Big East Football is Rising
by Terry Phillips
From the upstart Cincinnati Bearcats, to the rebounding Rutgers Scarlet Knights, to the traditional powerhouse West Virginia Mountaineers, and everybody else in between, it is becoming more and more clear that Big East football is alive and well.
While they may not yet be on SEC or BIG 10 level, they are inching closer and closer to that status with every season. Ever since Brian Kelly arrived in Cincinnati, the Bearcats have been improving. Kelly is proven to turn programs around – and he doesn’t take much time doing it. In just his second season, Coach Kelly led the Bearcats to a Big East Championship and Orange Bowl appearance. Look for them to build on the momentum and compete for national prominence this coming season.
But if the Bearcats are going to repeat as Big East Champs, they are going to have their work cut out for them. Greg Schiano and his Rutgers Scarlet Knights have circled the wagon. Last season the team had to deal with a loss of many graduating seniors, but the rebuilding didn’t take long. With a second consecutive Top-10 recruiting class, look for the Scarlet Knights to again be a Big East contender. But it is the depth of the Big East that makes it so dangerous. West Virginia, Louisville, and Connecticut will surely be breathing down the necks of both Rutgers and Cincinnati. Any of the 5 are legitimate contenders to win the Big East crown this year.
And, if that isn’t enough, don’t count out Pittsburgh or South Florida just yet either. They will have some work and rebuilding to do, but in a conference so wide open with parity, you never know. Dave Wannstedt and crew always seem to find a way to win when they are least expected to. So, who will it be celebrating a Big East Championship in about 6 months?
Only time will tell.