Tino Sunseri and the Panthers will likely begin the 2011 season unranked (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Mark Schlabach at ESPN.com has put together a self-admitted too-early top 25 list for college football next season. It's no surprise that Pitt is not on the list, but I did find it interesting that no Big East teams made the cut as well.
The Big East was awful this year, no one is denying that. But I'm not convinced the trend will continue again next year.
But I'll say this - I'm probably with Schlabach and others who leave the Big East out of the rankings. The league is losing a lot of its best players heading into next season and its hard to make a strong case for anyone.
Surprisingly, we might see Cincinnati at or near the top of the conference rankings early on next year. The Bearcats have the most returning starters in the league (tied with UConn) with 17 and in star QB Zach Collaros, 1,000-yard rusher Isaiah Pead, and 900-yard receiver D.J. Woods, have the league's best trio entering the season.
Can Pitt break the top 25 at some point? Possibly. But they clearly don't have any business being there in the preseason.
Who should be the highest-ranked team in the Big East to start the season?
Cincinnati (13 votes)
Connecticut (12 votes)
Louisville (18 votes)
PItt (32 votes)
Rutgers (5 votes)
South Florida (20 votes)
Syracuse (5 votes)
West Virginia (62 votes)
Dude...it's basketball season (60 votes)
227 total votes