<
>

Final Big East power rankings for 2009 season

All the precincts have reported. It's time for one final Big East power ranking for the 2009 season. Note: this doesn't reflect any projections for next season but rather the body of work from '09 and the bowls.

1. Cincinnati (12-1, 7-0 Big East): Sure, the curtain call was pretty bad. But there's no way to ignore that 12-0 first act.

2. Pittsburgh (10-3, 5-2): Pitt finished with 10 wins, beat a pretty good North Carolina team in a bowl and lost its three games by a combined 11 points.

3. West Virginia (9-4, 5-2): It wasn't often pretty this year, but West Virginia managed to win nine games and make the Gator Bowl. A lot of teams would love to settle for that kind of season.

4. Connecticut (8-5, 3-4): The Huskies were playing as well as any team in the league to end the season and will take the longest winning streak -- four games -- into 2010. Still, they did lose to the three teams above them on this list.

5. Rutgers (9-4, 3-4): The Scarlet Knights beat two teams that finished in the top 70 of the Sagarin Ratings this year -- UConn and South Florida.

6. South Florida (8-5, 3-4): Speaking of questionable wins, six of the Bulls' victories came against two FBS teams, Western Kentucky, Louisville, Syracuse and Northern Illinois.

T-7. Louisville (4-8, 1-6): Six of Louisville's eight losses came by double digits. Charlie Strong has his work cut out for him.

T-7. Syracuse (4-8 1-6): The Orange lost to Louisville by one point on the road, but their wins over Rutgers and Northwestern were better than anything on the Cardinals' résumé. So let's call it a tie.