The Big East is by no means a football powerhouse. At 8-5, Connecticut made it to the Fiesta Bowl where they were defeated handily by the Oklahoma Sooners.
But, as a BCS conference, one of these teams must represent the Big East in a BCS bowl game.
Despite the poor play from the conference, its is a highly competitive league that has produced four different champions in the last five years. The standings, listed below, are a good indicator of the balance and parity that the Big East experiences and the level of competition year in and year out.
*Standings courtesy of ESPN.com
Here are a look at the top 10 games that will impact the final standings this year in the Big East.
10. December 3: Connecticut vs. Cincinnati
Upset alert! Cincinnati was at the bottom of the Big East last year, but Connecticut's last game of the season could yield a late season disappointment for the Huskies. The Big East looks like it will come down to the wire again this year and the top teams cannot afford any slip-ups.
9. September 29: South Florida vs. Pittsburgh
Despite going 3-4 in conference South Florida finished 8-5 overall and are poised for another competitive season. Pittsburgh cannot let their guard down in this early season Big East showdown.
8. December 1: West Virginia vs. South Florida
West Virginia was an average team on the road last season (3-3) and cannot afford to lose to South Florida if they want to go on to win the Big East crown.
7. November 12: Pittsburgh vs. Louisville
Pittsburgh cannot underestimate Louisville, who finished over .500 for the season (7-6). This is a game that they will need to win to stay at the top of the standings.
6. October 22: West Virginia vs. Syracuse
Syracuse only managed a 3-4 record at the Carrier Dome last season, and need to improve in order to continue their resurgence to the top of the league. This is a game that will separate both teams and show who is here to stay.
5. December 3: Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh
Syracuse went 5-1 on the road last season, a feat that cannot be overlooked. Pittsburgh was a middle of the road home team in 2010 (4-2) and they will have to protect their home field advantage.
4. November 5: Syracuse vs. Connecticut
Syracuse takes their road warrior mentality to Connecticut, where they will be tested against the 2010 Big East champions. This could be the game of the year; it will have a huge impact on the standings.
3. November 25: Pittsburgh vs. West Virginia
A matchup of co-regular season champs, West Virginia is out to prove that they should have represented the Big East. This will settle the score once and for all.
2. October 26: Connecticut vs. Pittsburgh
Another matchup of co-regular season champions as third place finisher Pittsburgh faces off against Connecticut. Both teams know how close the standings get, so look for a good game from both teams vying for Big East supremacy.
1. October 8: Connecticut vs. West Virginia
A matchup of the top two finishers in the 2010 Big East standings. Despite West Virginia having a better regular season record, Connecticut represented the conference in the BCS bowl. This bad blood will most certainly spill over to the field, and should produce a well fought game that has huge significance early in the season.
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