Big East Recruiting Class Rankings
#5 South Florida
Big East Top Freshman 2012
#1 Darius Hamiton DE Rutgers
#2 Chad Voytik QB Pitt
#3 Nick Dawson LB Louisville
#4 D'Vario Montgomery WR USF
#5 Ashton Broyld QB/RB Syracuse
Big East Coaching Rankings
#1 Butch Jones Cincinnati
#2 Charlie Strong Louisville
#3 Skip Holtz South Florida
#4 Paul Pasqualoni
#5 Steve Addazio
#6 Doug Marrone
#7 Paul Chryst
#8 Kyle Flood
Big East Football Awards 2012
Offensive Player of the Year
Ray Graham RB Pitt
Defensive Player of the Year
Ryne Giddens DE USF
Coach of the Year
Skip Holtz South Florida
Offensive Freshman of the Year
Ashton Broyld QB/RB Syracuse
Defensive Freshman of the Year
Darius Hamilton DL Rutgers
2011 Big East Final Standings
#2 West Virginia
#7 South Florida
My 2011 Big East Predictions
#1 South Florida-Wrong
#2 West Virginia-Correct
#4 Cincinnati*-Wrong (sleeper pick correct)
How I Ranked Using the Stassen Rating
Tied at 12th out of 14 with 20 points.
Big East Football Predictions 2012
#1 South Florida
Coach: Skip Holtz
Returning Starters: 16; 7 offense, 7 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Raymond James Stadium (65,857) #2 Big East stadium capacity
Offense: QBB.J. Daniels is back to lead the Bulls. He needs to improve in late game situations, but is a solid QB. WR is deep for the Bulls, but need more play makers to emerge. RB Demetrius Murray played well when called upon last year. The offensive line returns three starters and should provide good protection for Daniels.
Defense: All three LB's return for the Bulls and they will be the leaders of the defense. The Bulls will be putting heavy pressure on the QB again this year. It starts with Ryne Giddins who had 5.5 sacks last year. Look for sophomore Elkino Jenkins to be a force in the middle. The Bulls secondary will return two starters and have plenty of depth from two JUCOS and Jaquez Jenkins.
Special Teams: Maikon Bonani returns as the Bulls kicker. Punter is up for grabs and is a three man battle.
Overview: The Bulls lost four games by seven or less points last year. The offense will need to improve in late game situation. The defense should be even better then last year's squad. The game at Louisville could decide the Big East.
Coach: Charlie Strong
Returning Starters: 12; 6 offense, 6 defense
Stadium: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (55,000) #4 Big East stadium capacity
Offense: Teddy Bridgewater was impressive in year one as a freshman. The Cardinals played 3 freshman on the line last year and it showed. The line should be improved and returns 4 starters. A couple of converted players will play at RB. Dominique Brown was a QB now starts at RB and Senorise Perry is a converted CB who has great speed. Sophomore RB Corvin Lamb will get a chance to compete for carries this year. Devante Parker could have a breakthrough year in a starting role. The sophomore caught six TD's a year ago.
Defense: All four secondary players return. Smith is the best of the bunch and was a leading tackler on the team. Sophomore Deiontrez Mount could emerge as a star LB. With his size he could be used to apply pressure to the QB of the edge. The defensive line is young, with little experience overall. They could be the difference in a good and great defense.
Special Teams: Louisville will have to replace both kicker and punter. Wallace will take over at kicker and Johnson at punter.
Overview: Louisville is still young, but with more experience. With so many sophomores on the team, this is a team for now and the future. Hats off to Charlie Strong and his staff for great recruiting the past few years. A game to watch for is North Carolina at home. If the Cards take down UNC watch out.
Coach: Paul Chryst
Returning Starters: 14; 8 offense, 4 defense, punter, kicker
Stadium: Heinz Feild (65,050) #3 Big East stadium capacity
Offense: The switch from the spread to a pro-style offense will overall help the Panthers. Sunseri will be back at QB for one more year. Freshman Chad Voytik will be the future at QB. The running back position provides is deep. Ray Graham returns from an injury and had almost 1000 yards after 7 games. Behind him are young talents Rushel Shell and Issac Bennett. The Panthers were lucky to get a 6th year out of guard Chris Jacobson. Turnley is the other lone returning starter on the line.
