PITTSBURGH — Pitt was the only Big East team to have players named to Phil Steele’s All-America team.

Offensive guard Chris Jacobson was named to the third team and defensive end Brandon Lindsey made the fourth team. Both were named to Phil Steele’s preseason All-Big East team as well.

No other Big East teams had representatives named to Steele’s All-America team, a sad representation of where the conference currently stands. The Mountain West and Conference USA each had three players selected to the first or second teams, compared to zero for the Big East.

The Mid-American Conference had Toledo’s Eric Page selected to the second team as well.

I’ve always been one that said the Big East deserves more credit than it receives, but after last year’s conference-wide implosion — headlined by Pitt’s underachieving 7-5 record — it’s hard to argue with the conference getting little to no national respect.

This is a big year for the Big East. A couple nationally ranked teams would be a huge boost to the conference’s outlook with TCU joining in 2012.

As much as it underachieved in 2010, the Big East needs to overachieve in 2011.

Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog

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