Pitt is 23rd in Phil Steele rankings

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

The Big East is getting more love from Phil Steele's preseason magazine than just about anywhere else.

Steele is counting down his Top 40 teams daily, and Pittsburgh checks in today at No. 23. South Florida just missed the top 25 at No. 26, and we know Steele has Rutgers ranked 16th. Could Cincinnati be in the mix as well?

Steele bases his rankings on where he thinks teams will be at the end of the season, and in that light, the Big East looks better. I think at least two Big East teams will be in the top 25 when it's all said and done, though none might crack the preseason rankings.

You can read Steele's complete Pitt preview here. He ranks the Panthers' defense as tops in the Big East this season and says six of his nine sets of power rankings call for a double-digit win season.