While Navy’s move to the Big East might not be happening for another 3 years, it’s never too early to take a look at what our future conference looks like. Taking the 13 teams that are slated to be in the Big East in 2015, we’ll be ranking them against each other based on their current performance on the field.
1. Louisville – W 32-14 vs. Kentucky – Starting your season off with a win over your in-state, in-the-SEC rival has got to feel good. The final score doesn’t tell you that their starting quarterback, Bridgewater, was 19 for 21 passing (a school record for completion percentage) before heading for the bench in the 3rd quarter and getting the backup QB some serious reps. Louisville also had 2 running backs over 100 yards rushing while Kentucky couldn’t break the century mark as a team.
2. Boise State – L 13-17 @ Michigan State – This was Boise’s 4th consecutive season that started on the road against a ranked opponent. This was also the first time Boise lost that game. Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell turned out to be just too much for the Broncos to handle, rushing for 210 yards and 2 TDs. But even with an offense that sputtered most of the game, Boise was in it right to the end. Give credit to Chris Peterson – Boise lost a lot of talent last year to graduation and the NFL, but they were in the lead until the final 8 minutes of the game.
3. UCF – W 56-14 @ Akron – George O’Leary’s team had a lot of preseason hype that was dinged by an NCAA investigation and postseason ban. While they are appealing the ban, it’s unlikely UCF has anything more to play for than the regular season. The team got off on the right foot, beating the Fighting Chuck Amatos of Akron. Really, these guys were a toss-up with USF for the #3/4 spots. UCF beat a “1-A” team, so they get #3.
4. USF – W 34-13 vs. Chattanooga – What can I say about this game? Nothing really. Didn’t see it. It’s a 1-AA team. BJ Daniels (a candidate for the All-”Wait, what? he’s still in college” team) tossed 3 TDs while Chattanooga was held to just 151 yards. Well get to know a little more about the team when they head to Nevada next week. Maybe?
5. UConn – W 37-0 vs. Massachusetts – UConn won. And they shut them out. And this was UMass’ first game as a FBS team. The fact they held UMass to 59 total yards gets them the #5 spot.
6. Rutgers – W 24-12 vs. Tulane – Greg Schiano, the man who gave Rutgers something other than “we were in the first football game” to talk about, is gone. Tulane lost 10 consecutive games to end the season. But hey, a win is a win.
7. Cincinnati – Idle – The good news is you didn’t lose. The bad news is you didn’t win. You get Pitt on Thursday night coming off that embarrassing loss. Do us proud, Bearcats.
8. Temple – W 41-10 vs. Villanova – Congrats to Temple on winning their first game back from Big East exile. You did get out-gained by Villanova, but who cares. Steve Addazio has kept Temple on the upward trend established by Al Golden, delivering the 3rd Mayor’s Cup in this rivalry. Upcoming games vs. Maryland and at Penn State look to be winnable.
9. San Diego State – L 12-21 @ Washington – OK, if there is a team I underrated here, it’s SDSU. They put up yards on Washington. They had a turned it over on downs inside the Washington 10. But when you only score once in the first 47+ minutes, it’s hard to get too psyched up about a close loss on the road.
10. SMU – L 24-59 @ Baylor – You got your doors blown off, but you managed to score a couple of TD in garbage time to make it more respectable than the #11 team on the list. 501 yards of offense is no joke, but you know what June Jones teams do, so it’s not amazing either.
11. Navy – L 10-50 vs. Notre Dame – Hey, Ireland is pretty. Navy’s defense? Not so much. Trey Miller passed pretty damn well. But anyone who woke up early knows it was a beatemdown.
12. Houston – L 13-30 vs. Texas State – Look, your loss was so bad your offensive coordinator resigned after just one week of the season. But hey, at least you’re not Memphis.
13. Memphis – L 17-20 vs. Tennessee-Martin – What more can we say. At least you have very low expectations right now. But losing to a team from the OVC who had a losing record last year? You gotta do better than that.