or Pittsburgh, then the Big East has to stay viable.

That's getting ahead of the carnage, er, story. For now, the Big East will continue with new coaches (Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida) and the same old story in places like Syracuse. The conference will continue to promote itself with 14 weeknight games (six on Thursday).

Cincinnati and Pittsburgh once again look like the class of the league. UConn is one of the quietest success stories in football. Charlie Strong finally gets his chance at Louisville. The Skip Holtz era begins at South Florida. West Virginia hasn't gone away under Bill Stewart.

Their schedules are finalized except for Syracuse which is still looking for a non-conference game. Might we suggest a Big Ten opponent? Could count in both leagues' standings.

Just kidding.


Game of the year:  (non-conference)  Miami at Pittsburgh, Sept. 23. These old Big East rivals are both standing at the altar of BCS bowl contention.  Neither current coach has broken through. Dave Wannstedt still hasn't won that conference title after a heart-breaking end to last season. Randy Shannon is still in rebuilding mode. It doesn't help that Jacory Harris (hand) and Graig Cooper (knee) will miss spring practice. That doesn't tell us much about seven months from now.

This game will go a long way toward proving if Wanny and the Panthers are worthy of that BCS bowl.  Same for Shannon who is 7-9 on the road.

There is a bit of history for those of us who can remember all the way back to 2003. In the regular-season finale at Heinz, Miami won an Orange-Bowl-or-bust game 28-14. That was the Canes' last Big East game.

Game of the year: (conference) Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, Dec. 4. Three in a row for the Bearcats? Brian Kelly has left enough talent for Butch Jones to get to a third consecutive BCS bowl. Last year's snowy matchup in Pittsburgh was a classic decided by a botched extra point.

This season's game will be impacted by a couple of high-profile replacements. Pat Bostick and Tino Sunseri will battle it out in the spring to replace Bill Stull as Pittsburgh quarterback. The mouthy Mardy Gilyard will be missed at Cincinnati but only until one-time USC five-star recruit Vidal Hazelton takes over as Zach Collaros top target.

Team on the spot: Rutgers. Whatever happened to Greg Schiano's magic? The Scarlet Knights have finished above third only once since the 11-win season in 2006. That was a three-way tie for second in 2008. Are we expecting too much? This is, after all, Rutgers but the '06 ride was such a tease.

The offensive line underachieved last season even though tackle Anthony Davis could be a high draft choice. Quarterback Tom Savage showed flashes as a freshman but needs to make that leap to difference maker as a sophomore. The most exciting player in the conference might be Mohamed Sanu who was effective out of the Wildcat and at receiver.

Toughest non-conference schedule: Hard one because the schedules are so balanced in the Big East and Syracuse is still looking for a  game, but Pittsburgh seems to be in the most peril. It opens at Utah, then gets I-AA power New Hampshire nine days later. The Miami game comes to Pittsburgh after an open date. The Miami and Notre Dame games are sandwiched around a home game against Florida International.

Wanny and AD Steve Pederson are putting the program out there playing two BCS teams and a team that is in a de facto BCS league (Utah). That could be a season killer. It also could lift the Panthers into that BCS bowl.

Easiest non-conference schedule: Rutgers. As much as the Knights need to get back on national scene, they've got the schedule to do it. Norfolk State, Florida International, Tulane and Army don't exactly strike fear into hearts. The only sweat-breaker is North Carolina which comes to New Jersey on Sept. 25. Win that and Rutgers should start 6-0 before going to Pittsburgh on Oct. 23.
Check back in November, though. Beginning Nov. 3, Rutgers plays at South Florida, Cincinnati and West Virginia in its final five games.

