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“2002

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Team Rankings….
  1-10 | 11-30 | 31-50

Must-See Games

All-America Teams

Bowl Projections

Conference Rankings

Q & A

Toughest OOC Schedules

Toughest Stretches

ESPN Thursday Ratings

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Email Jonathan
2002 Big East Preview
Official Big East Website
Southern College Sports

TEAM SCHEDULES
BOSTON COLLEGE
MIAMI
PITTSBURGH
August 31
UConn
September 7
Stanford
September 21
at Miami
September 28
C Mich
October 10
VA Tech
October 19
Navy
October 26
at Pitt
November 2
at ND
November 9
at WVa
November 16
Syracuse
November 23
at Temple
November 30
Rutgers
August 31
Fla A&M
September 7
at Florida
September 14
at Temple
September 21
BC
October 5
UConn
October 12
Florida St
October 26
at WVa
November 2
at Rutgers
November 9
at TN
November 21
Pitt
November 30
at Syracuse
December 7
VA Tech
August 31
Ohio
September 7
TX A&M
September 14
at UAB
September 21
Rutgers
September 28
Toledo
October 5
at Syracuse
October 12
at ND
October 26
BC
November 2
at VA Tech
November 9
Temple
November 21
at Miami
November 30
WVa
















RUTGERS
SYRACUSE
TEMPLE
August 31
Vill
September 7
Buffalo
September 14
Army
September 21
at Pitt
September 28
at TN
October 12
WVa
October 19
at VA Tech
October 26
at Sryacuse
November 2
Miami
November 16
Temple
November 23
at ND
November 30
at BC
August 29
at BYU
September 7
UNC
September 14
R Island
September 28
at Auburn
October 5
Pitt
October 12
at Temple
October 19
at WVa
October 26
at Rutgers
November 2
at UCF
November 9
VA Tech
November 16
at BC
November 30
Miami
August 31
Richmond
September 5
OR St
September 14
Miami
September 21
at SCarolina
September 28
Cincy
October 12
Syracuse
October 19
at UConn
October 26
at VA Tech
November 2
WVa
November 9
at Pitt
November 16
at Rutgers
November 23
BC
















VIRGINIA TECH
WEST VIRGINIA
August 25
Ark State
September 1
LSU
September 12
Marshall
September 21
at TX A&M
September 28
at W Mich
October 10
at BC
October 19
Rutgers
October 26
Temple
November 2
Pitt
November 9
at Syracuse
November 20
WVa
November 30
Virginia
December 7
at Miami
August 31
TN-Chat
September 7
at Wisc
September 14
at Cincy
September 28
ECU
October 5
Maryland
October 12
at Rutgers
October 19
Syracuse
October 26
Miami
November 2
at Temple
November 9
BC
November 20
at VA Tech
November 30
at Pitt



















Big East Must-See Games
September 1
LSU at Virginia Tech
September 7
Miami at Florida
September 7
Texas A&M at Pittsburgh
September 12
Marshall at Virginia Tech
September 21
Boston College at Miami
September 21
Virginia Tech at Texas A&M
October 5
Pittsburgh at Syracuse
October 10
Virginia Tech at Boston College
October 12
Florida State at Miami
October 12
Pittsburgh at Notre Dame
October 26
Boston College at Pittsburgh
November 2
Boston College at Notre Dame
November 2
Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech
November 9
Boston College at West Virginia
November 9
Miami at Tennessee
November 16
Syracuse at Boston College
November 20
West Virginia at Virginia Tech
November 21
Pittsburgh at Miami
November 30
West Virginia at Pittsburgh
December 7
Virginia Tech at Miami


Rating the Big East Schedules
Miami
Virginia Tech
Syracuse
West Virginia
Pittsburgh
Temple
Rutgers
Boston College


Big East Out-of-Conference Opponents
Boston College
Conecticut, Stanford, Central Michigan, Navy, at Notre Dame
Miami
Florida A&M, at Florida, Connecticut, Florida State, at Tennessee
Pittsburgh
Ohio, Texas A&M, at UAB, Toledo, at Notre Dame
Rutgers
Villanova, Buffalo, Army, at Tennessee, at Notre Dame
Syracuse
at BYU, North Carolina, Rhode Island, at Auburn, at UCF
Temple
Richmond, Oregon State, at South Carolina, Cincinnati, at Connecticut
Virginia Tech
Arkansas St, LSU, Marshall, at Texas A&M, at W Michigan, Virginia
West Virginia
TN-Chattanooga, at Wisconsin, at Cincinnati, East Carolina, Maryland


