Halloween in the Big East

The Big East knows Halloween.

You want scary? Just check out the league's nonconference record. The best story in the Big East right now is a team (Syracuse) whose mascot looks conspicuously like a giant pumpkin. And Pitt's quarterback of the future is named Mark Myers, which sounds an awful lot like you know who.

Here are some more Halloween tie-ins:

Scary movie: Pitt's 31-3 loss to Miami at home was as frightening as it gets, both for Panthers fans and the Big East in general. The league's supposed best team got mauled by a former friend. Sounds like a horror-film plot. Runner-up: Rutgers' home loss to Tulane.

Night of the living dead: Cincinnati started just 1-3 after winning the past two Big East titles and going 12-0 in the regular season last year. The Bearcats crawled back to life, but another damaging loss to South Florida last week has them clinging to bowl hopes by their fingernails.

Cursed team: Connecticut. It's been a nightmare season for the Huskies, with injuries, suspensions and tough losses turning a promising season into a horror story.

Graveyard: Read the last rites for: Cincinnati's 13-game Big East winning streak; Syracuse's eight-year drought against West Virginia; UConn's Big East title chances; the Big East's Top 25 residency; Dion Lewis's Heisman and repeat Big East player of the year hopes; West Virginia's dominant run attack; South Florida's October weeknight road flops.

Thriller: The best and most exciting player in the Big East this season hasn't been Dion Lewis or Noel Devine. It's Louisville's Bilal Powell, who runs like there are ghouls and goblins chasing him and who attacks linebackers like a zombie hunter.

Jack-O-Lantern: If the light ever goes on for the Rutgers offense -- that is, if the line can protect the quarterback, the running game takes off and the young receivers mature -- the Scarlet Knights could be dangerous because of their already strong defense and special teams.

Twilight Zone: South Florida fans had to feel like they were trapped in some hellish cosmic time warp when quarterback B.J. Daniels kept making costly mistakes in losses to Florida, Syracuse and West Virginia. Daniels finally busted through his own shackles last week at Cincinnati, and the Bulls hope that's the end of the episode.

Costumes: And finally some suggested costumes this year for Big East personalities:

  • Charlie Strong: Dr. Frankenstein. He's stitched together some leftover parts and made Louisville come alive.

  • Doug Marrone: Lazarus. He has helped raise Syracuse from the dead.

  • Rutgers' offensive linemen: Swiss Cheese. With a nation's worst 33 sacks allowed, this group has plenty of holes.

  • Skip Holtz: The Joker. The South Florida coach always has a smile and is quick with the one-liners, but don't underestimate his killer instinct.

  • John Marinatto: Houdini. The Big East commish and his league have escaped conference realignment unharmed. For now (to be continued ...)