Big East Football: Ranking the Conference's Bowl Chances

TCorrespondent IIIJuly 13, 2011

Big East Football: Ranking the Conference's Bowl Chances

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    The Big East had six bowl eligible teams in the conference in 2010.

    UCONN was the lone BCS representative from the Big East, but was hammered by Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

    In 2011, the odds are against the weaker Big East to make any big waves in the bowl picture.

    However, with an automatic BCS bid in their back pocket, one of these teams will get a chance to take on one of college football's powerhouses.


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    Bowl chances: Low

    Rutgers may be an institution where New Jersey's best and brightest go for a great education, but it's not where its football players go apparently.

    After falling to the bottom of the conference with a 4-8 record, Rutgers is in a rebuilding year in 2011.

    New offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti hopes to breath new life into a struggling offense with a revolving door offensive line.


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    Bowl Chances: Low

    The Bearcats are coming off a sub-500 season at 4-8.

    Second year head coach Butch Jones will look to turn around a program coming off back to back 4-8 seasons on the heels of winning back to back Big East Conference titles.

    This program is a far cry from what it was under current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.

    The key to the Bearcats' success will be protecting quarterback Zach Collaros after two members of the offensive line, Samuel Griffin and CJ Cobb, have departed.


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    Bowl Chances: Medium

    After a 7-6 season and a bowl victory over Southern Miss in the Beef O' Brady's Bowl, the Cardinals look to build a name for themselves in football despite being in the heart of basketball country.

    However, the most experienced quarterbacks and running backs on the roster have used up their eligibility.

    Running back Jeremy Wright will look to take the place of star Bilal Powell.

South Florida

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    Bowl Chances: High

    Skip Holtz's first season in South Florida was a great success, going 8-5 with wins against Miami and Clemson to end the regular season.

    A victory in the Meineke Car Care Bowl capped off a successful first year at the helm for Holtz.

    The defensive line, which has produced NFL talent like Jason Pierre Paul, has taken a hit going into 2011 with three seniors gone including tackle Terrell McClain.


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    Bowl Chances: Medium

    Coming off a season in which they went 8-5 and beat Kansas State in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, Syracuse is looking to build upon its first successful season in nearly a decade.

    Junior quarterback Ryan Nassib looks to step his game up to next level in the Orange offense.

    Keep an eye on the linebacker situation because both Doug Hogue and Derrell Smith were lost to graduation.


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    Bowl Chances: High

    With new coach Todd Graham in charge, the Panthers look to find a new identity.

    It will be interesting to see how much of an impact Graham can have on this team made up of Wannstedt recruits as he transitions the team into a new system.

    Running back Dion Lewis left Pitt for the pros, but their biggest concern has to be at the quarterback position.

    Tino Sunseri, Pat Bostick, and Anthony Gonzalez are all viable options to become the Panthers' next signal caller.


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    Bowl Chances: Medium

    Randy Edsall abandoned the Huskies after building the program into a national contender.

    It will be very interesting to see what Paul Pasqualoni can do with a team with questions at quarterback and a vacancy at the running back position.

West Virginia

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    Bowl Chances: Very high, but with caution

    Quarterback Geno Smith sustained an offseason injury that required the insertion of a screw to stabilize a broken bone in his foot.

    The impact of Smith's injury will be felt with the implementation of a new offense under the guidance of Dana Holgorsen.

    Backup quarterback Barry Brunetti left the program, leaving the Mountaineers with two true freshman to fill the void until Smith recovers.