Big East Toughest Stretches
TeamDatesOpponents
Boston College
October 26 – November 9
at Pittsburgh, at Notre Dame, at West Virginia
Miami
November 9 – December 7
at Tennessee, Pittsburgh, at Syracuse, Virginia Tech
Pittsburgh
October 5 – November 2
at Syracuse, at Notre Dame, Boston College, at Virginia Tech
Rutgers
September 28 – November 2
at Tennessee, West Virginia, at Virginia Tech, at Syracuse, Miami
Syracuse
November 2 – November 30
at UCF, Virginia Tech, at Boston College, Miami
Temple
September 5 – September 28
Oregon State, Mimai, at South Carolina, Cincinnati
Virginia Tech
September 1 – September 21
LSU, Marshall, at Texas A&M
West Virginia
November 9 – November 30
Boston College, at Virginia Tech, at Pittsburgh


Big East Top Ten Players
Ken Dorsey
QB
Miami
Lee Suggs
RB
Virginia Tech
Avon Cobourne
RB
West Virginia
William Joseph
T
Miami
Kevin Jones
RB
Virginia Tech
Andre Johnson
WR
Miami
Sean Pillard
WR
Temple
Ernest Wilford
WR
Virginia Tech
Brian St. Pierre
QB
Boston College
Willis McGahee
RB
Miami


Big East Coaching Changes
There were no coaching changes in the Big East.


Projected Big East Standings
TeamOverallConference
Miami
10-2
7-0
Virginia Tech
9-4
5-2
Boston College
8-4
4-3
Pittsburgh
8-4
4-3
Syracuse
5-7
3-4
West Virginia
5-7
3-4
Rutgers
4-8
1-6
Temple
3-9
1-6


Individual Team Coverage
BOSTON COLLEGE
Probable Wins
UConn, Stanford, C Michigan, Navy, Syracuse, Temple, Rutgers
Probable Losses
Miami
Toss-Ups
Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, West Virginia
Returning Starters
Offense: 8…..Defense: 8
Best / Worse Case Scenario
11-1 / 6-6
Projected Record
8-4 / 4-3
Official Site
BCEagles.com

The Eagles had yet another successful 2002 season, winning eight games, going bowling again, and finishing tied for third in the Big East. Things look to be that good or better this season. Eight starters on each side of the ball return for BC this season. Although talented RB William Green left, he took with him a lot of extra baggage that may have held BC back last season. Both kickers also return for the Eagles, who have seven of their twelve games in Chestnut Hill. The non-conference slate has only two tough games, a home matchup with Stanford and a road trip to Notre Dame. QB Brian St. Pierre, who is a senior this year, returns after his second team All-Big East selection in 2001. Four of the five offensive linemen return to block for St. Pierre. One member each of the defensive linemen, linebackers, and secondary were lost after last season, making the BC defense one of the more experienced in the conference. If all the pieces come together as it appears they should, this could be the Eagles’ best season in a while. Miami may be too far ahead to catch, but eight wins should be a reasonable goal, and double-digit wins is not out of the question.


MIAMI
Probable Wins
Fla A&M, Temple, Boston College, UConn, W Virginia, Rutgers, Syracuse
Probable Losses
(none)
Toss-Ups
Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech
Returning Starters
Offense: 3…..Defense: 6
Best / Worse Case Scenario
12-0 / 6-6
Projected Record
10-2 / 7-0
Official Site
www.HurricaneSports.com

After being left out of the National Championship game in 2000, the Hurricanes came back strong in ’02 to advance to the Rose Bowl. The ‘Canes knocked off Nebraska to claim the National Title, but there’s not as much experience returning for the ’02 season. Only three offensive starters and six defensive starters return for UM. The most important of the three offensive returnees is QB Ken Dorsey, who has led Miami to twenty-two consecutive victories and holds the school record for touchdowns at 58 with still a full year ahead of him. Besides Dorsey, only center Brett Romberg and outstanding junior WR Andre Johnson return for the ‘Cane offense. The secondary will be the most inexperienced side of the defense since none of ‘02’s starters return. All four members of the defensive line return, including fabulous DT William Joseph. Both Miami kickers also return for the 2002 season. Although the experience is not there, this should be another great year for UM football. The non-conference schedule has tough contests at Florida and Tennessee as well as a home game against Florida State. I think the ‘Canes will come up short in two of these OOC games but finish the conference slate without a blemish.


