Spring football is full of tackling sleds, closed-door scrimmages and players wearing non-contact jerseys. In other words, it's hard to read too much into spring happenings. But you can still learn some things if you're paying attention. Here are five things we learned about the Big East this spring:
1. Few quarterback controversies. Going into the fall, the only real questions at quarterback are at Syracuse -- where Ryan Nassib leads hard-charging Charley Loeb -- and Louisville -- where Adam Froman and Justin Burke continue to battle. Tino Sunseri never faced a serious challenge at Pitt, Geno Smith will be the starter at West Virginia despite Coley White's strong spring and Zach Frazer distanced himself from Cody Endres at UConn. Most teams will go into the fall all set at the game's most crucial position.
2. Offense still rules. Cincinnati showed last year that you could win the league by outgunning people, and that might happen again. The Bearcats are loaded on offense, while Pitt should have a high-scoring attack with Dion Lewis and Jonathan Baldwin. UConn will put up points in the second year of its no huddle system, while West Virginia has as much raw speed as anyone. Be prepared for some shootouts this fall.
3. New coaches, new attitudes. All three new coaches in the league brought something positive to the table this spring. Butch Jones changed the culture to a more family-oriented atmosphere at Cincinnati. Skip Holtz created openness and a more diverse offense to South Florida. Charlie Strong installed toughness and offered gangbuster recruiting for Louisville. Now all three have to win some games.
4. Experience doesn't mean worry-free. West Virginia and UConn returned the most starters, with 18 and 16 respectively. Yet both Bill Stewart and Randy Edsall had to deal with some minor off-the-field transgressions during the spring. On the plus side, each coach could afford to dole out strict punishment because of the depth on his roster. But they'd probably each like to see a little more leadership from their returning players.
5. It's going to be a wide-open race. There was no real consensus around the league this spring about who should be the favorite, though most coaches felt Pitt probably has the best talent. Any one of six teams could win the Big East, though, and not register as a major surprise. You can tell who the two non-contending teams are from the league schedule. For the second straight year, Louisville and Syracuse are the only Big East clubs that won't play on the final weekend of conference play.