Posted 09/13/2008 at 09:57 AM
South Florida delivered a big win in the closing seconds to beat Kansas in entertaining and important game. It was a huge win for the South Florida program that has put itself on the national map the last two years and the Bulls remain the only hope for respectability for the struggling Big East.
Although the Big East has not had a team in the National Championship game since its current format has taken place there has been several solid contenders. Louisville had a few strong years and West Virginia has remained a national power although they have failed in some big spots. Rutgers and South Florida have made solid recent runs and even Connecticut and Cincinnati have produced some big non-conference wins. Things have not gone well so far this season however as West Virginia was upset last week, Rutgers has been destroyed in two marquee non-conference games, Louisville was whipped by Kentucky and Pittsburgh and Syracuse were upset by MAC teams.
South Florida remains the lone hope for this conference although Connecticut also remains 2-0. As bad as the Big East has been in some of the non-conference games they have been much harsher on the pocketbooks of anyone backing them. The conference is collectively 0-12 ATS on the season. That's right, through two plus weeks of the season, not a single Big East team has covered in a game. For comparison sake, here are the ATS records of the other major conferences in non-conference games.
ACC 3-7, PAC-10 7-3, SEC 10-5, Big 12 15-4, Big Ten 7-8. These records are pretty meaningless as so few games have been played and most games have taken place at home. The smaller conferences have basically broken even against each other and the BCS conference teams: MAC 12-8, Sun Belt 5-6, C-USA 7-6, WAC 4-5, MWC 2-5. Before SEC, PAC-10 and Big 12 fans start bragging also consider that many of the teams from those conferences have played a great deal of FCS teams to limit the opportunities thus far for ATS losses. Also consider that the SEC and PAC-10 both have more non-conference S/U losses than the Big Ten at this point. There's is no way to settle conference superiority debates but one thing is clear, the Big East has not performed well by any measure.