- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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I shall do my first major shuffling of the season now that we are at the midpoint, and I have a better feel for the teams in the league. Remember, I am projecting out to how I see the season finishing up. Welcome to Rutgers (4-1), just two wins from becoming bowl-eligible. In fact, USF (4-1), Cincinnati (4-1) and Syracuse (4-2) are two wins away becoming bowl-eligible, and West Virginia needs one more.
Also remember that the Big East does not necessarily go in order of finish when slotting its teams into bowls. Other factors are at play, including geography and where a team has made recent bowl appearances.
BCS, Discover Orange Bowl: West Virginia vs. ACC. I'm still holding firm on the Mountaineers.
Champs Sports Bowl: Notre Dame. The Irish are on a roll and remain on course to take a spot from the Big East. Remember, the Champs Sports Bowl can take Notre Dame once in a four-year cycle provided it is 7-5 or better.
Belk Bowl: Cincinnati vs. ACC. USF played here last year and most likely would not be picked for a second consecutive year. The Bearcats are in position to finish near the top of the league.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Big 12. If the Scarlet Knights become bowl-eligible, they would be a slam dunk here.
BBVA Compass Bowl: USF vs. SEC. The Bulls fall victim to some of the other factors involved in bowl selection -- trying to avoid repeat teams and geographic fit.
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl: Pitt vs. Conference USA. The Panthers are so up-and-down, they look like contenders one week and nobodies the next.
At-large:Syracuse. The Orange will be bowl-eligible and get into a bowl somewhere. But with Notre Dame taking a spot, there is no tie-in remaining.