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Revised 2011 Top 25 countdown: No. 13

We are counting down the top 25 players in the Big East, one player at a time.

Up today: Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia.

Making the case: Irvin emerged as a force in 2010, with an amazing 14 sacks as a pass-rush specialist. Many anticipated bigger things in 2011, especially with his move into the starting lineup. But Irvin got off to a slow start and was particularly ineffective early in the season, as he had to fight off double teams and adjust to his new every-down role. West Virginia coaches smartly saw that and adjusted, pulling him out of the starting lineup. The result was a return of the Irvin of old.

Irvin had one sack in the first five games of the season; he had 7.5 in the final eight. He ended up fourth in the Big East in sacks, and made it onto the Big East first team. His huge sack and forced fumble on Cincinnati's Zach Collaros essentially changed the complexion of the Big East race. Then against Pitt, Irvin had seven tackles, a forced fumble and two sacks. He may not have had a repeat of 2011 in the stats column, but he was still one of the best in the Big East.

Preseason ranking: No. 5.

The countdown:

No. 25 Ryne Giddins, DE, USF

No. 24 Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia

No. 23 Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers

No. 22 Antwon Bailey, RB, Syracuse

No. 21 Lyle McCombs, RB, UConn

No. 20 Dexter Heyman, LB, Louisville

No. 19 Hakeem Smith, S, Louisville

No. 18 Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers

No. 17 Aaron Donald, DE, Pitt

No. 16 Trevardo Williams, DE, UConn

No. 15 Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse

No. 14 Julian Miller, DE, West Virginia