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2007 Big East Football Preview
Our latest addition to the 2007 college football previews on College Sports Fans is the Big East football preview. 2006 was a fantastic season for the Big East as three teams were in contention for the Big Eats crown down to the end of the season thanks to the emergence of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. We hope you enjoy the 2007 NCAA football previews here from College Sports Fans and be sure to keep checking back for updates throughout this great 2007 season of college football, and check out the 2008 NCAA football preview as well.
Big East Football Preview & Predictions from MadduxSports.com
The Big East conference is divided into 4 levels with 2 teams holding places per level. The first level contains West Virginia & Louisville who have the ability to win a national championship. The next level consists of teams that have an outside chance at winning the conference and going to a BCS bowl game if they catch all the breaks. 2 teams fit this mold, Rutgers & South Florida. Underneath them are 2 teams that have a decent shot at a minor bowl bid, Cincinnati & Pittsburgh. Finally rounding out the bottom of the conference are Connecticut & Syracuse, teams that if they win 2 games in conference play should deem it as a fine achievement.
Onto the Big East season win predictions, for game to game spread picks visit our weekly college football picks page. Louisville & West Virginia are dead even in our power rankings coming into the season, we give the edge to West Virginia and predict them to win the Big East for the sole fact they host the Cardinals Thursday November 8 th in what should be the game to decide the Big East championship.
1) West Virginia – The Mountaineers are led by running back Steve Slaton’s 134 rushing ypg and the 2006 Big East conference player of the year Pat White. White & Slaton should once again form an unstoppable running tandem putting up ridiculous numbers against conference foes. Last year the Mountaineers had trouble stopping the pass, allowing 240 passing yards per game. Some of that can be contributed to the fact that West Virginia was often blowing opponents out and teams were forced to throw every down. Head coach Rich Rodriguez has been working on new schemes in the spring and with a more experienced defensive line coming back we expect increased QB pressure resulting in more sacks and less pass attempts on the secondary.
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2) Louisville - The Cardinals offense (37.8 ppg in 2006) is anchored by senior QB Brian Brohm. Last season Brohm fought through injury, throwing 16 touchdowns to just 5 picks. He decided to return for his senior season and is expected to be a first round draft pick in the 2008 NFL draft. Even though the Cardinals lose Michael Bush and Kolby Smith to the NFL, the running back corps won’t miss a beat. The defense loses 7 starters including their best run stuffer and linebacker. It will be tough for the D to duplicate the meager 16.3 ppg they allowed in 06 with the player turnover.
3) Rutgers - The Scarlet Knights were the breakout team of the 2006 season. They started the season 9-0 before losing 2 out of the next 3 games. Rutgers finished the season on a high note thrashing Kansas State 37-10 in the Texas Bowl. The offense looks great on paper this year. Running back Ray Rice is a Heisman candidate and their work horse. The QB position is filled by Mike Teel who has led the Knights to a 13-3 record in games he has started. The offensive line only allowed 8 sacks last year (best in the country) and returns 3 of the 5 starters including 2 all conference studs. The defense is still one of the best in big east but there are some holes at linebacker. The Scarlet Knights did benefit from +11 turnovers last year which turnover fortune normally doesn’t repeat itself so we will call for a 3rd place finish and an outside shot at a conference title and BCS bowl bid if turnovers once again go their way.
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4) South Florida – This could be the first year that South Florida is mentioned along with the likes of Florida, Florida State, & Miami in Florida football conversation. Jim Leavitt has built this program from the ground up in 95 and has taken the Bulls to 2 straight bowl games grabbing their first ever postseason victory against East Carolina last year. This season 16 starters return including 9 on offense. As a freshman Matt Grothe set a school record for completion percentage and passing yards for a freshman. The schedule is in their favor as they get the top 2 teams WV & Louisville at home. Third straight bowl bid is expected for the Bulls.
5) Cincinnati – The Bearcats have a new head coach in former head C. Michigan man Brian Kelley. Quarterback Dustin Grutza Jr. has big play ability but must cut down on the mistakes. The defense will have some growing pains losing their 2 top tacklers, but they still have 8 guys back. This team has as much talent as last years 8-5 club, but learning new schemes on both sides of the ball will result in a lower win total.
6) Pittsburgh - Although Panthers head coach Dave Wannstedt has assembled 2 fine recruiting classes filled with blue chippers, he has not been able to achieve Big East success. The QB spot is still up in the air with the departure of Tyler Palko. Whoever steps in will have an abundance of wide receivers led by Derek Kinder the best wide out in the conference. The defense exhausted too many points the second half of the season which was likely due to the wealth of injuries sustained to starters. Look for better than a 2-6 conference record but a likely finish in the bottom half of the Big East.
7) Connecticut - The Huskies have improved each and every year since the move to the Big East in 2004, and we expect more of the same in '07. There are question marks at quarterback, but the team has a solid running game led by Donald Brown that averaged 182 ypg. The passing game is still weak and because of that the offense has not been as proficient as other conference foes. On defense the front seven is the strength of the unit, but the secondary will leave fans restless. The Huskies will likely escape the big east basement but it will be tough for them to move up any higher.
8) Syracuse – The Orange have posted a total of 1 win in Big East football play the last 2 years. In those 2 years of play they have been outgained by an average of 149 yards per game. This season is likely more of the same with only 12 returning starters. 2007 is again a rebuilding course and it will take another year or two before Syracuse begins to flourish.
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For more previews from Maddux Sports check out our list of college football previews for the 2007 season.
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