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Big East Football - Catch The Fever

Remember this time last year we were talking about breaking up the Big East because they were so pathetic? Nobody took them seriously. Unfortunately, the nature of sporting events is there has to be a winner and a loser. So the simple laws of mathematics means the Big East Conference had to have a conference champion. And when the meat of your conference consists of teams like Pitt, Syracuse, UConn, Cincinnati, and South Florida you're going to have some teams who feed on them and manage to put together deceivingly impressive records. And naturally you're going to have some people who take those deceivingly impressive records and extrapolate them into a belief that the Big East is a conference to be reckoned with. Today, that imbicile is ESPN's Joe Starkey.

Given up for dead three years ago, the top-heavy Big East is fresh off a 5-0 bowl season and primed to spend plenty of time in the national spotlight again this season.

Yes indeed. I was particularly impressed South Florida's 24-7 victory over 7-5 Conference USA powerhouse East Carolina. Or who could forget Cincinnati's thrilling 27-24 win over 7-5 Western Michigan? That was an ESPN instant classic if ever I saw one. I guess for the purposes of this article Notre Dame is officially NOT considered a member of the Big East. Oh, and if by "national spotlight" he means featuring their biggest conference games on Thursday nights on ESPN2, well then yeah ok.

That is because three teams that finished in the top 12 -- Louisville, Rutgers and West Virginia -- will go into the season with realistic national title hopes based on high-end talent and highly manageable schedules.

None of the three plays a nonconference game against a team that was ranked at the end of last season.

Well yeah. When you play non-conference games against UNC, Ohio, and Howard and you're conference schedule features five patsies you're going to win a bunch of games. Does that mean you deserve to be lumped into the discussion with the Michigans, USCs, and Floridas of the college football world? Me thinks not.

The conference also boasts four legitimate Heisman Trophy candidates: Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm, Rutgers running back Ray Rice and West Virginia's dynamic duo of quarterback Pat White and tailback Steve Slaton.

Quick. Someone name me four guys not mentioned above who have a legitimate shot at being an All American this year. I thought so. Can anyone name me one guy not on West Virginia, Louisville, or Rutgers? No? Bueller?

Cincinnati will attempt to recapture last year's magic (4-3 in the conference) under new coach Brian Kelly and his wide-open offense.

Wow. There you have it. Going 4-3 in the Big East constitutes a "magical" season.

The fact is the Big East has no legitimacy. They lost it all when Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College packed their bags for the ACC. These teams that are contending for the Big East conference title now were the Purdues, NC States, and Texas Techs of the Big East a few years ago. Going 6-1 in the Big East is worthless now so Big East teams can only be judged by their non-conference schedules. If they choose to avoid the upper echelon of BCS schools, they do not deserve consideration for the BCS title.