Defense: The defense took major hits and only returns 4 starters. The safety positions should be fine with Holley's return. The line has potential first team Arron Donald. Linebacker should be the strength of the team with Mason returning from injury and Thomas returning.
Special Teams: Harper had a decent year at kicker. Yoklic has a powerful leg and returns at punter.
Overview: The offense should be pretty good with Ray Graham at running back. The defense is the big question mark. How they perform will determine what kind of season Pitt has.
Coach: Kyle Flood
Returning Starters: 15; 6 offense, 8 defense, punter
Stadium: Rutgers Stadium (52,454) #5 Big East stadium capacity
Offense: Rutgers and QB problems go hand and hand. They have QB's Nova and Dodd, they both were mistake prone last fall. Nova will get the start. RB Jawan Jamison returns after a good freshman season. Sophomore Savon Huggins was a top RB recruit a year ago, keep an eye on him to make an impact this season. Both WR's Coleman and Harrison have great size and should be a factor in the passing game. The top TE in the Big East D.C. Jefferson is back for his final year. This year's line has the potential to be solid. The left side of the line is secure. The right side will need 30 game Maryland starter R.J. Dill to make an impact right away.
Defense: This year's defense should be the best in the Big East. NFL talent is all over the field. LB Greene is the leader on defense and the whole LB unit returns. He led the team in tackles last season. Logan Ryan is one of the top corners in the league. All Big East safety Duron Harmons returns, also. The line may be looked at as a weakness, but it's not. Vallone is a 4 year starter, and top New Jersey recruit Darius Hamilton should get plenty of playing team.
Overview: The defense will keep Rutgers in about every game. QB play will be key to how far this team can go. If the QB play can cut down the turnovers and manage the game a Big East title is not out of reach. Another concern will be how coach Flood handles year one at the helm. An early game at South Florida will set the tone for the season.
Coach: Butch Jones
Returning Starters: 15; 6 offense, 7 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Nippert Staium (35,000) #8 Big East stadium capacity
Offense: The Bearcats will need to find replacements for Pead and Collaros, which won't be an easy task. It seems like Junior QB Munchie Legaux will get the job. George Winn will be Peads replacement, but Sophomore Jameel Poteat should be the starter by the end of the year. The Bearcats have one of the best WR cores in the Big East. McClung is a star in the making and Thompkins has the potential to be great for the Bearcats. The offensive line returns 3 starters from last year's team.
Defense: The pass defense wasn't great last year, but they got bailed out by a plus 12 turnover margin that ranked 9th in the country. Expect that number to go down with a new QB. The secondary returns 3 starters including senior Drew Frey. The Bearcats may have trouble replacing DT's hughes and Wolfe who were both drafted into the NFL. Both DE's return and they will need to make a major impact. Middle LB JK Schaffer is gone and Solomon Tentman is the man to replace him.
Special Teams: Sophomore Tony Miliano will need to improve after a poor freshman year. The Bearcats do have one of the top punters in the Big East in Pat O'donnell.
Overview: Leguax is going to have to improve at QB if the bearcats are going to make a run at the top of the Big East. Finding replacements at both DT positions could be challenging too. The Bearcats have a early chance to make a statement in week one when Pitt comes into town.
Coach: Doug Marrone
Returning Starters: 15; 5 offense, 8 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Carrier Dome (49,262) #6 Big East stadium capacity
Offense: Nassib needs to have a big year for the Orange. He will need to have more than his 22 TD's last year. Lemon had a solid year at WR last year with over 800 yards receiving. Sales is back after a year suspension and should be a deep threat. The wildcard is rookie Ashton Broyld who can play at any position on offense. He is 6'4 229 pounds and could be the difference in how well this team plays offenses.
