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Phil Steele Is Back: With Pitt As Big East Champs

Phil Steele is back and this time he has his conference rankings out - and it's more of the same. Like last season, Steele picks the Panthers to win the Big East.

Oh boy.

Seriously, though - it's hard to take these kinds of things too seriously. With the internet, everyone and their brother has preseason rankings out. And the fact that we're not even to the Fall yet makes me think it's way too early for this.

That said, Steele apparently likes the Panthers. So much so that Pitt is tied with South Florida for first place. According to ESPN.com blogger Andrea Adelson, Steele believes they'll own the tiebreaker against USF and go on to the BCS.

Now, I don't think that's a bad pick. But having seen enough of the Panthers in my life, I rarely pick them to accomplish as much as others might. And after last year? Well, needless to say I'd be hard pressed to pick them to win the Big East next season. Doesn't mean they can't, obviously - I just don't know if I'm quite on that bandwagon yet.

That said, who knows. With South Florida's reputation of underperforming, I'd have a hard time picking them, too. For me, it might be West Virginia.

The somewhat odd thing is that Steele ranks Pitt behind USF in his overall top 30. The Panthers come in at #27, while USF is #25.