Sean from Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician was kind enough to organize some pre-season awards voted on by SBNation's Big East bloggers (synergy!). Despite forgetting to vote until late the night ballots were due, I was more than happy to participate. The full results should be showing up on SBNation sometime in the next few days, and I'll be sure to link to them when they're available.
Without futher ado:
1. What will the final Big East standings look like?
3) West Virginia
I know this will seem like a homer pick, but I sincerely believe UConn has a legitimate shot at winning the conference. The most important may be their schedule with the Huskies hosting Pitt, West Virginia and Cincinnati. I think you can make a strong argument for any of Pitt, WVU or UConn, but UConn gets both at home and WVU travels to Pitt, so thats why I have them in that order.
The rest of my ballot is after the jump.
2. Big East Bowl Predictions
UConn - Orange Bowl; West Virginia - Champs Sports; Pitt - Meineke Car Care; USF -
PapaJohns.com Birmingham; Rutgers - Pinstripe; Cincinnati - Beef 'O' Brady's
3. Big East Offensive Player of the Year
Noel Divine, WVU
Dion Lewis is getting a lot of (well-deserved) love, but Divine is the opposing player I want to face the least. Its hard to forget his 178-yard performance -- capped off by a 56-yard long gut punch to score the winning touchdown -- against UConn last year.
4. Big East Defensive Player of the Year
Pitt's Greg Romeus is the favorite here, but like I wrote above, I think UConn is going to win the conference. If they're going to do that, the defense is going to be a big part of it (especially considering how much the front seven may need to carry the secondary). Wilson, as the best player on that defense gets the nod from me. I also considered Scott Lutrus, who I think can have an amazing senior year after his injury-plauged junior season.
5. Big East Freshman of the Year
Anyone out there you're specifically keeping an eye on?
6. Big East QB of the Year
Zach Collaros -- Cincy
There isn't exactly a standout QB in the Big East. There is a lot of potential, but also a lot of youth. Collaros put up solid numbers filling in last year, so I'll go with him. I could see USF's B.J. Daniels here as well.
7. Big East RB of the Year
Noel Divine -- WVU
He scares me. See above.
8. Big East WR of the Year
Tough to argue with Baldwin's numbers. As a sophomore he had 57 catches for 1,111 yards and eight TDs.
9. Big East OL of the Year
Zach Hurd -- UConn
I feel comfortable with the pick of Hurd here as one of the anchors of UConn's line. You could have gone with Petrus as well, but I opted for the senior.
10. Big East DL of the Year
Greg Romeus -- Pitt
He had eight sacks last year on a team that led the nation in them. Hard to pick anyone else.
11. Big East LB of the Year
Lawrence Wilson - UConn
12. Big East DB of the Year
Robert Sands -- WVU
The junior had 5 INTs and 8 deflected passes last year. Phil Steele has him as a pre-season second-team All American.
13. Big East Special Teams Player of the Year
14. Big East Coach of the Year
If getting UConn to the BCS isn't worthy of Coach of the Year, nothing is. Fun fact: Randy Edsall is the only coach in the Big East who has won a conference title.
15. Most Likely Big East Coach To Be Coaching In Big Ten/SEC Next Year
I love Randy Edsall. I'd love for him to stay at UConn until we change the Rent's name to "Edsall Field." He has turned down several offers over the past few years, but I don't know how much longer UConn can keep him.
16. Most Likely Big East Coach To Be A Coordinator In The MAC Next Year
Everyone in the Big East is either established or new. Something would have to go seriously wrong for any of the league's coaches to wind up on the hot seat.
17. Most Likely Big East Player To Score Major Points In The Fulmer Cup (a.k.a. run afoul of the law)
Delone Carter, if only for karmic reasons. Doug Marrone suspends or expels so many players from his team that it almost seems like a hobby. Not Carter though. If assault doesn't get the guy suspended, I'm sure the universe will right itself by making sure something else does.
18. Best Uniforms
I think the Panthers have a good, clean look and use their colors well. They do lose some points for this though.
19. Worst Uniforms
Why Cincy? Because this logo is atrocious. The solid color look is awful too. However, I cast this vote before Voodoo Five alerted me to Louisville's unbelievably bad "The Ville" unis. If I was voting now, Louisville wins easily.
20. Best Home Crowd Advantage
Easily. Just watch this.
21. Worst Home Crowd Advantage
I know UConn die hards hate the atmosphere at the Rent, but at least the Huskies do not play in a pro stadium they cannot fill. USF has gotten a lot more fans out in recent years, but they average about 15,000 empty seats a game.
22. Team Most Likely To Defy Expectations
Man do I hate writing this, but I think Doug Marrone is actually righting the ship up in Syracuse. I don't think they'll be great, but they're not going to be awful either. Plus, I'm worried about UConn's trip to the Carrier Dome in November as a potential trap game, especially if UConn is in position to win the league.
23. Team Most Likely To Fall Short of Expectations
They've been underrated going into the season the past two years, but their team's best asset is now in South Bend. I have even seen a few people pick Cincy to win the league. I just don't see Butch Jones being able to do it in his first year.
24. Big East Coach From Another Team You'd Most Want Coaching Your Team
Not only is he a former UConn guy who has done well, but he also has yet to coach a game in the Big East, which means I don't have a reason to hate him yet.
25. Big East Player From Another Team You'd Most Want Playing For Your Team
If we held this poll two weeks ago, I'd almost certainly steal a DB from someone (and I still almost did), but with UConn now down two DE's, I'll take the security that comes with Romeus.