Big East: Yep, it stinks

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Three inches.

That's about how far the Big East came from not having a single legitimate BCS title contender after the second week of the season.

South Florida stopped Michael Greco on fourth down by that approximate distance to outlast Central Florida, 31-24, in overtime. If the Bulls had lost, the only undefeated team left in the entire conference would have been Connecticut, which hardly looked national title worthy with a 12-9 overtime win at Temple (though, the weather conditions made it tough on the offenses).

So, after two weeks, the Big East's best two victories have both come in overtime. Against Temple and Central Florida.

No offense to UConn, which might very well win this league, but it's probably on South Florida now to carry the banner for the conference. West Virginia bombed out with a 24-3 loss at East Carolina, a result so ugly that it's hard to imagine the Mountaineers climbing back into the national title picture.

Elsewhere, Pittsburgh pulled out a much-needed victory against Buffalo, but the Panthers hardly inspire as much confidence as they did in the preseason. Louisville scored 51 points but did so against a badly overmatched Tennessee Tech team. We won't really know anything about the Cardinals for another 11 days, when they play Kansas State. Cincinnati put up a fight for a while but eventually got clobbered at Oklahoma, perhaps exposing how far off the Big East really is from the upper echelon. The Bearcats also lost their QB to injury.

And Syracuse, well, there are really no words to describe how bad Syracuse is right now.

No doubt the Big East will get hammered nationally this week, and deservedly so. Probably no league team belongs in the top 15 right now. If there's a plus side, every team in the league must feel that it can win the conference title.

Well, everyone except Syracuse, that is.