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Top 25 Offensive Players in the Big East for 2007

I'm not even trying to hide it anymore; I don't have anything to write about. There's absolutely nothing going on. Any day now I'm going to be hiring Jayson Blair as a co-author.

With this in mind, I'm delving into the bottomless well that is preseason college football preview lists. And don't think for a second that I'm too proud to go back again, and again, and again over the next four months.

25. George Bussey (OT, Louisville) -- One of only two underclassmen offensive lineman named first-team All-Conference a year ago.

24. Ben Mauk (QB, Cincinnati) -- The Wake Forest transfer has to beat out battle-tested Dustin Grutza for the starting job, but if he does he could thrive in new head coach Brian Kelly's pass first offense.

23. Mike Ford (RB, South Florida) -- I was reticent to put an incoming freshman on the list, but Ford, who originally committed to Alabama, could be a star at a position where the Bulls desperately need one.

22. Anthony Allen (RB, Louisville) -- Allen rushed for a team-high 13 touchdowns as a freshman in 2006, and figures to spearhead Steve Kragthorpe's running back by committee attack in '07.

21. Taurus Johnson (WR, South Florida) -- The junior is a deep threat on every play, and his production in 2007 should be helped by the maturation of Matt Grothe and the extra attention that Ean Randolph will demand.

20. Derrick Stewart (WR, Cincinnati) -- As a freshman Stewart averaged a team-leading 20.5 yards per catch, and tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions with five. His numbers should at least double as a sophomore in a more pass-friendly offense.

19. Ryan Stanchek (OG, West Virginia) -- One of the main catalysts behind the Mountaineer rushing assault, Stanchek is already being billed as a hot prospect for the 2009 NFL Draft.

18. Oderick Turner (WR, Pittsburgh) -- Turner was Tyler Palko's second favorite target a year ago as a freshman, hauling in 44 catches for 660 yards and eight touchdowns.

17. Darius Reynaud (WR, West Virginia) -- Reynaud has all the tools to be a big time college receiver, but he'll never get the attention he deserves playing in WVU's three-play offense.

16. Ean Randolph (WR, South Florida) -- More known for his abilities as a kick and punt returner (and for undeservedly taking home Big East special teams POY honors in '06), Randolph is also a highly talented receiver who should catch somewhere in the vicinity of 60 balls in his sophomore campaign.

15. Kenny Britt (WR, Rutgers) -- The freshman didn't catch a single pass in the Scarlet Knights' first seven games, but caught 29 for 440 yards in their final six. He's got the size and the speed to be a game-breaker for the next two years.

14. Eric Wood (OC, Louisville) -- Playing in the same league as Dan Mozes was the only thing that could keep the anchor of the Cardinal O-line from being a first-team All-Conference performer in his sophomore season.

13. LaRod Stephens-Howling (RB, Pittsburgh) -- Despite playing for pass-loving Dave Wannstedt, Stephens-Howling managed 893 yards on the ground in '06, good for fourth best in the conference.

12. Mike Williams (WR, Syracuse) -- A sensational athlete, Williams led the Orange's slippery-handed receiving corps 461 yards on 24 catches as a true freshman in 2006. In eight games, he had at least one catch for 20 yards or more.

11. Mike Teel (QB, Rutgers) -- A big-time recruit who hasn't lived up to the hype in his first two seasons, Teel has all the tools - as well as the supporting cast - to break out in a  big way in '07.

10. Donald Brown (RB, Connecticut) -- As a freshman, Brown didn't carry the ball more than nine times until the eighth game, but rushed for 673 in the final five. He rolled for 205 yards against Pitt, 199 against Rutgers, and 122 against Louisville.

9. Jeremy Zuttah (OT, Rutgers) -- A first-team All-Big East performer a year ago, Zuttah has been named to the preliminary watch list for the 2007 Rotary Lombardi Award.

8. Matt Grothe (QB, South Florida) -- As a true freshman starting every game at quarterback for the Bulls, Grothe finished the season second in the conference in total yardage, racking up 2,576 yards through the air and 622 on the ground.

7. Derek Kinder (WR, Pittsburgh) -- Kinder will have to hope that whoever is calling the signals for the Panthers in the fall matures quickly if he wants to duplicate his gaudy numbers from 2006.

6. Mario Urrutia (WR, Louisville) -- One of the best deep threats in the country, the 6'6 Urrutia has already caught four touchdown passes of at least 60 yards in his first two seasons at Louisville.

5. Harry Douglas (WR, Louisville) -- If his play this spring is any indication, the reigning Big East leader in receiving yards and receptions per game is poised to have a tremendous senior season.

4. Steve Slaton (RB, West Virginia) -- A Heisman front-runner for the second straight year, Slaton will have to avoid a performance like the one he had in PJCS a year ago if he wants to make a real run at the trophy.

3. Pat White (QB, West Virginia) -- The reigning Big East Offensive Player of the Year has a far stronger and more accurate arm than people give him credit for. All his tools will be on full display in '07 as the Mountaineers again chase a national championship.

2. Ray Rice (RB, Rutgers) -- No player meant more to his team than Ray Rice did to Rutgers last year, and I'm still stunned that he wasn't the conference's player of the year.

1. Brian Brohm (QB, Louisville) -- Louisville's golden boy passed on millions for one last shot at a national championship. It's all on his shoulders.