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Big East lunchtime links

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Syracuse season ticket sales have climbed about 20 percent -- to nearly 20,000 -- for the first year of the Doug Marrone era, Donnie Webb reports in the Syracuse Post-Standard.

• Pitt's 2006 recruiting class was more full of blue-collar players than stars. But those guys are why the Panthers are favored to win the Big East, Paul Zeise writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

• The Times West Virginian's Bob Hertzel looks at some freshmen who might make an impact this season for the Mountaineers.

• UConn doesn't need the Notre Dame series anymore, Jeff Jacobs writes in the Hartford Courant.

• South Florida needs to finally finish strong, Martin Fennelly says in the Tampa Tribune.

• Former Bulls quarterback Marquel Blackwell has joined the coaching staff, Greg Auman notes in the St. Petersburg Times.

• The Courier-Journal's C.L. Brown looks at five storylines facing the Louisville Cardinals as they start practice. Meanwhile, scratch these four players off Steve Kragthorpe's roster.

• Rutgers got a commitment from a receiver in its own backyard.