Big East power rankings, Week 11

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

1. Cincinnati (9-0, 5-0 Big East): The emperor still has his clothes, but UConn certainly stretched the seams to the limit on Saturday. I've got a feeling that practice won't be too much fun this week for those Bearcats who play on defense and special teams.

2. Pittsburgh (8-1, 5-0): Pitt and Cincinnati have now played the same five Big East opponents. Time to compare. The average score in the Bearcats' league games: 39 to 19. In Pitt's: 32 to 14. Yes, this could be a lot of fun.

3. West Virginia (7-2, 3-1): The Mountaineers haven't had an impressive performance since the Oct. 10 Syracuse game. Wins matter a whole lot more than style points, of course, but this recent stretch raises serious doubts about whether West Virginia is in the same class as Cincinnati and Pitt. We're about to find out.

4. South Florida (6-2, 2-2): The last time USF went into Piscataway on a Thursday night as a ranked team, things didn't work out so well. There's far less pressure on the Bulls this time than when they were No. 2 in 2007, but it's still a tough assignment.

5. Rutgers (6-2, 1-2): The Scarlet Knights have won two in a row and look to be on course for, at minimum, an eight-win season. And yet, I feel like I don't really know if this team is actually any good. Thursday night's game should provide a good barometer.

6. Connecticut (4-5, 1-4): You could argue that the Huskies are as strong as anybody in the league, especially since they lost to Cincinnati and Pitt by a combined five points. But even Randy Edsall concedes that they are what their record says they are. And the Huskies have lost to the four teams they've played that are currently above them in the power rankings. Hence, the sixth spot.

7. Syracuse (3-6, 0-4): This is what you call a downward spiral: the Orange have lost their four Big East games by an average of three touchdowns. At least they can say they beat Northwestern, which beat Iowa.

8. Louisville (3-6, 0-4): I don't think I've ever seen a team less disciplined or more mistake-prone in the red zone than the '09 Cardinals. They easily could have two more wins (Kentucky and West Virginia) with a modicum of proficiency in that area.