Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Where they'll finish

Ranked in order of predicted finish

Big East football predictions

West Virginia

2007 record: 11-2, 5-2 in Big East (tied for first, ranked No. 6 in the final AP poll).

Coach: Bill Stewart (1-0, first season; 8-26 overall).

Will compete for the national title if … : Stewart can pick up where he left off in a 48-28 win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Quarterback Pat White is a leading Heisman candidate, and sophomore Noel Devine might be better than the departed Steve Slaton. The defense returns just four starters.

USF

2007 record: 9-4, 4-3 in Big East (tied for third).

Coach: Jim Leavitt (79-47, 12th season).

Will validate last season's huge success if … : It limits turnovers and adjusts to the loss of three defensive starters to the NFL. End George Selvie is the league's top defensive player, seeking to repeat as an All-American. Quarterback Matt Grothe and running back Mike Ford combined for 22 touchdowns last season.

Connecticut

2007 record: 9-4, 5-2 in Big East (tied for first).

Coach: Randy Edsall (50-55, 10th season).

Will prove last season wasn't a fluke if … : It finishes higher than sixth, where the league media picked it despite 17 starters back. That includes quarterback Tyler Lorenzen and two 800-yard rushers. The only hole on defense is replacing all-Big East linebacker Danny Lansanah.

Pittsburgh

2007 record: 5-7, 3-4 in Big East (tied for fifth).

Coach: Dave Wannstedt (16-19, fourth season).

Will cost Wannstedt his job if … : It misses a bowl for the fourth year in a row. Linebacker Scott McKillop is a tackling machine, and running back LeSean McCoy has 1,500-yard, 20-touchdown potential. Expect the Panthers to be 4-0 when they come to Tampa on Oct. 2.

Rutgers

2007 record: 8-5, 3-4 in Big East (tied for fifth).

Coach: Greg Schiano (38-46, eighth season).

Will return to the league's elite if … : It overcomes the loss of Ray Rice and makes the most of quarterback Mike Teel and 1,000-yard receivers Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood. Schiano needs a durable running back, or defenses will drop back against the pass. But with offensive balance, this could be a surprise team.

Cincinnati

2007 record: 10-3, 4-3 in Big East (tied for third, ranked No. 17 in the final AP poll).

Coach: Brian Kelly (11-3, second season; 148-54-2 overall).

Will continue last season's emergence if … : It finds answers at quarterback and running back. Senior Mike Mickens might be the league's best cornerback. Watch for a killer four-game stretch: Rutgers, at UConn, USF and at West Virginia. Before that is a Week 2 trip to Oklahoma.

Louisville

2007 record: 6-6, 3-4 in Big East (tied for fifth)

Coach: Steve Kragthorpe (6-6, second season; 35-28 overall).

Will rebound from a horrible 2007 if … : The transition to quarterback Hunter Cantwell is seamless despite losing a ton of receivers. The defense was awful and lost all of its linebackers, but an influx of junior college transfers could help.

Syracuse

2007 record: 2-10, 1-6 in Big East (eighth).

Coach: Greg Robinson (7-28, fourth season).

Will win two league games if … : We've written the same thing for three seasons. All but one league loss last season was by at least 21. Syracuse could be much improved and still finish 1-6. Add games vs. Penn State and Notre Dame, and it could be a long final season for Robinson.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

Big East football predictions 08/27/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 11:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No gimmes in scrappy Wiregrass Ranch's volleyball district

    Volleyball Preps

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Wiregrass Ranch High coach Michelle Davis is realistic about her volleyball team this season. They will scrap for every point. They will never give up. They will encourage each other no matter what.

     Wiregrass Ranch High School girls volleyball player Jaizah Anderson (2) gets ready to spike the ball during Thursday's (9/21/17) match with Zephyrhills High School in Zephyrhills, Fla.
  2. Steelers' Villanueva apologizes, says he didn't intend to stand alone during anthem (w/video)

    Bucs

    PITTSBURGH — Alejandro Villanueva just wanted to get a glimpse of the American flag, the symbol he wore on his military uniform during three tours in Afghanistan before beginning an unlikely journey from Army Ranger to the NFL.

    Alejandro Villanueva stands alone during the national anthem at Soldier Field in Chicago. [Associated Press]
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: Bucs' Gerald McCoy frustrated with disrespectful fans

    Bucs

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss Gerald McCoy's latest comments on disrespectful fans who attack his teammates, Donald Trump, protests by DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, and his respect for the …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) warms up before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  4. NFL owners' unity with players might be short-lived

    Bucs

    The image was striking — several owners of NFL teams locking arms with their players on the sidelines Sunday, and the Cowboys' Jerry Jones on Monday night, in a dramatic statement of defiance to a president who ridiculed their sport and condemned players for refusing to stand during the national anthem as a …

    Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, currently without a team, has cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for not standing during the national anthem. [Associated Press]
  5. Anthem protest, the latest: Jerry Jones joins Cowboys on field in show of solidarity

    Bucs

    As President Donald Trump continued tweeting Monday about his displeasure with NFL players for staging demonstrations during the national anthem, the Cowboys took a knee on the field just before the anthem was performed on Monday Night Football. Dallas players were joined by owner Jerry Jones, and they quickly …

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, center, joins the team in taking a knee before the national anthem Monday night. They stood and linked arms for the anthem.