PITTSBURGH
Probable Wins
Ohio, Texas A&M, UAB, Rutgers, Toledo, Temple
Probable Losses
Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Miami
Toss-Ups
Syracuse, Boston College, West Virginia
Returning Starters
Offense: 8…..Defense: 8
Best / Worse Case Scenario
9-3 / 5-7
Projected Record
8-4 / 4-3
Official Site
www.PittsburghPanthers.com

The Panthers, who finished tied for third in the Big East, went 7-5 last season on their way to a bowl appearance in 2001. This season, eight starters from each side of the ball return for Pitt as they try to go bowling again this season. The biggest hole to fill on the offense will be the one left by All-America WR Antonio Bryant. Quarterback could also be a concern as those two positions have the least amount of returning experience on offense. The defense’s strongest point appears to be LB, where all three players from ’01 return for the ’02 season. Only one member of the defensive secondary returns, and three DL return. Punter Andy Lee also returns for Pitt; he averaged over 40 yards per kick last season. The non-conference schedule has a tough game at home with Texas A&M as well as a challenging contest on the road at Notre Dame. Four of the Panthers’ first five games are at home, which should help get them off to a good start. Past that, though, four of the last seven are away from Pittsburgh. With so much experience returning, I think Pitt will again achieve about an seven- or eight-win season and go bowling again in 2002.


RUTGERS
Probable Wins
Villanova, Buffalo, Army
Probable Losses
Pittsburgh, Tennessee, West Virginia, VA Tech, Syracuse, Miami, Notre Dame, Boston College
Toss-Ups
Temple
Returning Starters
Offense: 7…..Defense: 9
Best / Worse Case Scenario
5-7 / 2-10
Projected Record
4-8 / 1-6
Official Site
www.ScarletKnights.com

The Scarlet Knights struggled through a tough 2-9 season last year, one in which they failed to win a Big East game and finished dead last in the conference. There are sixteen returning starters on this year’s club though, plus the two kickers. Seven of the returnees are offensive players while nine of them are defensive players. All but one OL returns for the Scarlet Knights. Both the RB and FB are gone, however, making the backfield the most inexperienced part of Rutgers’s offense. Sophomore QB Ryan Cubit returns for his second season as head of the offense. Defensively, the Knights look good. Only two members of the DL are gone; the entire rest of the defense returns, including all the LBs and defensive secondary. Although it won’t be as good as a lot of defenses in the conference, this may be the most experienced group of all. Both kickers return to provide the special teams with a boost. Although Rutgers has a lot of experience, it will still take a while for the Knights to climb up in the conference standings. I expect Rutgers to struggle again this season, winning fewer games than necessary for a .500 season.


SYRACUSE
Probable Wins
Rhode Island
Probable Losses
Auburn, West Virginia, VA Tech, Miami
Toss-Ups
BYU, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Temple, Rutgers, UCF, Boston College
Returning Starters
Offense: 2…..Defense: 6
Best / Worse Case Scenario
8-4 / 1-11
Projected Record
5-7 / 3-4
Official Site
www.SUAthletics.com

The Orangemen surprised a lot of people by winning ten games last season and going bowling. After losing their first two games, Syracuse finished the 2001 season with a 10-1 record, the only loss coming to Miami in Coral Gables. Only eight starters return from last year’s team, two on offense and six on defense. The good news is that one of the two offensive returnees is junior QB R.J. Anderson, who won the starting job before the halfway mark last season. Syracuse will have to replace four of five OL, the RB, FB, TE, and both WRs. Defensively, the Orangemen are in better shape. Half of the DL returns, and two of the three LBs are back for the 2002 season. Two of the four members of the SU secondary are back. Looking at the special teams, both the kicker and the punter are back. The non-conference schedule is one of the tougher ones in the conference, with games at BYU, Auburn, and UCF, as well as a home contest with North Carolina. The Orangemen have only five games at the Carrier Dome, and they go more than a month (October 6 – November 8) between home games midway through the season. The tough schedule and lack of experience lead to a less-successful season in ’02 but still one in which SU will contend for a winning record.


