Big East's 1K gold guys

If 1,000 yards is still the gold standard for running backs, then the Big East has a treasure chest full of performers this season.

Four backs have already gone over 1,000 yards this season. And there's a chance that two more could join that exclusive club this weekend.

Among BCS conferences, only three leagues -- the Pac-10, the SEC and the Big 12 -- have four 1,000-yard rushers. And of course, all of those leagues have more teams than the Big East.

Last year seemed like a tailback nirvana in the Big East, with five 1,000-yard backs. There was UConn's Donald Brown leading the nation in rushing yards, LeSean McCoy starring at Pitt, Victor Anderson winning conference newcomer of the year honors and Curtis Brinkley powering Syracuse's run-based attack. What's so impressive about this year is that only one of last season's 1,000-yarders accomplished the feat again: West Virginia's Noel Devine.

Pitt true freshman Dion Lewis leads the league at 1,446 yards. Devine is second at 1,232. Also surpassing four figures are UConn's Jordan Todman (1,079) and Syracuse's Delone Carter (1,021). With an average day against South Florida, Andre Dixon (917 yards) will become the second UConn back to surpass 1,000 this season. And Rutgers' Joe Martinek (874) could get there with a nice game against West Virginia.

Perhaps 1,000 yards doesn't mean as much in a 12-game season. But it's still unusual that this many backs in an eight-team league have passed or are approaching the barrier.

If 1,000 yards remains the gold standard, the Big East has a lot of bling this year.