Big East Football Power Rankings, Week 1: South Florida Earns Top Spot

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 03: B.J. Daniels #7 of the University of South Florida Bulls throws a pass against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 3, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

-- Need a recap of what happened during Week 1? Well, here's the SB Nation New York's Saturday round up. -- Want more of the Big East Conference? Check out SB Nation's Big East Coast Bias.

The first weekend of Big East Conference football is in the books and all eight programs came out of it undefeated. But, that doesn't mean there wasn't enough information to put together the first SB Nation New York Big East Football Power Rankings!

The power-ranking formula is simple, I watch or track each Big East contest during the week and piece this sucker together Sunday. So, without further delay here's Week 1's results:

1.) South Florida (1-0, 0-0 Big East)

This weekend, the biggest non-conference victory for the Big East came at South Bend, where USF upset Notre Dame, 23-20. Many will make the argument that the Fighting Irish, who committed five turnovers, including three deep inside Bulls territory, lost the game more than USF actually won the game. I'm not going to debate that argument, but the fact is the Bulls defense forced turnovers at the right time and put enough points on the board to beat a ranked opponent on the road.

Quarterback B.J. Daniels, who passed for 128 yards on 18-of-30 passing and two touchdowns, while running for another 37 yards, was effective and looked as if he's ready to break out this season. So, with that the Bulls deserve Week 1's top spot.

2.) West Virginia (1-0, 0-0)

The Mountaineers had their ups-and-downs Sunday afternoon in a 34-13, weather-shortened victory over in-state rival Marshall. Quarterback Geno Smith was stellar, throwing for 235 yards on 26-of-35 passing and a touchdown. Meanwhile, the WVU running attack (42 yards on 26 carries) was almost non-existent. With that said, the Mountaineers are still the most talented team in the Big East and I am sure it will not be long until they reach the top spot.

3.) Cincinnati (1-0, 0-0)

The Bearcats opened its season Saturday night with a 72-10 drubbing of non-conference opponent Austin Peay. In an impressive-team effort, quarterback Zach Collaros tossed for 134 yards and four TDs and helped the offense total 500-plus yards. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati defense allowed just 210 yards and forced five turnovers. Cincinnati did what it was supposed to do and will hope it can carry the momentum into next Saturday's match up against host Tennessee.

4.) Syracuse (1-0, 0-0)

The Orange may have played three terrible quarters of football against visiting Wake Forest, but somehow managed to play a flawless fourth quarter that helped edge the Demon Deacons, 36-29, in overtime at the Carrier Dome. Starting quarterback Ryan Nassib struggled in the first half (7-for-13, 40 yards, a TD and sack), but turned things around in the second (13-for-15, 138 yards, two TDs and zero sacks) to help the Orange rally late. Yes, the win was ugly, but it was a victory against a BCS-conference team. No other Big East team did that this week.

5.) Pittsburgh (1-0, 0-0)

The new "high-octane" offense of head coach Tim Graham helped Panthers' running back Ray Graham run for 201 yards and score three TDs in a 35-16 drubbing of Buffalo. However, Pittsburgh led just 7-3 at halftime, and starting quarterback Tino Sunseri struggled with his deep throws. Also, the defense allowed 403 total yards. Next Saturday, the Panthers host another cupcake opponent in visiting Maine.

6) Connecticut (1-0, 0-0)

The Huskies cruised to a 35-3 victory over visiting Fordham Saturday afternoon. Freshman running back Lyle McCombs ran for 141 yards and added four TDs, while the UConn defense allowed just 169 yards -- 58 of those yards came on one play -- and a field goal in the final seconds of regulation. Next Saturday, UConn takes on a "real" opponent in host Vanderbilt.

7.) Louisville (1-0, 0-0)

The Cardinals didn't run away with their 21-9 victory over visiting Murray State Thursday night, but they did control most of the game. Starting quarterback Will Stein completed 17-of-32 passes for 226 yards and two TDs, while the defense forced four turnovers. What was alarming was the play of back up quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who's lone drive featured two false start penalties, a delay of game penalty and an interception. Currently, every Cardinal fan is hoping nothing happens to Stein.

8.) Rutgers (1-0, 0-0)

The Scarlet Knights were able to cover the 43-point spread Thursday night in a 48-0 victory over North Carolina Central. The effort was impressive, however, I am still skeptical about RU's offensive line and the ability of quarterback Chas Dodd, who completed 9-of-13 passes for 137 yards. After next weekend's match up against the University of North Carolina, we will have a better gauge of how good or bad the Scarlet Knights are.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know by following us along on Twitter at SBNationNY and Jared_E_Smith.

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