TEMPLE
Probable Wins
Richmond, UConn
Probable Losses
Miami, S Carolina, Cincinnati, VA Tech, Pittsburgh, Boston College
Toss-Ups
Oregon State, Syracuse, W Virginia, Rutgers
Returning Starters
Offense: 9…..Defense: 6
Best / Worse Case Scenario
6-6 / 2-10
Projected Record
3-9 / 1-6
Official Site
www.OwlSports.com

The Temple Owls were supposed to step up in 2001 and go to a bowl game. That didn’t happen last year, as the Owls went 4-7 and finished in sixth place in the Big East. Nine offensive starters and six defensive starters return for the 2002 campaign. The only members departing from the 2001 team on offense are the TE and one WR. The Owls will spread the field and use QB Mike McGann to throw his receivers the ball early and often. On defense, the picture is not as clear. Two of the four members of the DL are back while neither LB returns for Temple. Four of the five members of the Temple secondary return for the 2002 season, giving the Owls experience in defending the pass. Senior kicker Cap Poklemba returns for the special teams. The non-conference schedule is one of the weaker ones in the conference, with two of the Owls’ tough OOC games in Philly against Oregon State and Cincinnati. The only tough OOC road contest is at South Carolina. The Owls have experience, but they will again be at the bottom of the Big East standings. A .500 record would be extremely surprsing; three to four wins is likely.


VIRGINIA TECH
Probable Wins
Arkansas St, W Michigan, Rutgers, Temple, Pittsburgh, W Virginia, Virginia
Probable Losses
Miami
Toss-Ups
LSU, Marshall, Texas A&M, Boston College, Syracuse
Returning Starters
Offense: 6…..Defense: 5
Best / Worse Case Scenario
12-1 / 6-7
Projected Record
9-4 / 5-2
Official Site
www.HokieSports.com

The Hokies continued their run at the top of the conference last season with an 8-4 record and tied-for-third place finish in the Big East. A bowl trip followed, and the Hokies return six offensive and five defensive starters from that team last season. Although RB Lee Suggs, the 2000 Big East offensive player of the year, did not play due to injury last season, he might as well be counted as a returning starter. Kevin Jones will challenge Suggs for playing time at RB. QB Grant Noel also returns, but he will be challenged by incoming-freshman Marcus Vick, the younger brother of former VT QB Michael Vick. Defensively, the Hokies return two starters on the DL, only one LB, and two members of the secondary. Junior DE Nathaniel Adibi and senior CB Roynell Whitaker are two stars on the defense. The non-conference schedule is one of the Big East’s toughest, including contests at home against LSU, Marshall, and Virginia. There are also road games at Texas A&M and Western Michigan. Eight of VT’s thirteen games are in Blacksburg, and they begin with the first three games at home. I expect VT to challenge Miami until the very end of the season but come up short, ending up with about ten wins overall, give or take one. Another successful season.


WEST VIRGINIA
Probable Wins
TN-Chattanooga, East Carolina
Probable Losses
Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Miami, VA Tech, Pittsburgh
Toss-Ups
Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Boston College
Returning Starters
Offense: 7…..Defense: 8
Best / Worse Case Scenario
8-4 / 2-10
Projected Record
5-7 / 3-4
Official Site
www.WVU.edu/~sports/

West Virginia was shut out of postseason play last season after going bowling in 2000. The Mountaineers went 3-8 in ’01 and finished in seventh place in the Big East. But with a total of fifteen starters returning, seven on offense and eight on defense, WVU could be the Big East’s surprise team. Two members of the OL will need to be replaced, as will the QB and a WR. Senior RB Avon Cobourne may be the best player in the conference by year’s end; he has rushed for 1,000+ yards in each of his first three seasons. Defensively, all three DL return for the 2002 season, and two of the three LBs are back. Three of the five members of the defensive secondary also return. The punter returns for the Mountaineers, whose non-conference schedule has a several tough games on it. Road games at Wisconsin and Cincinnati as well as home contests with East Carolina and Maryland will make or break the Mountaineers’ season. If they can pull out three of their five OOC games, WVU should be able to capture a .500 season, if not better.



Big East Projections by Jonathan.
Southern College Sports
Big East
Quick Links


Team Schedules

Must-See Games

Rating the Schedules

OOC Opponents

Toughest Stretches

Top Ten Players

Coaching Changes

Projected Standings

Individual Team Coverage…
  Boston College
  Miami
  Pittsburgh
  Rutgers
  Syracuse
  Temple
  Virginia Tech
  West Virginia