Rutgers beat Army Saturday to become “bowl-eligible” (what a phrase) for the fourth straight year. Provided they avoid the trap of looking ahead to a bowl game next Thursday night and remember to beat Louisville, the team (and I) will be heading to a bowl game somewhere. While bowl predictions are everywhere, as someone who will be traveling, I need to start making arrangements. Here are my thoughts on what’s likely to happen.
Big East Standings
Cincinnati – 9-2, 5-1
Games left: Syracuse 11/29, @ Hawaii 12/06
West Virginia – 7-3, 4-1
Games left: @ Pittsburgh 11/28, South Florida 12/06
Rutgers – 6-5, 4-2
Games left: Louisville 12/04
Pittsburgh – 7-3, 3-2
Games left: West Virginia 11/28, @ Connecticut 12/06
Connecticut – 7-4, 3-3
Games left: Pittsburgh 12/06
South Florida – 7-4, 2-4
Games left: @ West Virginia 12/06
Louisville – 5-6, 1-5
Games left: @ Rutgers 12/04
Syracuse – 3-8, 1-5
Games left: @ Cincinnati 11/29
Big East Bowls
- St. Petersburg Bowl – St. Petersburg, FL – Big East vs. Conference USA – December 20
- Meineke Car Care Bowl – Charlotte, NC – ACC vs. Big East – December 27
- PapaJohns.com Bowl -Birminghal, AL – Big East vs. SEC – December 29
- Brut Sun Bowl – El Paso, TX – Pac 10 vs. Big 12 / Big East – December 31
- Gator Bowl – Jackonsville, FL – ACC vs. Big 12 / Big East – January 1
- Orange Bowl (BCS) – Miami, FL – ACC vs. Big East – January 1
- International Bowl – Toronto, Canada – Big East vs. MAC – January 3
Cincinatti (Final Record: 10-2, 6-1)
Projected Bowl: Orange Bowl (BCS)
Cincinatti has sewn up the BCS bid. Beat they Orange and they go to the Orange Bowl on January 1. Syracuse beating a mediocre (that’s being polite) Notre Dame on a last minute touchdown drive doesn’t mean they’re suddenly going to man-handle Cincinnati, who’s surived this well with four different QBs getting playing time.
West Virginia (Final Record: 8-4, 5-2)
Projected Bowl: Sun Bowl
I can see West Virginia winning both or losing both, so I’ll pick the middle path and give them the split (lose to Pitt, beat South Florida). The Sun Bowl still takes them because who wouldn’t want a West Virginia team that’s won multiple BCS games over the past few years?
Rutgers (Final Record: 7-5, 5-2)
Projected Bowl: Meineke Car Care Bowl
So long as Rutgers doesn’t look ahead to their bowl game, they should get the win here. Granted, this game last season tripped them up, so you never know. Still, with the International Bowl off the table since that was last year’s game and a hot streak to end the season, Rutgers goes to North Carolina. With South Florida now bowl eligible, the backup pick is the PapaJohns.com Bowl.
Pittsburgh (Final Record: 8-4, 4-3)
Projected Bowl: PapaJohns.com Bowl
Similar to West Virginia, they split their remaining games (beat West Virginia, lose to UConn). The PapaJohns.com Bowl and International Bowl could go either way between Pittsburgh and UConn, with neither team having been to either bowl yet.
Connectciut (Final record: 8-4, 4-3)
Projected Bowl: International Bowl
UConn beats Pitt to end their regular season. Either the PapaJohns.com Bowl or the International Bowl picks up UConn.
South Florida (Final Record: 7-5, 2-5)
Projected Bowl: St. Petersburg Bowl
South Florida beat UConn to make the bowls, but can’t beat West Virginia to climb further up the conference rankings. With the St. Petersburg Bowl being so close to home, South Florida is the pick.
Left out: Louisville, Syracuse