Big East awards race update, Week 7

Player of the year race: Offense

1. Jordan Todman, RB, Connecticut: Todman ranks third nationally in rushing and has been sensational. But his team needs to win more games for him to take this award at season's end.

2. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: Smith makes the Mountaineers' offense more dangerous than it has been in a few years, and he went nuts against UNLV. If West Virginia wins the league, he could easily be the MVP.

3. Bilal Powell, RB, Louisville: Powell just keeps churning out the yards, surpassing 200 against Memphis in a blowout. He's now No. 8 nationally in rushing and has a spotlight game Friday against Cincinnati.

4. Zach Collaros, QB, Cincinnati: After a slow start, Collaros and the Bearcats offense are beginning to take flight. He leads the Big East in passing yards and has a sparkling 12-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio.

5. Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse: He is on pace for another 1,000-yard season and helped power the Orange's game-winning, 98-yard drive at South Florida.

Player of the year race: Defense

1. Joe Lefeged, S, Rutgers: Has surpassed Robert Sands as the most dynamic safety in the Big East.

2. Derrell Smith, LB, Syracuse: Leader of the Orange defense that's playing great right now.

3. Chris Neild, DT, West Virginia: My choice as the half-season MVP of the league's top-rated defense. Mountaineers' balanced and deep defense may prevent individual award winners, however.

4. JK Schaffer, LB, Cincinnati: Second-leading tackler in the Big East is pacing a surprisingly stout Bearcats defense.

5. Rodney Gnat, DE, Louisville: Leads the Big East in sacks with 6.5. Can he keep it up in league play?

Coach of the year race

1. Doug Marrone, Syracuse: If Marrone can get the Orange to a bowl, he'll be the runaway winner of this award.

2. Charlie Strong, Louisville: The Cardinals are over .500 and playing with more confidence than they've had in years.

3. Bill Stewart, West Virginia: Critics be damned. Stewart has the Mountaineers in the Top 25, and no other Big East coach can say that.