Since we last checked in with the Positive Impact Factor (what's this?) standings, lawsuits started over realignment. First, West Virginia sued the Big East to try to get out. Now, the Big East is countersuing to try to keep them in. On the field this past week, we saw Pitt's Tino Sunseri have his best game of the year from a PIF standpoint in a win against UConn. Now to the updated standings:
|Rank||Quarterback||Team||Touches||Total TD||Neg Play||XNeg Play||XPos Play||PIF|
|3.||B.J. Daniels||South Florida||313||15||33.9||16.6||4.8||54.3|
|6.||Geno Smith||West Virginia||357||21||39.8||30.4||5.9||35.6|
Cincinnati and South Florida had the week off. During the bye week, idle B.J. Daniels was surpassed by Ryan Nassib for second place. Teddy Bridgewater didn't move from the fourth spot even after putting up his season's best PIF of 73.3 in a win over Nassib's Syracuse squad. Geno Smith and Tino Sunseri switched spots after Sunseri's best PIF performance of the year (75.9) which was also the top game in the Big East in Week 9. McEntee and Nova remained in place, but Nova's rating dropped even further after a rough game in the snow against West Virginia.
Now for the defenses:
|Rank||Team||Touches||Total TD||Neg Play||XNeg Play||XPos Play||PIF|
Rutgers defensive PIF dropped after a loss to West Virginia, but the Scarlet Knights were able to hold off idle Cincinnati. Connecticut and South Florida switched placed again in the standings. West Virginia's defense is increasing the rate of turnovers they force opposing QBs into as the season goes along. The Mountaineer D is moving up the standings because of that increase in turnovers caused. Louisville and Pittsburgh on the other hand, are doing a decent job of preventing opposing QBs from scoring TDs but don't cause enough turnovers.
This Week's Games:
If Pitt is going to have any chance of beating Cincinnati, they'll need their defense to force Zach Collaros into some mistakes. Cincinnati's big play defense could feast if Pitt can't run the ball without Ray Graham and has to put the game on Sunseri's shoulders. Geno Smith has made some errors this season and Louisville will need him to continue committing them (plus get another solid game out of Bridgewater) to pull off an upset in Morgantown.
However, it's the other two league games that are the most interesting from a PIF perspective. At the beginning of the season, B.J. Daniels was outplaying all of the Big East's quarterbacks. He's now fallen to third and is facing the top ranked PIF defense in the league in Rutgers. Gary Nova took the starting job away from Chas Dodd but has struggled in Rutgers' two straight losses. Will running into a South Florida team reeling from losing four consecutive Big East games going back to 2010 be a blessing for Nova and the Scarlet Knights? Ryan Nassib is having a breakout year for the Orange which appear to be heading back to the postseason. Syracuse will be looking to bounce back from their loss to Louisville last week. Connecticut is just trying to salvage their season. This matchup features two of the worst defenses in the Big East at preventing opposing QBs from producing touchdowns.
Check out previous weeks of the Big East Positive Impact Factor: