The Big East race will finally begin to shape up this weekend with a few key games on the docket. The biggest will surely be the matchup at Raymond James Saturday at noon. The Pittsburgh Panthers travel to Tampa to take on the Bulls, this game has huge implications on the race and who still has a shot at the automatic BCS bid. The scenarios give me a headache, but with three weeks left, five teams still have legitimate shots at that BCS bid. So how can your Big East team make it to Miami? Here we go.
Biggest ally: Connecticut
Biggest enemy: Pittsburgh
After three straight Big East wins the Bulls are back in the hunt for their first Big East championship. With that being said, the Bulls are going to need some help from the Huskies this week and Pitt down the road.
Winning formula: USF winning out +UConn beating Syracuse + any WVU loss = Big East Champions
Biggest ally: Syracuse
Biggest enemy: Themselves/Connecticut
Last week the Panthers had a comfortable two game lead in the Big East, after tomorrow they could drop to third. We know that the UConn game was a big one, we will not know how big until one of the teams lose again; if its Pitt then that game just got enormous. The Panthers control their own destiny right now, but if they lose then the Huskies become the team in the driver’s seat.
Winning formula: Pitt winning out = Big East Champions
Biggest ally: USF
Biggest Enemy: Syracuse
Connecticut is a head scratcher; they should be in the best position behind Pittsburg to win the Big East because they beat two of the best teams in the conference right now in Pittsburgh and West Virginia. Strangely, they lost to the two of the worst teams in the Big East in Rutgers and Louisville. Right now they sit fourth but this is doable. They will a little help but the Huskies are still very much in the thick of things.
Winning formula: UConn winning out + Pitt losing to USF, WVU or Cincinnati = Big East Champions
Biggest ally: USF
Biggest enemy: Syracuse
Surprisingly, West Virginia needs a ton of help to make it to the dance. The problem with the Mountaineers is that they lost to the wrong teams; Syracuse and Connecticut hold the tiebreakers with West Virginia because they beat the mountaineers earlier in the season. If Syracuse beats UConn, West Virginias chances drop dramatically; If UConn beats the Orange and USF beats Pitt then the Mountaineers will be in a great spot going into the Barnyard Brawl with Pittsburgh.
Winning formula: WVU wins out + UConn beats Syracuse + USF beats UConn (last game) = Big East Champions
Biggest ally: Anyone who beats Pitt
Biggest enemy: UConn
The Orange are in a great spot in the standings, but have arguably the most important game of the weekend. If Syracuse wins against UConn, they will have at least a share of the Big East title; that does not necessarily translate into a BCS bid. They will need Pittsburgh to lose two games to bring their record to 3-3 because Pitt has the tiebreaker over the Orange from the game earlier this year.
Winning formula: Syracuse beats UConn + Pitt loses two of the final three games = Big East Champions
Just to show you how insane the Big East is this year, I will now demonstrate how Cincinnati, the worst team in the Big East, could still win the Big East
Biggest ally: Louisville (only team they beat)
Biggest enemy: Their talent.
Winning Formula: Cincinnati wins out + USF beats Pitt + WVU beats Pitt + UConn beats Syracuse + UConn beats USF + Rutgers beats Louisville + Boston College beats Syracuse by 60 + Miami beats USF by 60 = A tie breaking scenario between Cincinnati, USF, Syracuse, WVU, Pittsburgh and UConn that makes my head hurt.
That is this week’s Big East scenarios; if Syracuse and Pitt lose, the standings will shake up even worse. Let’s hope for some great Big East action come Saturday.