Defense: Syracuse had the worst defense in the league last year. Their best player, Marquis Spruill, went down with an injury in the spring. His timetable to return should be more clear once fall camp starts. Eight starters return for the Orange. The defensive line will need to produce more pressure after having a league worst 28 sacks a year ago. The run defense was fine, but the pass defense ranked 98th in the country last season. The more experienced defense should improve, but it may not be a big enough to take them to the top half of the Big East.
Special Teams: Fisher will be back at punter. Kicker Ross Krautman is back at kicker while limited in range his is fairly accurate.
Overview: Two things will have to improve for Syracuse to climb to the top of the Big East. 1.The offense will have to score more points after being 84th in the nation last season. 2. The defense as a whole needs to improve. The schedule is one of the toughest in the nation, the Orange may have a hard time finding their way into a bowl game.
Coach: Paul Pasqualoni
Returning Starters: 15; 5 offense, 9 defense, punter
Stadium: Rentschler Field (40,000) #7 Big East stadium capacity
Offense: Five players are competing for the QB position. That's never a good sign. Whoever wins the QB battle will be without a proven play maker at wide receiver. Boston College transfer WR Shakim Philips may be the answer. The good news is Freshman All-American RB Lyle McCombs is back. He ran for 1,151 yards last season. The offense line should be great with 3 returning starters and Penn State transfer Alex Meteas taking over at center. All Big East tight end Ryan Griffin should play an even bigger role after pulling down 33 receptions last season.
Defense: The run defense was great, the past defense was horrible. The pass defense should improve with everyone returning in the secondary. All three LB's return after each one was in the top ten in tackles a year ago. Defensive end Trevardo Williams finished with 12.5 sacks last season which ranked him 2nd in the nation. The production they receive from the DT position will be something to keep an eye on.
Special Teams: The kicking game will be decided between Christen and Puyol. They have a tough act to follow as Kicker Dave Teggart was the leading scorer in team history. Cole Wagner returns at punter for UConn.
Overview: Quarterback remains an issue for the Huskies. Playmakers at the WR position are unproven. The pass defense was horrible a year ago. UConn was dealt a tough Big East road schedule with games at Rutgers, South Florida, and Louisville.
Coach: Steve Addazio
Returning Starters: 11; 4 offense, 5 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field ( 68,532) #1 Big East stadium capacity
Offense: RB Bernard Pierce is going to be hard to replace. Matt Brown will pick up the workload after rushing for over 900 yards last year. Only one starter returns on the line which leaves a lot of questions to be answered. Redhsirt Freshman Zach Hooks looks to be the starter at LT. The WR position is bare and without a true play maker. Chris Coyer has the QB position to himself and is a great dual threat.
Defense: Last year's squad ranked 12th in the nation overall and only two teams managed to score more than 30 points against them. Even with the departures of 5 starters this defense still has the potential to be good. The depth on the defensive line is deep and led by NT Levi Brown and DE John Youboty. LB Blaze Caponegro emerged last season. Ahkeem Smith saw extensive work last season and will have starting spot at OLB. The secondary is filled with three seniors and one junior.
Special Teams: Brandon McManus handles all the kicking duties. Matt Brown is an elite return man.
Overview: Temple enters the Big East in a bit of a transition year. The offensive line is a big concern. Matt Brown will have to prove his worth now that Bernard Pierce is gone. Defensively the Owls should be solid, but not as good as last year. Early tests vs. South Florida and Rutgers will be telling.
Big East Football Games to Watch 2012
Pitt @ Cincinnati Thursday, Sept 6
Virginia Tech @ Cincinnati Saturday, Sept 29
North Carolina @ Louisville Saturday, Sept 15
Louisville @ Rutgers Thursday, Nov 29
Rutgers @ South Florida Thursday, Sept 13
Virginia Tech @ Pitt Saturday, Sept 15
Louisville @ Pitt Saturday, Oct 13
Connecticut @ Maryland Saturday, Sept 15
Florida St. @ South Florida Saturday, Sept 29
South Florida @ Louisville Saturday Oct 20
Northwestern @ Syracuse Saturday, Sept 1