2011 Bowl Projections: Where Are the Lowly Big East Teams Headed?
The Big East is a mess.
Currently in the Big East standings, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Louisville are all still alive heading into the weekend, battling it out for a BCS birth. West Virginia is the only team in the top 25 of the college football rankings and only four teams out of the entire Big East conference is bowl eligible.
Here is a look at where all the teams in the Big East may go bowling this year.
The Mountaineers are in the driver’s seat in this conference because of their BCS ranking that would help with the tie-breaker. The most likely spot for the Mountaineers is the Orange Bowl.
Whatever Big East team goes to the Orange Bowl would run up against a very hot Virginia Tech team, and that could be a tough hill to climb. If West Virginia makes the Orange Bowl, that would mean that the Louisville Cardinals were overlooked.
If they miss the Orange Bowl, the most likely landing spot for the Louisville Cardinals would be the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Cardinals have had a very good year and they are deserving of a bowl game. The potential opponent in this game would be the North Carolina State Wolf Pack, who would get home field advantage in this contest.
The Cardinals may also accept an invite to the BBVA compass bowl.
The Cincinnati Bearcats are also in line for the invitation to the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina. Like Louisville, the potential opponent in that game could be a local team as the North Carolina Tar Heels could accept an invite.
Another option for the Bearcats is the Liberty Bowl in Memphis Tennessee. This bowl could be against Mississippi State if Tulsa does not make the cut for the committee.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Although they don’t get as much press as Louisville, Cincinnati, and West Virginia, the Scarlett Knights are bowl-eligible.
It is almost a lock that the Scarlet Knights will go to the Pinstripe Bowl in New York. The opponent in this bowl game will come from the Big 12, the most likely candidate being the Missouri Tigers or the Texas A&M Aggies.
The Big East will have a chance to make up for a sub-par year with a win in a bowl game to end the season.
James Brown is a B/R Featured Columnist and can be followed on Twitter. Feel free to contact James at firstname.lastname@example.org.