We're one week into the conference season, and there are serious questions plaguing all 16 teams. I can't imagine there being a harder week to rank the Big East than this one, but here's the ballot I cast in the weekly Big East Bloggers Poll.
1. Georgetown (11-1, 1-0)
Last Week: Beat Fordham (82-55), beat Rutgers (58-46)
This Week: At Depaul (1/8), vs. Connecticut (1/12)
Georgetown through 12 games last season: 9-3 with a 13-point home loss to Old Dominion. At the moment the Hoyas are the lone legitimate Final Four contender in the Big East.
2. Marquette (11-2, 1-1)
Last Week: Beat Providence (96-67), lost to West Virginia (79-64)
This Week: vs. Seton Hall (1/8), vs. Notre Dame (1/12)
Was all set to take over the top spot before getting rolled by WVU.
3. Notre Dame (12-2, 2-0)
Last Week: Beat North Florida (77-58), beat West Virginia (69-56), beat Connecticut (73-67)
This Week: At Marquette (1/12)
I loved this team before the season and I love them even more now. You've got a capable ball handler (Jackson), a shooter (McAlarney), a dominant post player (Harangody), and a pair of multi-talented wings (Kurz and Ayers). It's the most complete team in the league.
4. West Virginia (11-3, 1-1)
Last Week: Lost to Notre Dame (69-56), beat Marquette (79-64)
This Week: At Louisville (1/10), vs. Syracuse (1/13)
The question coming into this season was how well the talented returning Mountaineers would adjust to a vastly different system under Bob Huggins. Now that that's been answered, don't be surprised if WVU doesn't play its first BE Tourney game until day two.
5. Connecticut (10-3, 1-1)
Last Week: Beat Seton Hall (98-86), lost to Notre Dame (73-67)
This Week: vs. St. John's (1/8), at Georgetown (1/12)
The young Huskies are developing in precisely the way Uconn fans were hoping they would before the season. The even better news is that the regular season isn't even half over.
6. Villanova (11-2, 1-1)
Last Week: Lost to Depaul (84-76), beat Pittsburgh (64-63)
This Week: At Cincinnati (1/12)
I'm still about as far from sold on this team as you can be. A one-point home win over a severely hampered Pitt team did nothing to change that.
7. Pittsburgh (12-2, 0-1)
Last Week: Beat Lafayette (96-75), lost to Villanova (64-63)
This Week: At South Florida (1/9), vs. Seton Hall (1/12)
Remember that this is a power poll, if the teams were being ranked based on resume then the Panthers would be a bit higher. Without Cook and Fields, however, Pitt just isn't that good.
8. Syracuse (12-3, 2-0)
Last Week: Beat Northeastern (95-74), beat St. John's (76-70), beat South Florida (89-77)
This Week: At Cincinnati (1/9), at West Virginia (1/13)
Life without Eric Devendorf is going much better for Jim Boeheim than I would have anticipated. This sheds a great deal of light on just how good the freshmen duo of Johnny Flynn and Donte Greene are. Notching a pair of road wins this week would make it clear that the Orange are still a team to be feared in this league.
9. Louisville (10-4, 0-1)
Last Week: Lost to Cincinnati (58-57), beat Kentucky (89-75)
This Week: vs. West Virginia (1/10), at Rutgers (1/13)
The Kentucky win could start a 2007-esque run, but if it doesn't then an inexcusable home loss to Cincinnati may hurt a great deal down the road.
10. Seton Hall (10-4, 0-1)
Last Week: Beat Delaware State (77-54), lost to Connecticut (98-86), beat Morgan State (89-81)
This Week: At Marquette (1/8), at Pittsburgh (1/12)
Laing and Harvey are having fantastic offensive years, but I think sometimes the Pirates forget that you have to play defense even if you do have Paul Gause on your team.
11. Depaul (6-7, 2-0)
Last Week: Beat Villanova (84-76), beat Providence (70-65)
This Week: vs. Georgetown (1/8), at St. John's (1/12)
So you were hustling for the first two months?
12. Providence (9-5, 0-2)
Last Week: Beat St. Peter's (83-78), lost to Marquette (96-67), lost to Depaul (70-65)
This Week: vs. Rutgers (1/9), vs. South Florida (1/12)
It seems like the Friars thought that the win over Arkansas in San Juan was more than enough to carry them through the rest of the year. You're on Tim Welsh.
13. South Florida (10-5, 1-1)
Last Week: Beat Rutgers (68-45), lost to Syracuse (89-77)
This Week: vs. Pittsburgh (1/9), at Providence (1/12)
I'm really pulling for the Bulls to make it to New York for the first time. P.S., where the hell did Dominique Jones come from?
14. St. John's (7-6, 1-1)
Last Week: Lost to Syracuse (76-70), beat Cincinnati (70-58)
This Week: At Connecticut (1/8), vs. Depaul (1/12)
This team should be much, much better than it is, but the 12-point win over Cincinnati is certainly a step in the right direction.
15. Cincinnati (6-8, 1-1)
Last Week: Beat Louisville (58-57), lost to St. John's (70-58)
This Week: vs. Syracuse (1/9), vs. Villanova (1/12)
The Mick Mamba is already sweeping the East Coast.
16. Rutgers (8-7, 0-2)
Last Week: Lost to South Florida (68-45), lost to Georgetown (58-46)
This Week: At Providence (1/9), vs. Louisville (1/13)
Corey Chandler's foot needs to be 100% for this team to be any sort of factor in the league.