Posted by Chip Patterson
1. West Virginia is tired of being talked down to - There was a time, in this very feature, when it was declared that West Virginia looked like they could cruise to the Big East title. But coming into Saturday, the Mountaineers were tied at the bottom of the conference standings and no longer considered a threat by many. Tired of being disrespected, West Virginia made a statement in the 37-10 victory over Cincinnati. Recently, it has been difficult to find the same West Virginia team that used to hold position in the polls and gave LSU a run for their money. The Mountaineers scored fast and often, jumping out to a 30-3 halftime lead on the Bearcats. Cincinnati never had a chance, with the defense chipping in as well to force four turnovers. With how wide open the Big East race is, the Mountaineers are now bowl eligible, and not completely out of the conference championship race.
2. Skip Holtz ushering in new chapter at USF - When the Jim Leavitt scandal erupted a season ago, a dark cloud hovered over the young program. If South Florida was going to continue the kind of early success that has catapulted the Bulls up the football ranks, they needed to figure out a way to start a new chapter. Enter Skip Holtz, a young, football-smart coach from a rich football bloodline and also recent success at East Carolina. Holtz' first two conference games were a harsh welcome to the conference, losing to Syracuse and West Virginia. But since the rough start, the Bulls have been rolling and now find themselves eligible for the postseason. The overtime victory at Louisville extended the winning streak to three, as South Florida looks ahead to hosting the first-place Pittsburgh Panthers. The Bulls are one of the hottest teams in the conference, and pose a great threat to Pittsburgh's conference lead with Saturday's date in Tampa just a week away.
3. Get used to these Big East teams, they'll be playing into December - Big East could have a heavy representation in the bowl picture- Widely regarded as one of the worst conferences with an automatic qualifying bid to the BCS, the Big East already has three bowl eligible teams. Also, it is possible that Connecticut, Louisville, and conference leader Pittsburgh will all become eligible as well, giving the conference six possible teams in postseason play. With all of the criticism leveled on the conference, there has to be some bit of optimism from the fact that 3/4 of the conference will be playing into December. Others would argue that the records are just a snapshot of the conferences mediocrity. Whichever way you slice it, it looks like the Big East will have several chances to prove their worth in bowl play.