 

Comments

Since: Dec 13, 2009
Posted on: April 21, 2010 9:14 pm
 

Big East schedule breakdown

blitz0921, umm...are you forgetting about baldwin for pitt? one of the best, if not the best, receiver in the big east this season. he still has, at the very least, one more season with pitt and if there is a lockout for the 2011 NFL season, then he'll probably stay all four years at Pitt. Can you imagine what he could be like for his senior year if he continues to improve on his numbers as the QB spot should only improve if sunseri continues to be the starter. definitely would not want to be the man in the secondary defending against the 6'5" receiver



Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: April 21, 2010 8:44 pm
 

Big East schedule breakdown

The Big East looks to have a stellar year in 2010. Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia are the top contenders with UConn and South Florida quietly competing for a chance. 
Cincinnati's offense should not miss a beat. Zach Collaros will have the same, if not a better wide receiver corp to light up the field. Our question is, yet again, our defense. And can new coach Butch Jones continue the success of Brian Kelly?
Pittsburgh will miss their outstanding receivers, but who needs them when you have stellar sophomore Dion Lewis? Pitt should remain a legit contender unless Lewis has the dreaded "sophomore slump."
West Virginia brings a ton of talent back, especially in their skill positions. Bill Stewart needs a Big East championship because I get the feeling the Mountaineer fan base is getting restless.




Since: Dec 13, 2009
Posted on: April 21, 2010 5:36 pm
 

Big East schedule breakdown

The reason why WVU is getting nothing even though they return alot is that they ended the season getting rocked by a 6-6 Florida State team. It's essentially the same team next season as last season. Cincinnati has won the BCS bid the last two seasons and Pitt, on paper, arguably has the most talent coming into next season.



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2010 5:32 pm
 

Remember the Big East. Remember it well

Reading the first line of this made feel the way Dodd must every day.......stupid


Cmon really guy?  The Big East isnt going anywhere, no they do not get the pub that other BCS conferences but they still have some solid programs...


The Big East is a monster in college hoops....college football not so much

But to imply that a BCS conference will cease to exist is just plain stupid

More likely they add some teams like the rest of the BCS conferences to get a conference title football game....





Since: Jun 11, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2010 1:20 pm
 

Big East schedule breakdown

Dude, the SEC is awful besides the top 3 teams. Aburn, South Carolina, Kentucky, etc, are horrible teams and wouldn't be bowling in most other BCS conference.

UConn played a vaunted SEC team in a bowl and beat them down. They reminded me of Ohio or Rhode Island.



Since: Aug 16, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2010 1:17 pm
 

Big East schedule breakdown

Big East?  *yawn* Who cares...



Since: Jun 11, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2010 1:07 pm
 

Big East schedule breakdown

As always, Dodd ignores UConn (and even hints that they are a creampuff opponent, lumping them in with Norfolk State, Army, Tulane, and FIU).

Can CBS hire someone that actually knows something about the Big East? This is absolutely ridiculous and unfair. 



Since: Aug 12, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2010 12:52 pm
 

Big East schedule breakdown

WVU sucks......you guys can have the Big East when Pitt leaves and goes to the Big Ten.....



Since: Oct 26, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Big East schedule breakdown

Interesting, you pick on the Big East but dont really understand why! Due to thier smaller size they have to play more OOC games and that is harder to schedule quality games (yes they should expand). What needs to be brought out is they are not the biggest offenders in scheduling OOC games, here are some other teams with weaker schedules:

2009 OCC games:

Texas -  Wyoming, UTEP, Louisiana-Monroe, UCF

Texas Tech - North Dakota, Rice, New Mexico, Houston

Michigan - Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, Delaware st.

Michigan st - Montana St, Centeral Michigan, Notre Dame, Western Michigan

NorthWestern -  Syracuse, Towson, Eastern Michigan, Miami OH

Florida - Charleston Southern, Troy,  Florida international, FSU

Kentucky - Miamia OH, Louisville, Louisiana Monroe, Eastern Kentucky

Auburn - Louisana Tech, Ball state, Furman, West Virgina

Mississippi - Memphis, SE louisiana,  UAB, Northern Arizona 



Since: May 26, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2010 11:23 am
 

Big East schedule breakdown

Who Cares Right Now....Its almost March, not August. Ridiculous to waste time on an article like this. How about March madness, closing months on NBA season, Olympics, Spring Training...etc..etc...I would even take NASCAR right now. Come on Dennis Dodd...your better than this.


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