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Coming into the season, the buzz has been about the BYU Cougars being the team to crash the BCS party this year, but the Eastern Carolina Pirates may be wrestling the glass slipper away from them. After squeaking past #17 Virginia Tech last week on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, the Pirates dismantled #8 West Virginia 24-3 yesterday afternoon. What’s the reward for the Pirates? A lofty #14 ranking in this week’s AP poll. Looking ahead, the Pirates have two more winnable non-conference games against Virginia and NC State to go along with their Conference USA slate. With this schedule, the Pirates could possibly end up with more ACC wins than a couple of ACC schools.
Now, of course I had to go back and see just where East Carolina was predicted to finish in conference this season. While numerous “experts” liked the the Pirates, I was hard-pressed to find many that picked them to win the Conference USA championship. After these two victories, the tones of the “experts” have changed and the bandwagon is getting pretty full.