THERE'S AN old Sublime song, one that says, "I've seen better days."
Most of us understand. (Some of us too well.) And now, again, so does the Big East.
Fans of the league, or at least teams within the league, may know the numbers by heart now.
So far, conference teams are 15-13 in all games.
They are 6-13 against FBS opponents and 1-10 against teams from BCS leagues.
Against Top 25 teams, the Big East is 0-5. No conference team has a spot in the major Top 25 polls.
Yes, the league is but a quarter of the way through the season. Surely a team (West Virginia?) will make the Top 25 by season's end.
But the chances to make non-conference statements are mostly gone. The league's big non-conference game of this week? Connecticut plays host to Vanderbilt in East Hartford.
Down the road, Louisville plays host to Memphis, Pittsburgh goes to Notre Dame and, on Nov. 27, South Florida visits Miami, Fla., and Boston College goes to Syracuse.
Of those games, Miami may still be a Top 25 opponent. Boston College, 2-1 now, has a chance to reach the level. But even if USF topples a ranked Miami, we're looking at 1-5, which would set the league back to the dark days of 2005, when Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech had just exited.
Back in 2005, the Big East went 1-7 against non-Big East Associated Press ranked teams. That also happened in 1997.
So odds are this won't be the worst season for the league in that respect. Still, it's not good.
In regard to the Top 25 rankings? The worst season for the conference was 1997. Syracuse was the only team ranked at the end of that season, and the highest slot for the then-Orangemen was No. 20 in the USA Today coaches' poll.
As I've written, there are no Big East teams ranked there now. Again, that will probably change. Again, though, it's not good.
The last comparison I can offer is the overall non-conference record. At 15-13, with a handful of games remaining, the conference is safe there. In 1995 and ''97, league teams went 13-20 (.394) in non-conference games. Even if Big East teams lose all remaining non-conference games, the league finishes 15-18 (.454).
So could this be the Big East's worst season ever? No. 1997 will retain the championship belt.
The fact, though, that I undertook research says something. The fact that WVU coach Bill Stewart got testy because he's been repeatedly asked about the league says something.
But it also asks something: What the heck?
The theories are endless. The best is the league has young quarterbacks. And, for the most part, that's true. But that explanation can't cover everything.