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Big East lunchtime links

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

  • Jim Leavitt has instituted a number of changes, including shorter practices, in an effort to get South Florida over the hump in the Big East, Brett McMurphy reports in the Tampa Tribune.

  • Pitt freshman linebacker Dan Mason is drawing high praise from everyone, including coach Dave Wannstedt, Kevin Gorman says in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

  • Fifth-year senior Nate Sowers will get his first career start at safety for West Virginia this weekend, Dave Hickman writes in the Charleston Gazette.

  • Columnist Eric Crawford -- along with some Louisville fans -- lays out the minimum requirements for Cardinals football this year in The Courier-Journal.

  • Speaking of Louisville, whatever happened to Matt Simms? He's at a California junior college, trying to take advantage of one his last chances, Baxter Holmes writes in the L.A. Times.

  • UConn knows better than to look past Ohio, Desmond Conner writes in the Hartford Courant.

  • Dave Rahme has five keys to Syracuse's season in the Syracuse Post-Standard.