We're less than two weeks away from the start of training camp for the UConn football team, which means we're less than two weeks away from getting answers to questions we've heard since the spring game.
Chief among them: who will play quarterback, which running backs will step up to replace Jordan Todman and can the defense and special teams keep the Huskies in games while the offense finds its footing.
We've mentioned before that Phil Steele really loves football and his College Football Preview was a testament to that. In June he named preseason all-conference teams, and the Huskies had 17 players make the list.
Well, Steele's back and this time he's not only predicted how the Big East will shake out next season, he was kind enough to include the preseason rankings for several other national publications, too.
Enough with the suspense, let's get to it:
Steele has UConn finishing fifth in the Big East out of eight teams. That may not sound particularly encouraging, but it's all relative. Lindy's and USA Today also picked the Huskies fifth. Blue Ribbon/ESPN, the Rogers Poll, and Athlon have them sixth, and the Sporting news seventh.
We suppose we should be happy that no one picked UConn last (Louisville and Rutgers split those honors).
At the top of the rankings, West Virginia and South Florida split first- and second-place votes (although Steele has South Florida and Pitt sharing the top spot).
So what does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Well, not much. How often have preseason rankings been good for anything more than post-season ridicule? That said, even the most optimistic Huskies fan would admit that the team faces long odds to repeat as Big East champs.
Yes, "games aren't played on paper" might be a cliche, but in this instance it's also accurate. Something else to keep in mind: a year ago the Huskies ranked fourth in the 2010 Big East preseason poll.
At the time, then-UConn coach Randy Edsall said “My reaction is the same as it was last year. Who cares? We don’t get excited about preseason polls. It’s all about what you do on the field.”
Translation: anything can happen.