Continuing with the power rankings, here's a look at the Big East. Whatever future the Big East holds might be in doubt, but this year the conference is clearly the 2nd best conference top to bottom. They can compete with the fact that the Big Ten has half their teams in Pomeroy's top-20, but the Big East might be deeper. The separation between the various levels of the league is thin.
For the power rankings at the start of conference play, we start with the offense. If you are unclear why we use points per possession, then read the first three paragraphs of the ACC Power Rankings.
These numbers are adjusted for the strength of opponents.
The first thing that jumps out is that none of the 16 Big East teams have an offense below the national average (dashed line). Pitt and Notre Dame are both in the nations top 10 (No. 6 and No. 9) and Louisville is awfully close. From there it's a gentle decline down to a Georgetown team which has really struggled to score efficiently.
What about defense? If the Big Ten are the titans of offense, where does that leave the Big East on the other end of the floor?
This is tremendously impressive. In addition to having all 16 teams have offenses better than the national average, the same thing can be said about their defenses, and the Big East is the only conference that can make this claim. Louisville, Syracuse, and Cincinnati have the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 5 defenses in the nation. After Pittsburgh, there's a big group in the middle who could stand to step up their games.
How does this become a power ranking? It’s simple – we just look to efficiency margins. Offense minus defense. If you are a good team you score more than your opponent, right? How much more is the question. Here's the chart:
Louisville is clearly the favorite, but Pitt (who already has a conference loss) and Syracuse should be right there. It's a step down to Cincinnati and Notre Dame, but their both efficient enough to compete for the conference. It's probably a stretch for anyone below Georgetown to make that claim.