Big East position groups that are simply loaded

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
All teams are not created equal. And not all positions on a given team are on a level playing field.

There are some position groups that are much stronger than others. Today, we take a look at the areas where some Big East teams are simply loaded:

South Florida's defensive line: Probably the most impressive-looking group, physically speaking, that I saw all spring. The Bulls' D-line is full of tall, rangy, athletic specimens. There's George Selvie, of course, but don't forget about Terrell McClain and Aaron Harris. And when Jason Pierre-Paul and Ryne Giddins come in this summer, the defensive line is going to be even more loaded.

Pittsburgh's defensive line: The Panthers defensive front is just as strong as South Florida's, but in a different way. Dave Wannstedt prefers undersized, hyper-athletic players up front, and he's got them in spades with Greg Romeus, Jabaal Sheard and Mick Williams, among others.

Rutgers' offensive line: The Scarlet Knights return all five starters from their offensive front, the only team in the Big East to do so. But this is more than just a collection of veterans. There are real stars on this unit in left tackle Anthony Davis and Rimington Trophy candidate Ryan Blaszczyk at center. Throw in improving right tackle Kevin Haslam, and you've got one loaded line.

Connecticut's linebackers: All three of the Huskies' starting linebackers -- Scott Lutrus, Lawrence Wilson and Greg Lloyd -- are back, as well as the top three backups. And one of UConn's top recruits, Mike Osiecki, also plays linebacker. This is one position that's in extremely good hands for Randy Edsall.

West Virginia's linebackers: The duo of Reed Williams and J.T. Thomas are about as good as it gets in the Big East. Anthony Leonard, who started last year, is running second-string behind Williams at the middle spot. The Mountaineers need to find a consistent player at the other outside slot, but they have solid candidates in Pat Lazear and Ovid Golbourne, among others.
Others considered: Cincinnati's wide receivers, Connecticut's safeties, Louisville's wide receivers, Rutgers' linebackers, South Florida's wide receivers, Syracuse's running backs and West Virginia's defensive line.