There's just one Big East team leading the conference in the 2011 preseason AP Poll, and West Virginia's ranking isn't exactly that of a national title contender.
The Mountaineers check in at No. 24, behind all eight SEC teams in the preseason AP top 25, and just ahead of USC, still on NCAA probation. West Virginia is expected to be decent in 2011 — new coach Dana Holgorsen's bona fides trump the off-season turmoil that led to him replacing former Mountaineers head man Bill Stewart, and Geno Hayes could flourish in Holgorsen's pass-happy offense — but the Big East might well be rancid.
The Mountaineers are the only Big East BCS representative from the post-Miami era that look strong enough to make a BCS bowl at this season's outset. 2010 Big East champion Connecticut is young and may start a true freshman at quarterback, 2008 and 2009 champion Cincinnati is rebuilding under Butch Jones, 2006 champion Louisville may need more time under Charlie Strong, and 2004 champion Pittsburgh fired Dave Wannstedt last year.