CINCINNATI - The defending co-Big East champion Cincinnati Bearcats football team was picked to finish fourth in the Big East this upcoming season, according to a media poll released Tuesday.
The Louisville Cardinals were the overwhelming favorite to win the conference, receiving 24 of 28 first-place votes from the media panel.
South Florida was picked to finish second with Rutgers coming in ahead of the Bearcats.
The Pittsburgh Panthers were fifth, UConn sixth, Syracuse seventh and Temple rounding out the conference in the eighth spot.
This will be the last season in the Big East for Pittsburgh and Syracuse. The schools are leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) next season. Temple returned to the Big East to replace West Virginia which joined the Big 12 after last season.
The Big East will have five new members next season.
UC returns 13 starters and 43 letterwinners from the 2011 squad that went 10-3 and won its third Big East championship title in four years. The team reports back to campus on Tuesday Aug. 7 and will leave shortly after for Camp Higher Ground in West Harrison, Ind. The Bearcats will open practice at Higher Ground on Aug. 8 and return to campus on Aug. 25.
Cincinnati will open the season at home against the Pittsburgh Panthers on Thursday Sept. 6 at Nippert Stadium.
2012 BIG EAST FOOTBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
(Note: First number is total number of first place votes. Second number is total votes.)
1. Louisville (24) 219
2. USF (4) 176
3. Rutgers 155
4. Cincinnati 139
5. Pittsburgh 131
6. Connecticut 77
7. Syracuse 70
8. Temple 41
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