There are only two games left in the BIG EAST regular season, but three teams are still in the hunt for the conference crown. ESPN will televise both crucial contests. At noon EST, Louisville hosts Connecticut. At 7:45 p.m., Rutgers plays at West Virginia. Going into Saturday, Louisville and Rutgers own 5-1 BIG EAST marks, while West Virginia is 4-2.
The Scenarios: If Rutgers wins, the Scarlet Knights will be at least co-champions and will be the BIG EAST's representative in the Bowl Championship Series. If West Virginia wins and Louisville wins, Louisville will be the outright champion and go to a BCS bowl. A West Virginia win and Louisville loss would create a three-way tie at 5-2. Under the conference's tiebreaker policy, the highest ranked team in the BCS Standings would earn the BCS berth. That likely would be West Virginia or Louisville.
Bowls Are Waiting For BIG EAST Teams
After the league's BCS representative has been determined, the BIG EAST will be filling spots in at least four other bowls. If a second BIG EAST squad is not selected as an at-large pick in the BCS, the Toyota Gator or Brut Sun Bowl will choose a BIG EAST team. Then, the Texas Bowl will make a BIG EAST selection. Two new bowls, the International Bowl in Toronto and the Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, also will invite BIG EAST teams. These two new games have already invited opponents for the BIG EAST. Western Michigan (8-4) will go the International Bowl and East Carolina (7-5) will play in the Papajohns.com Bowl.
USF, Cincinnati Bolstered Their Status With Road Wins
The USF Bulls and Cincinnati Bearcats strengthened their resumes for postseason consideration with impressive wins on the road last week. USF defeated West Virginia in Morgantown, 24-19, with a suffocating defense that held the Mountaineers to just 132 yards rushing. Cincinnati rallied in the fourth quarter to win at Connecticut, 26-23, on a field goal with 10 seconds left. USF finished the regular season, 8-4, while Cincinnati ended with a 7-5 mark. Pittsburgh also is bowl eligible at 6-6.
USF's Selvie Named National Defensive Player of the Week
USF freshman defensive end George Selvie was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after helping the Bulls win at West Virginia. Selvie recorded a team-high eight tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, which he returned for a touchdown.