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Big East power rankings: Week 12

Let’s take a look at the power rankings after Week 11:

1. West Virginia (7-3, 3-2 Big East). The Mountaineers beat the best team in the conference 24-21 to vault them to the top of the power rankings. Why? The victory over Cincinnati is the best league win any Big East team has posted this season. The loss to Syracuse in particular looks bad today – but not any worse than the Bearcats’ loss to Tennessee (0-6 in the SEC? Oh my!).

2. Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1). The Bearcats might have the league's best overall record, but it is hard to put them atop the power rankings after a loss. Their best win is what, over NC State (5-5)? Worst loss is to Tennessee (4-6). They are still a solid team that could very well run the table. But for this week at least, they drop back to No. 2.

3. Rutgers (7-3, 3-2). Rutgers also has no real impressive wins, but no really bad losses. Defense and special teams have defined the team this season. We’ll see how the Scarlet Knights stack up this Saturday against Cincinnati.

4. Pitt (5-5, 3-2). I will admit it. I have no idea which Pitt team is going to show up every week. Or which Tino Sunseri is going to show up every week. This is a team with plenty of talent that has underachieved this season because Sunseri hasn’t really been able to pick up the offense. But when he can manage a game the way he did against Louisville – with a terrific run game to complement him – the Panthers are a pretty good team.

5. Louisville (5-5, 3-2). The Cardinals are now back in the pack in the race for the Big East title after a disappointing loss to Pitt snapped a three-game winning streak. This is still a team that has some growing up to do, but all signs point to a bright future with so much young talent.

6. UConn (4-5, 2-2). The Huskies are not out of bowl contention, with two of their final three games at home. They have some bad losses on the slate, but they also have wins over USF and Syracuse so they fit right here. They get Louisville at home this weekend with a chance to get back to .500.

7. USF (5-4, 1-4). We finally saw a complete effort from USF in Big East play. This team should be in the top half of the Big East standings if you look at personnel alone. But a 1-4 league record says the Bulls have to stay in the bottom half of the rankings. They have a good win over Notre Dame, but that was in Week 1, and that is pretty much all they have.

8. Syracuse (5-5, 1-4). Oh, Syracuse, what has happened? The Orange now have the longest losing streak in the Big East at three games, and are not playing with much cohesion on offense, defense or special teams. Four of their five wins have been by 7 points or less.