I’m going to shoot straight with you and let you know that this week the rankings are based on box scores and the few summaries I’ve had the time to read this afternoon. I spent most of my weekend delivering Navy’s newest donated offshore sailboat from Newport, RI – something I’ll write more about later this week. As a result, the only college game I got to watch this weekend was the Pitt-Cincy matchup on Thursday night. Without further ado, here’s my latest completely unscientific but unbiased ranking of the teams that will be in the Big East when Navy joins in 2015.
1. Louisville (2-0)
Last Week #1; This Week Won 35-7 vs. Missouri State
Ok, it was a 1-AA cupcake, but nothing happened in this game or any other game to give reason to move someone else into the #1 spot. Teddy Bridgewater had another fantastically effective game, completing 30 of his 39 passes for 344 yards, 2 TD’s, and 0 INT’s. The Cards get a UNC team coming off a loss to Wake Forest next week for a nationally televised 3:30 game (ABC or ESPN2).
2. Cincinnati (1-0)
Last Week #7; This Week Won 34-10 vs. Pitt
The Ohio River Rivalry was won for the 4th time in 5 years by the Bearcats. QB Munchie Legaux accounted for 322 total yards, including a game-high 117 rushing on just 6 carries. While Pitt could be dismissed as a bad team going on its 4th head coach in a 2 year span, they had their chances. Self-inflicted wounds like poor clock management at the end of the 1st half and a TD called back for a penalty helped doom the Panthers, despite 415 yards of offense. Cincy gets Delaware State this weekend.
3. USF (2-0)
Last Week #4; This Week W 32-31 @ Nevada
I debated for way too long what to do with Boise and USF. In the long run, the power rankings are for what the teams currently are, not what I expect them to be. So with that, USF gets the nod at #3. They got a win over a pretty good Nevada team on the road. But the Bulls trailed the entire game until their winning touchdown with 38 seconds left. And gave up 549 yards of offense. USF and Rutgers go at it on Thursday night on ESPN. Don’t make me regret this.
4. Boise State (0-1)
Last Week #2; This Week Bye
I have high hopes for Boise, but an 0-1 record isn’t holding down the #2 spot. Boise begins its road to redemption (back to back cliches? you betcha) with a visit from Miami (Ohio) on the NBC Sports Network this weekend. Boise needs to get its offense on track this weekend as BYU looms large the next Thursday.
5. UCF (1-1)
Last Week #3; This week L 31-16 @ Ohio State
I went and saw Navy play at Ohio State. That’s not an easy place to walk in to and get a win. UCF played them very tight through the first half, trailing by just 7 points after a late OSU TD. But UCF gave up a long TD drive and then turned it over to give the Buckeyes a quick 14 points in the 3rd quarter and provide the cushion needed to seal the loss. UCF plays a FIU team that has regressed from their success of 2011 on Saturday.
6. Rutgers (2-0)
Last Week #6; This Week W 26-0 vs. Howard
Like USF, 2-0 is 2-0. But 2-0 vs. Tulane and Howard isn’t going to get you out of the #6 spot this week, no matter how chromed out your helmets are. Beat USF this Thursday and we’ll talk about moving you up. Maybe.
7. SDSU (1-1)
Last Week #9; This Week W 42-7 vs. Army
SDSU has a loss on the road vs. a BCS team and a dominating win over a 1-A team at home. But I’m not going to read too much into a win over Army. 2 years ago Army looked to be breaking out of their slump. Now? Not so much. With a 1-AA team next weekend, I’m guessing we’ll get a handle on SDSU in week 4 when they host San Jose State.
8. UConn (1-1)
Last Week #5; This Week L 10-7 vs. NC State
You held NC State to just 258 total yards, but you also turned the ball over 4 times. You didn’t score until the 4th quarter, but you sacked Mike Glennon 6 times. This seems like a game of lost opportunity. And you lost your opportunity to stay in the top half of the rankings this week.
9. SMU (1-1)
Last Week #10; This Week W 52-0 vs. Stephen F Austin
What, you want a cookie for beating SFA 52-0. I don’t care if you forced 10 turnovers (jeebus, really? 10 turnovers? 7 interceptions? wow). SFA had 466 yards of offense! Granted, it took them TWENTY possessions to get that yardage (seriously, some box scores are just LOL). Show me what you got against Texas A&M on Saturday.
10. Temple (1-1)
Last Week #8; This Week L 36-27 vs. Maryland
Temple blew out Maryland last year. This year they were down 26-3 at the half. In an earlier draft I had Temple in last place, but cooler heads have prevailed. This easily ranks as the most disappointing loss of the week for the Future Big East. Temple has a week off before heading to Penn State.
11. Navy (0-1)
Last Week #11; This Week Bye
It would have taken something catastrophic in the top 10 to have Navy move up. Temple came close, but put together a respectable 2nd half vs. Maryland. Navy heads to Penn State this weekend on ABC/ESPN2, and like Mike, I’m in no mood to become a stepping stone in that place’s attempt at recovery.
12. Houston (0-2)
Last Week #12; This Week L 56-49 vs. Louisiana Tech
You passed for 580 yards. And Lost. You had 693 total yards. And Lost. Oh what’s that? You also had 15 penalties for 123 yards? The 598 yards of offense you gave up wasn’t enough? With UCLA this weekend and a Rice team that just won at Kansas the following game, an 0-4 start isn’t out of the question. 13-1 seems like a lifetime ago.
13. Memphis (0-2)
Last Week #13; This Week L 33-28 at Arkansas State
Memphis was outgained by 326 yards. If not for 2 special teams TD’s… Middle Tennessee comes to town this weekend – the best shot at a slumpbuster in the next couple of months.