As promised, here my first ballot for the Big East bloggers' poll at bigeastbasketball.blogspot.com. First, congrats to ND women's soccer for a great season. They came up just short against powerhouse North Carolina in the final today.
Without further adieu,
1. Pittsburgh- The Panthers have had no trouble yet, but have a gutcheck game against Wisconsin coming up.
2. Marquette- Nice win over Duke, but slipped-up against ND State, can claim #1 with a more impressive win over Wisconsin than Pitt.
3. Connecticut- No trouble. Shouldn't move much up or down with a soft nonconference schedule.
4. Syracuse- Loss against good Wichita State team only blemish.
5. Villanova- Loss to Xavier, no other big news.
6. ND- Loss to Butler looks much better than it did at the time. Win over Maryland moved them up 3 spots. A win over Alabama could give them the most attractive non-conference record. How that relates to conference play is anyone's guess.
7. Providence- Big test against Florida will say a lot about this team.
8. Louisville- Same story as above, matchup well against Arizona.
9. Georgetown- Better team than their record, but 4-3 doesn't cut it even with close losses to good teams.
10. Cincinnati- Chances for upsets against Ohio St. and Memphis
11. DePaul- Which team will show up? The Blue Demons managed only 39 vs. Northwestern, but knocked off highly ranked Kansas.
12. West Virginia- Not expected to be great, haven't changed anyone's minds yet.
13. St John's- Big loss to Maryland, but played Texas tough.
14. Seton Hall- Ho-hum 4-1.
15. South Florida- Sure they're undefeated, but haven't played anyone.
16. Rutgers- Looking very bad.
*Updated rankings w/ Notre Dame win
Quick disclaimer- This ranking is my best effort at judging the performance of teams without preseason prejudice. Will Notre Dame finish 6th in the Big East? I have no idea. Based on what they have done, and the weakness of other teams' schedules, they deserve the #6 position.