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Hope and concern: Pittsburgh Panthers

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Biggest reason for hope: Overall talent level

The Panthers placed as many players as anybody on my Big East top 30 list, a testament to the terrific recruiting job Dave Wannstedt and his staff have done in the past few years. They could have the strongest defense in the league, with a veteran line, deep linebacking corps and an improving secondary. There are few physical specimens in the league like Jonathan Baldwin, who's surrounded by other outstanding athletes in the receiving corps. And the offensive line figures to be solid again once everyone settles into the proper roles.

Biggest reason for concern: The offensive backfield

No matter how good your supporting cast is, it's hard to win in college football without an above-average quarterback or a powerful running game. Pitt could thrive if Bill Stull plays like he did at times during the first half last season. Things could go south if he performs like he did down the stretch of the season, or if Pat Bostick and Tino Sunseri don't step forward. Stull's job was made a lot easier last year by the presence of superstar tailback LeSean McCoy, who commanded nonstop attention from defenses and carried the offensive load at times. None of his potential replacements has thus far displayed McCoy's game-changing abilities, meaning even more of a burden could be place on the quarterback spot this year.