Big East 2012 Top 25 countdown: No. 12

We head into the weekend with a look at our first Bearcat on the countdown ....

No. 12, Greg Blair, LB, Cincinnati

Making the case: Blair was the Big East's leading tackler, with 138 stops, good for sixth nationally. Nine of those tackles were for loss, and he added 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, six pass break-ups, eight passes defended, four quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Blair was the leader of a defense that lost end Walter Stewart midway through the season, and Cincinnati remained its usual consistent self, winning a share of its fourth conference title in the last five years. The Bearcats were second in the Big East in scoring defense (18.46 ppg), and 14th nationally. Blair was named first-team All-Big East by both the conference and ESPN.com for his efforts, and a certain colleague of mine thinks more may be on the way next season.

Preseason ranking: NR

The countdown

No. 13 Ray Graham/Jawan Jamison, RBs, Pitt/Rutgers

No. 14 Mario Benavides, C, Louisville

No. 15 Adrian Bushell, CB, Louisville

No. 16 Sio Moore, LB, UConn

No. 17 Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse

No. 18 Scott Vallone, DT, Rutgers

No. 19 Jerome Smith, RB, Syracuse

No. 20 Devin Street, WR, Pitt

No. 21 DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

No. 22 Matt Brown, RB, Temple

No. 23 Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

No. 24 Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple

No. 25 Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt