Concerns for new Big East teams

How Boise State, Houston and others must improve before the 2013-14 season

Updated: August 13, 2012, 2:59 PM ET
By Brent Sobleski | ESPN Insider
Chris PetersenAP Photo/Matt CilleyBefore Chris Petersen's Broncos join the Big East, they need to improve a little bit on defense.

How successful -- and relevant -- the Big East is going forward could come down to the performance of its new member additions. For those teams to fare well at the BCS level, however, each will need to address particular areas of its team as it steps up in competition.

The first newcomer, the Temple Owls, will join the fray this upcoming season, and they already have issues to address in their running game. The Owls finished seventh in the nation in rushing offense last season, but the Big East had some of the country's stingiest defenses against the run. Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida all finished in the nation's top 16.

"I believe to win at any level of college football, you have to run the football," Owls coach Steve Addazio said. "We will run the football in the Big East."

The trouble is, last year's leading rusher, Bernard Pierce, is now a member of the Baltimore Ravens. The 5-foot-5, 170-pound Matt Brown becomes Temple's starter, and while Boston College transfer Montel Harris will also enter the mix, the Owls could have a depth issue if they don't remain healthy.

For the other members joining the Big East in 2013, they'll have a season to start addressing the weaknesses that could give them trouble at the BCS level. Here's a look at the biggest concern for each team.

Boise State Broncos

Area of concern: Improved pass rush


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