The Big East had its chances this past weekend.
In fact, a couple of teams looked up to the task of tackling Top 25 non-conference opponents. In the end, though, the opponents slipped the tackles for victories.
Of course, most in the Mountain State know about West Virginia's toe-to-toe battle with LSU. WVU (3-1) had its chances to replicate its comeback against Marshall, but couldn't finish the job and lost 20-14.
The other respectable league performance came from Cincinnati (1-3). The Bearcats trailed 24-9 in the third quarter, but rallied to get within 31-29 before time ran out against No. 8 Oklahoma at Paul Brown Stadium.
"We didn't get it done at the end," said Cincinati coach Butch Jones on Monday, "but I think our team continued to take some great strides."
Cincinnati was led by quarterback Zach Collaros, who threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns, and back Isaiah Pead, who ran for 169 yards in his return to the starting lineup.
Rutgers likewise played OK, but fell 17-13 to North Carolina at Rutgers Stadium. The Scarlet Knights proved stout on defense, but managed just 244 yards of offense.
Then there was the Pitt game. In perhaps the most ugly league showing of the week, the Panthers (1-2) fell 31-3 to Miami (Fla.) at Heinz Field. Pitt running back Ray Graham ran for 100 yards on 14 carries, but the Panthers too were undone in part by turnovers, three in the fourth quarter.
"The Miami game was disappointing, to say the least," said Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt on Monday.
Connecticut, meanwhile, downed Buffalo 45-21, and Syracuse defeated Colgate 42-7. South Florida, however, held but a 7-0 halftime lead against Western Kentucky before sending the Hilltoppers to their 24th consecutive loss by 24-12.
After WVU's loss to LSU, a concern for the Mountaineers was the toe injury to running back Noel Devine.
West Virginia coach Bill Stewart, however, said during Monday's league coaches teleconference that Devine received two treatments to his injured toe and "hopefully he'll be able to heal up in a couple weeks."
The Mountaineers are off this week before meeting UNLV.
The ugly totals continue to climb for games against BCS leagues. So far, Big East teams are 15-13 in all games. They are 6-13 against FBS opponents and 1-10 against teams from BCS leagues. The lone win is West Virginia's over the ACC's Maryland. Against Top 25 teams, the Big East is 0-5.
The league has no ranked teams in the major polls.
"It's way too early to judge anything," said Rutgers coach Greg Schiano. "Leagues have ebbs and flows. Who knows what will be at the end of 2010?"