Syracuse was picked to finish fourth in the Big East according to the Big East preseason poll, which was released Tuesday at the conference’s football media day.
West Virginia was chosen to finish in first place as Mountaineers received 21 first-place votes. Pittsburgh was second with two first place votes, and South Florida received one vote to finish third.
Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville and Rutgers rounded out the rest of the projected Big East standings.
Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone downplayed the significance of preseason polls.
“That’s for all the experts and everyone else,” Marrone said. “Where you’re picked to finish, I don’t put any weight in that. It’s where you are at the end and that’s the most important thing.”
Regardless, the Mountaineers will be the early favorite. The faithful in West Virginia have plenty of reasons to be excited about, starting from the top with head coach Dana Holgorsen, who was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State last year.
Holgorsen was initially named offensive coordinator and head coach in-waiting but was promoted to head coach following the controversial resignation of former head coach Bill Stewart.
The Mountaineers went 9-4, including 5-2 in the Big East last season, but were blown out in the Champs Sports Bowl by North Carolina, 23-7.