Big East stock report

Trying to write about stock while thinking about stuffing. This is a time to be grateful, so there's more ups than downs.

Stock up

1. UConn's corners: Especially freshmen Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Dwayne Gratz. Yeah, Notre Dame rolled up a lot of yards in the passing game, but the two young guys who got torched against Cincinnati made some big plays when they were needed to help the Huskies win.

2. Doug Hogue: Stepping up for the injured Derrell Smith, the Syracuse linebacker had 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks against Rutgers. How big was Hogue's day? He's now leading the Big East in tackles for loss. Not bad for a converted running back.

3. Randy Edsall: Those who didn't know much about the Connecticut coach before had to be impressed with his heartfelt tribute to Jasper Howard's family after the Notre Dame win. Oh yeah, and the guy can coach a little, too.

4. Trent Guy: The Louisville senior had a punt return for a touchdown at South Florida, a week after his big return set up the game-winning score against Syracuse. Guy may be the Cardinals' best weapon; why teams continue to kick to him, I have no idea.

5. A.J. Love: Needing someone to replace Carlton Mitchell's yards, the Bulls got a big day from Love against Louisville. He had four catches for a career-best 121 yards.

6. The Big East's bowl lineup: Thanks to UConn's win, the Big East should get the Gator Bowl back and have six teams to fill six slots. That would ease a lot of headaches and avoid the possible embarrassment of a top 10 league runner up playing in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Stock down

1. Rutgers' offensive line: Sacks aren't always the line's fault. Sometimes a running back doesn't pick up his protection, sometimes the quarterback doesn't make the right check. Still, nine sacks against Syracuse is nine sacks against Syracuse. The line we all thought would be dominant has been anything but that most of the season.

2. Louisville's stat factory: Remember when the Cardinals used to put up video-game numbers on offense every year? Seems like a long time ago. Louisville will likely end the season without a quarterback throwing for 1,500 yards, without a running back surpassing 600 yards and without a receiver topping 850 yards. Yes, injuries have played a role, but the old Cards offense ain't what she used to be.

3. Gator Bowl officials: Reps from the Jacksonville game still might take Notre Dame if the Irish somehow beat Stanford, even though they would then be just 7-5 with a lame-duck coach. "Then we'll have a good discussion," Gator Bowl selection committee chairman Brian Goin told the Florida Times-Union. Here's the discussion they should have: Notre Dame is a bad team. Let's take the Big East runner-up.

Player of the year race: Offense

1. Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh: The Big East's leading rusher with 1,291 yards on 224 attempts (5.8 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns.

2. Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati: The Big East's leader in total receiving yards, with 68 catches for 930 yards and eight touchdowns.

3. Bill Stull, QB, Pittsburgh: The Big East's leading passer, he has completed 66.3 percent of his attempts for 2,115 yards and 18 touchdowns, with four interceptions.

4. Tim Brown, WR, Rutgers: Brown has three fewer yards receiving and one less touchdown than Gilyard on 24 fewer catches.

5. Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia: Has rushed for 1,098 yards on 192 attempts this season with 10 touchdowns.

Player of the year race: Defense

1. Mick Williams, DT, Pittsburgh: Has been my leader for several weeks. Will he get my final vote? Depends on the next two games.

2. Greg Romeus, DE, Pittsburgh: Two Pitt D-linemen top the list. Yeah, they're pretty good.

3. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida: The Haitian sensation has 12.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

4. Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers: Not his fault Rutgers lost 31-13 to Syracuse, but setback doesn't help his candidacy.

5. Doug Hogue, LB, Syracuse: May not have been consistent all year long, but it's hard to ignore 16.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.