Aug. 2, 2011
NEWPORT, R.I. - The University of Cincinnati football team received 96 points in the BIG EAST Conference Preseason Media Poll, with the league writers slotting the Bearcats for a fifth-place finish during the 2011 season.
West Virginia received 21 of a possible 24 first-place votes and had 188 points to lead the poll. Two first-place votes went to Pittsburgh, while the other went to USF. Pittsburgh (162 points) is slotted second in the poll while USF (151 points) was third and Syracuse (98 points) placed fourth.
Connecticut (76) was slotted in sixth with Louisville (60) in seventh and Rutgers (33) eighth.
Head coach Butch Jones enters his second year with the Bearcats and has the BIG EAST's top retuning passer and runner. Quarterback Zach Collaros (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville) threw for 2,902 yards and 26 touchdowns, while tailback Isaiah Pead (Columbus, Ohio/Eastmoor Academy) ran for 1,029 yards and six TDs. Collaros was a unanimous First-Team All-BIG EAST selection at quarterback a year ago while Pead was a Second-Team All-BIG EAST honoree.
The Bearcats return 50 letterwinners from the 2010 squad, including a pair of Second-Team All-BIG EAST honorees in linebacker J.K. Schaffer (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) and wide receiver D.J. Woods (Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville).
The Bearcats will report back to campus on Aug. 7 to begin preparations for the 2011 season. The first practice of training camp is scheduled for Aug. 8 and the season opener is set for Saturday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. against Austin Peay inside Nippert Stadium. The game will be televised by FOX Sports Ohio.
For ticket information, please call 1-877-CATS-TIX or visit CATSTIX.com.
2011 BIG EAST FOOTBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
1. West Virginia (21) 188
2. Pittsburgh (2) 162
3. USF (1) 151
4. Syracuse 98
5. Cincinnati 96
6. Connecticut 76
7. Louisville 60
8. Rutgers 33