Big East stock report, Week 5

Stock up

1. Sio Moore: Making his first start for Connecticut in place of Greg Lloyd on Saturday, Moore recorded 16 tackles and an interception to earn Big East defensive player of the week honors. Randy Edsall likes what Moore brings at linebacker but cautioned, "He did OK. Let's not crown him as Dick Butkus yet."

2. Demetris Murray: The USF running back rushed for 115 yards against Western Kentucky and is becoming more and more of a weapon in the Bulls offense.

3. Mike Holmes: The Syracuse defensive back is averaging 18.67 yards per punt return, which ranks eighth in the FBS.

4. Pitt and USF punting: Pittsburgh ranks No. 1 nationally and South Florida is No. 3 in net punt average.

Stock down

1. Big East in the polls: The league failed to have a team crack the Top 25 this week. According to ESPN Stats & Info, it’s the first time a BCS automatic qualifying conference has been shut out of the AP poll during the season since Nov. 21, 1999 (Pac-10).

2. Rutgers' playcalling: Sure the receivers are young and the line hasn't jelled. But we're now going on two years of ineffective offense by the Scarlet Knights. The Wildcat is being used past the point of usefulness. At some point, the playcalling has to get better.

3. West Virginia special teams: The Mountaineers have made a marked improvement in kick coverage, but they allowed a punt return touchdown at LSU and missed two field goals, one of which was blocked. Tyler Bitancurt is just 5-for-8 now on field goals this year.

4. Pitt's promotional department: Pittsburgh established separate web sites for Dion Lewis, Greg Romeus and Jon Baldwin this preseason. I'm not saying those sites are cursed, but I'm pretty sure their hits have gone way down this month.

Player of the year race: Offense

1. Jordan Todman, RB, UConn: I elevated Todman even though he sat out last week with an injury. Why? Because Noel Devine didn't do much at LSU (he hurt his toe) and Todman still leads the league in rushing.

2. Zach Collaros, QB, Cincinnati: We saw the Collaros we expected all year vs. Oklahoma, and now he's back on top the Big East in passing yards, with a 9-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ration.

3. Devine: He'll bounce back strong, as long as he's healthy.

4. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: Didn't have a great game at LSU, but a lot of quarterbacks would struggle against that defense in that atmosphere.

5. Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse: Leads the league in pass efficiency. Need to see him do it against top-flight competition, however.

Player of the year race: Defense

1. Joe Lefeged, S, Rutgers: He was my leader last week, and no one really stepped up and overtook him in Week 4.

2. JK Schaffer, LB, Cincinnati: Now leads league in tackles and had terrific interception vs. Oklahoma.

3. Robert Sands, S, West Virginia: Still anchor of impressive defense, but he needs to start making some big plays himself.

4. Derrell Smith, LB, Syracuse: Tied for second in the league in tackles. Very, very steady.

5. Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh: Leads league in tackles for loss and is third in sacks. One of few Panthers who played well against Miami.