These have a decidedly different look to them this week ...
1. West Virginia (4-1). The Mountaineers are the team to beat in the Big East through five weeks of the season. It appears as if they have found a running game -- though yes, I know Dustin Garrison ran for 291 yards against Bowling Green. But if that was not a fluke, it is hard to see anybody in the Big East stopping this offense at this point.
2. Pitt (3-2). The Panthers might be 2-2, but they beat previously unbeaten USF and nearly beat Iowa and Notre Dame. They finally put a complete game together last week, looking much better on offense and defense. Now they have to build on that performance and not go backward.
3. Cincinnati (4-1). The Bearcats have already matched last season's win total and are well on their way to getting back to a bowl game. Their 27-0 win over Miami (Ohio) wasn't pretty, but they go into their bye week looking like a team that belongs in the top half of the league.
4. USF (4-1). The Bulls deserve to be in the bottom half of the power rankings after their performance in a 44-17 loss to Pitt. But have you seen the bottom half of this league? USF is better than them. I truly believe the Bulls are a good team that had a bad game. They will rebound.
5. Rutgers (3-1). This team has slowly moved its way out of the basement and into respectability. Rutgers beat Syracuse 19-16 in double overtime in a really ugly game -- but that one win matches last season's total for league wins. Plus, it was the second time ever that Rutgers won a Big East opener on the road.
6. Syracuse (3-2). The Orange blew the game against Rutgers. There really is no way around saying that. They had ample opportunities to put the win away, but too many turnovers doomed them. The defense played outstanding, so there is plenty to build off from there. But Ryan Nassib had his worst game of the season.
7. Louisville (2-2). The Cardinals probably deserve to be No. 8 after losing two home games to non-AQ opponents. The latest loss came to Marshall, which lost to Ohio 44-7 earlier this year. Kentucky looks like a really bad team too.
8. UConn (2-3). As the only losing team in the Big East, the Huskies take the last spot by default. They showed signs of life on offense against Western Michigan, but the defense was just dreadful against the pass, giving up 479 yards through the air. I remember before the season started, UConn fans believed the nonconference schedule was so easy, the Huskies would start 5-0. The 2-3 start cannot be sitting too well right now.