Make us your home page

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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