What we learned in the Big East: Week 3

1. West Virginia and Pitt look like the class of the league: There's a whole lot of time left, obviously, and conference play is still a couple of weeks away. But with Cincinnati and Connecticut both losing again, it looks like there's some separation at the top of the Big East. Pitt still has to prove it on Thursday versus Miami and West Virginia needs to be more consistent. Right now, though, they seem like the top two contenders.

2. Mountaineers have balance: The play of Geno Smith at quarterback, along with the rise of Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey at receiver, has given West Virginia true offensive balance. The Mountaineers have a legitimate passing attack now as Smith has been very efficient. And, of course, the running game still has Noel Devine. "It will be great for us to be a balanced team so they just can't key on me," Devine said.

3. The passing game is holding UConn back: The Huskies running game still remains terrific -- Jordan Todman rushed for almost 200 yards at Temple -- but the Huskies won't live up to their offseason billing until the passing game improves. Quarterback Zach Frazer is still too inconsistent and erratic; he was just 16 of 31 against Temple after going 18 of 37 at Michigan. And the receiving corps is searching for a true stretch-the-field guy to replace Marcus Easley from last year. That's a big reason why UConn is a highly disappointing 1-2.

4. Cincinnati is in trouble: The Bearcats talked about putting it all together offensively against NC State -- and then went out and laid another egg. They trailed 30-7 in the fourth quarter before scoring a couple garbage touchdowns. Not much has gone right in Butch Jones' first year so far, and with Oklahoma coming to town this week, Cincinnati is staring down the barrel of a 1-3 start. Hard to believe, but the two-time defending Big East champions could struggle just to make a bowl if they don't turn things around quickly.

5. Louisville could be a tough out: Louisville is not going to win the Big East, but the Cardinals could be the type of team nobody wants to play. The Cardinals went on the road and made Oregon State sweat before falling 35-28. They found a spark for their offense, outgaining the Beavers by more than 100 yards. Charlie Strong won't like the defensive performance, but he and his staff will make sure this team plays hard and fights every week. In what appears to be a down year for the Big East, there's no reason why Louisville can't jump up and beat a few teams in the league.