Big East Power Rankings: Week 6

So far, this has been a season full of growing pains for Temple.

The youthful Owls (1-2) are ranked last in both total offense and total defense among Big East Conference teams. And they also remain in last place in my updated Big East Power Rankings.

But a victory over South Florida in Saturday's conference opener will pull Temple out of the basement. Can the Owls pull off the homecoming win?

Here's a look at my power rankings:

1. RUTGERS (4-0, 1-0)

Skinny: The 22d-ranked Scarlet Knights, who had a bye last week, are off to their first 4-0 start since 2006. Rutgers also boasts the best rush defense in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Previous ranking: 2

Up next: vs. Connecticut at noon Saturday 


Skinny:   I dropped the 19th-ranked Cardinals one spot due to no longer drinking drinking the Louisville Kool-Aid. It barely beat a winless Southern Mississippi team on Saturday. North Carolina (3-2) is the only team Louisville faced with a winning record. The Cardinals other victories came against squads with a combined 2-17 record.

Previous ranking: 1

Up next: at Pittsburgh on Oct. 13

3. CINCINNATI (3-0, 1-0)

Skinny:  The Bearcats' thrilling, 27-24, win over Virginia Tech in Landover, Md. marked their sixth consecutive victory, dating back to last season. Don't be surprised if Cincinnati is nationally ranked heading into an Oct. 26 showdown at Louisville.

Previous ranking: 3

Up next:  vs. Miami of Ohio at 7 p.m. Saturday

4. PITTSBURGH (2-2, 0-1)

Skinny:  Prior to last week's bye, the Panthers had back-to-back games of at least 500 yards of total offense.  As a result, Pittsburgh looks nothing like the team that suffered a season-opening loss to Youngstown State, a Football Championship Subdivision team.

Previous ranking: 4

Up next: at Syracuse at 7 p.m. Friday

5. SOUTH FLORIDA (2-3, 0-1)

Skinny: Saturday's setback to Florida State extended the Bulls' losing streak to three games. South Florida has now lost 10 of its last 13 games, dating back to last season.

Previous ranking: 5

Up next: at Temple at noon Saturday


Skinny: Saturday's victory over Buffalo enabled the Huskies to complete their nonconference portion of the schedule with a winning record. But those three victories weren't exactly quality wins. Massachusetts, Maryland and Buffalo – the teams Connecticut beat – have a combined 3-10 record.

Previous ranking: 6

Up next: at Rutgers at noon Saturday

7. SYRACUSE (1-3)

Skinny: The good news is the Orange, which had a bye last week, ranks first in the conference in total offense (487.5 yards per game). The bad news is Syracuse ranks last in scoring defense (29.5 points). Enough said.

Previous ranking: 7

Up next: vs. Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. Friday

8. TEMPLE (1-2)

Skinny:  Averaging nine points per game, placekicker Brandon McManus is the conference's leading scorer.  While he's excelling, the Owls are struggling on offense and defense.  We will see if those units found ways to improve during last week's bye.

Previous ranking: 8

Up next: vs. South Florida at noon Saturday

 Big East Power Rankings: Week 5

 Big East Power Rankings: Week 4

Big East Power Rankings: Week 3

 Big East Power Rankings: Week 2

Big East Power Rankings: Preseason/Week 1