Yeah, the 2012 football season is a ways off. Still a few Big East power rankings are making their way out there. As expected, Pitt doesn't rank very well.
Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com slots Pitt sixth in her rankings:
I truly believe Paul Chryst is the best hire Pitt could have made this time around. But does that mean he has what he needs to be able to turn this team into a serious Big East contender? There are major question marks at quarterback, offensive line, defensive line and linebacker. The defense was the strength of this team but it's losing most of its best players. How does Ray Graham come back from knee surgery? I think of all the Big East teams, the Panthers have the most questions headed into the offseason.
Not sure if I agree with the position, but I agree with the comments for the most part.
Athlon also has its preseason conference power rankings out and they agree with Adelson, ranking Pitt in sixth as well:
The Panthers aren’t short on talent, but adapting to their third coach in three seasons won’t be an easy transition. Considering what’s coming back and the coaching situation, Pittsburgh will be the toughest team to peg in the Big East preseason predictions.
The consensus from this small sample size is that Pitt is going to be awfully hard to predict this season. I don't doubt there are questions and maybe this is a myopic view, but I still have a hard time thinking Pitt finishes sixth if Ray Graham comes back. I'd probably slot them fourth right now behind WVU, Louisville, and Rutgers, though, not necessarily in that order. At first glance, I'm still probably picking them ahead of a South Florida team they destroyed this season and a Cincinnati team that's losing a ton.