We've been over the topic in great detail this offseason, but Pitt could be a surprise contender for the Big East. That's now starting to become evident elsewhere.
ESPN had a recent poll on surprise teams in the Big East and Pitt is currently in first as of Friday night. Big East blogger Andrea Adelson says there's a chance to finish as conference champion:
Pitt. There are so many "ifs" surrounding the Panthers. But the possibility is there for those ifs to turn into positives and have them atop the Big East. Paul Chryst is bringing an offensive scheme that worked really well at Wisconsin. He has running backs capable of playing smash-mouth, and an offensive line that should be better. Questions remain, though, about Ray Graham, Tino Sunseri, and the offensive and defensive lines.
I've said it before, but I remain a bit surprised Pitt isn't ranked higher than third or fourth in nearly every preseason poll. That said, when you've been burned as many times as most people have that picked Pitt to win the Big East recently ... well, I get it.