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Here's the first benefit of West Virginia's departure from the Big East: Phil Steele names seven Huskies to All-Big East First Team

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Phil Steele thinks Lyle McCombs has big things in store for UConn this year.
Phil Steele thinks Lyle McCombs has big things in store for UConn this year.

College football guru Phil Steele has released his pre-season All-Big East team and UConn leads the way with seven First Team selections. Even with the giant caveat that I indicated in the headline (WVU to Temple is quite the drop-off afterall) that's still pretty impressive. Pittsburgh, Rutgers and South Florida each had five players make the first team.

Lyle McCoombs, last year's breakout running back, led the charge for the Huskies and he was joined on the ofennsive side by tight end Ryan Griffin and guard Adam Masters. Blidi Wreh-WIlson, Sio Moore and Trevardo Williams did their part to rep UConn on the defensive side and Nick Williams got a nod for his punt return skills (Williams also made the 3rd-team as a kick returner). UConn had two second-team nods, three players on the third-team (including Williams) and linebacker Yawin Smallwood was the sole fourth-team mention.

Glib headline aside, this is a recognition that, at least for Big East standards, UConn does have a solid core of talented players this year, and with football season just about three months away it's time to start getting excited.