The Big East's pleasant surprises

On Monday, I took a look at the biggest disappointments in the Big East through the first month of the season. There's no fun in being negative all the time. So let's take a look at some of the more pleasant surprises through the season's first four weeks:

1. Ryan Nassib: After spending a season as Greg Paulus' understudy, Syracuse's sophomore quarterback leads the Big East in passing efficiency and has a 9-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

2. The South Florida running game: Granted, a lot of the stats have come against weak competition. But the Bulls -- who tended to ignore the running backs in recent years under Jim Leavitt -- lead the league in rushing at 216 yards per game. If the receivers can get healthy, this team could have a balanced attack under Skip Holtz for the first time in a long while.

3. The West Virginia passing game: Geno Smith has been excellent in his first year as the starting quarterback, and Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey have bolstered the receiving crew as the Mountaineers rank second in the league in passing yards per game.

4. Bilal Powell: Charlie Strong called the senior the face of the Louisville program in the preseason, and Powell has responded with a strong start. He's currently second in the league in rushing and could surpass his career high for rushing in a season as soon as this weekend.

5. Joe Lefeged: We knew Lefeged was a good player, but the senior has stepped up his game both in the Rutgers secondary and on special teams, where's he's been the league's most valuable player in the kicking game so far this season.

What other players or performances have come as pleasant surprises to you so far?