@byline-name:By John Grupp
NEWPORT, R.I. – Pitt is the prohibitive favorite to win the 2010 Big East football championsip based on voting in the conference’s annual preseason media poll, released today.
The Panthers received 22 of a possible 24 first-place votes in preseason voting of media representatives from each of the eight Big East markets. The Panthers received two second-place votes and a total of 190 points. Pitt is the most overwhelming favorite in the Big East since Louisville also received 190 points prior to the 2005 season.
Pitt returns 12 starters from last year’s 10-3 team, including sophomore tailback Dion Lewis, the 2009 Big East Offensive Player of the Year, and senior defensive end Greg Romeus, the 2009 Big East co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Cincinnati and West Virginia, which received a first-place vote, tied for second in the poll with 142 points. Connecticut, which received the remaining first-place vote, is picked to finish fourth. The rest of the poll is Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse and Louisville.
Pitt also was picked as the Big East preseason favorite last year. The Panthers, who open training camp on Saturday, begins the 2010 season at Utah on Sept. 2.
2010 Big East Football Preseason Media Poll
1. Pitt (22) 190
2 (t.) Cincinnati 142
2 (t.) West Virginia (1) 142
4. Connecticut (1) 131
5. Rutgers 99
6. USF 79
7. Syracuse 41
8. Louisville 40