Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Single-Wing in The Big East

W.Va.'s White may leave Tebow in his dust
Article Last Updated: 07/26/2008 10:53:33 PM EDT

There are some categories that can be measured in yards, touchdowns or victories. Others areas of evaluation are more ethereal.
With that in mind, we take a preseason look at the best and the worst the Big East football conference has to offer:


Pat White, QB, West Virginia - Forget the reverse compliment, maybe Florida's Tim Tebow is a poor man's Pat White. White has the fastest feet of anyone at his position and a pretty good arm, too.

George Selvie, DE, USF - He's a monster. No, really. Quarterbacks have nightmares about Selvie waiting to blind-side them walking out of the dorms.

LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh - They call him "Shady" in Pittsburgh, but the sophomore is better described as slippery and solidly built. The Panthers even run the single-wing on occasion - telling teams exactly who will get the ball - and still McCoy gets it done.


Hunter Cantwell, QB, Louisville - He won't make Louisville fans forget about Brian Brohm, but Cantwell could put up very similar numbers and become a good NFL prospect himself.
Greg Romeus, DE, Pittsburgh - A former basketball star whose raw ability helped him find some success last season as a freshman. If he refines his technique, look out.
Scott Lutrus, LB, UConn - Another player who made big strides as a freshman,
Lutrus, from Brookfield, already has outstanding speed for a linebacker. If he bulks up some and keeps that speed, he could be the best in the league.

Milan Pusker Stadium, Morgantown, W.Va. - You would think that 60,000 people singing a John Denver song would be a little odd. You would think that the formation of a funny looking state like West Virginia by a band might be unimpressive. You would think wrong.
Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati - If a few more fans showed up or a few more of them made noise, this could be one of the toughest places to play in the country. As it is, it's a terrific setting in the middle of an urban campus.
Rentschler Field/Rutgers Stadium - Fans of these two schools love to debate who has the better program, coach, player, stadium and everything else among college football's "new money" teams. Let's just say they both have improved greatly in the last decade, but both schools and both fan bases have yet to reach their potential when it comes to the game day experience.

West Virginia's offensive scheme - It's a good offense with good principles, don't get me wrong. But good athletes can make anyone's X's and O's patterns look like A-plus material.
UConn's luck - Opponents thought the Huskies had control of the weather, the refs and even gravity everywhere they went. The Huskies got a few breaks, but also were on the other end of a few last year, too.
The national rankings - It's fun to look at, but there are better determining factors in judging how good a team really is. With one poll (ESPN/USA Today) featuring coaches, some of whom use the ballot with political intentions, and another (Harris Interactive) featuring many who barely follow the game, it's a bit misleading.

Cincinnati's punter - Kevin Huber is as important to his team as quarterback Tyler Lorenzen is to UConn. Don't believe it? Just watch him boom a few kicks or glance at his average.
Darius Butler, CB, UConn - Cincinnati's Mike Mickens might be the league's best; then again, he might not be. Either way, Butler's ability to cover, return kicks and play some wideout is greater than the praise he receives.
The schedule maker - In the league's unbalanced format, having four home conference games in a season instead of three makes a huge difference in a season-long race.

Greg Robinson, Syracuse - His middle name is Hot Seat. Actually, it might soon be his first name. Nothing short of a .500 season in league play (something that would be pretty darn good for the 'Cuse) saves Robinson's job.
Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville - OK, it's only his second year and he should be given time to make the program "his." However, Cardinal fans don't like the idea of nearly moving up into the college football elite only to be forced to rebuild again a few years later.
Dave Wannstedt, Pittsburgh - He silenced many of his critics with a nice finish to the 2007 season and with yet another outstanding recruiting class. But wins will have to come soon and this could be a make-or-break year.
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