How about five?
OU fans became familiar
with Gilyard last year when he blew up the Sooner secondary for 117 yards on seven receptions and took a 97-yard kickoff return to the house. He caught the country's eye when he blew up this seven-year-old kid on national television.
By the end of the year, Gilyard had established himself as the Big East's toughest receiver and return man. He's back for 2009 with quarterback Tony Pike fully recovered from a severe leg injury suffered in '08.
2. We'll find out if UConn has any staying power.
Coach Randy Edsall somehow resisted Syracuse's overtures in the offseason, opting not to mess with a good thing. A few more years of 8-5 and he might be getting ambushed at press conferences by local Green Party activists about his salary, too.
Of course, recreating that kind of magic got a little bit harder when workhorse running back Donald Brown
opted for the NFL. The Huskies' 2009 schedule
also includes out of conference games with improving Notre Dame, Baylor and North Carolina squads.
3. Bill Freakin' Stewart is coaching the conference's top program.
Yes, Coach Stew bitch-slapped the Sooners in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. Big deal--let's see how good he is now that Pat White has headed off to the big leagues.
Stewart offered Mountaineer fans a glimpse of their likely future early in the '08 season when WVU was upset by Colorado. Don't look!
4. It's not every day you get to see a guy throw the switch on his buddy.
Homerism admits I thought Steve Kragthorpe
would have no problem stepping in at Louisville after dastardly Bobby Petrino skipped town on the Cards. The drop-off has been significant, though. Kragthorpe's buddy and Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich
probably won't be able to keep the bloodthirsty Bluegrass Staters at bay much longer. Another year like the past two and Jurich may be forced to take matters into his own hands.
5. You might as well pick the conference champ out of a hat.
Maybe we shouldn't write Louisville off too quickly, as Vegas is giving 25-1 odds on the Cardinals to win the Big East. That seems to be as good of a bet as any heading into the season. The reality is that no one team really stands out as being the prohibitive favorite at his point. We may see a 7-5 team representing the conference in the Orange Bowl in January.