Big East power rankings: Week 12

I've got a clearer idea of who's at the bottom of the pack this week, but I still am not sure who should be on top. I'm going to use conference records and recent performance as my guide.

1. Pittsburgh (5-4, 3-1 Big East): The Panthers did not play very well in Thursday's loss at Connecticut and certainly didn't look like a BCS-worthy team most of the night. Yet they're still 3-1 and atop the standings, so they get to stay here for at least one more week.

2. Syracuse (7-3, 4-2): Hard to believe that Syracuse is 4-0 on the Big East road this year. If the Orange had just managed to protect home field ...

3. South Florida (6-3, 3-2): The Bulls have won three straight close ones, nipping Cincinnati by eight, escaping Rutgers by one and getting by Louisville in overtime. Up next is an important home date with Pitt.

4. West Virginia (6-3, 2-2): Were the Mountaineers that good in a 37-10 win over Cincinnati, or is Cincinnati just that bad? A better test comes this week when West Virginia travels to Louisville.

5. Connecticut (5-4, 2-2): The Huskies have won back-to-back games against West Virginia and Pitt at home. Now can they win one away from Rentschler Field? Two of their last three are on the road, where they're winless this season.

6. Louisville (5-5, 2-3): The Cardinals would be right in the thick of things if they hadn't killed themselves with turnovers and penalties in home losses to Cincinnati and South Florida. Instead, they're left looking for one more win to get bowl eligible.

7. Rutgers (4-5, 1-3): That's three straight losses for the Scarlet Knights, who are in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 2004. Seven of their games have been decided by five points or less this season.

8. Cincinnati (3-6, 1-3): It's a long way down from back-to-back BCS bowls to the Big East basement.