Big East bowl projections: Week 12

November, 13, 2011
11/13/11
8:30
PM ET
I joked with somebody this weekend that all eight Big East schools would become bowl eligible. Believe it or not, that is still possible after this weekend. Will it happen? Anything is possible in this league. For now, just a few adjustments to the projections.

BCS, Discover Orange Bowl: Cincinnati vs. ACC. Yup, I am sticking with the Bearcats for this week even without Zach Collaros. Backup Munchie Legaux nearly led a comeback win Saturday, and now that the Bearcats know he will start for them in the final three games of the season, they can game plan for his strengths. You saw flashes of what he can do running the football. The combo with Isaiah Pead in the backfield can lead this offense. And let's face it, Cincinnati is not facing prolific offenses in the last three games -- Rutgers, UConn and Syracuse. All of those games are winnable, even with a backup running the show.

Champs Sports Bowl: Notre Dame. The Irish are 7-3, and I still think would be the most attractive option for this game in Orlando, Fla. Remember, the Champs Sports Bowl can take Notre Dame once in a four-year cycle provided it is 7-5 or better.

Belk Bowl: West Virginia vs. ACC. Should Cincinnati falter again, I think West Virginia would have the best shot at moving out of its current bowl game and into the BCS.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Big 12. The Scarlet Knights remain the perfect option for the bowl game in New York. But if they can win out and other pieces fall their way, maybe there is an outside shot at the BCS, too.

BBVA Compass Bowl: Louisville vs. SEC. The Cardinals have to win one more game, but their final two are on the road -- at UConn and at USF. I think they win at least one of those.

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl: USF vs. Conference USA. The Bulls will win one of their final three against Miami, Louisville and West Virginia to make it into the game close to their campus in Tampa, Fla.

The rest:

Syracuse (5-5) has to beat either Cincinnati or Pitt.

Pitt (5-5) has to beat either West Virginia or Syracuse.

UConn (4-6) has to beat two of these three: Louisville, Rutgers, Cincinnati.

Of these three teams, I now think the Panthers have the best chance at making a bowl game. The regular-season finale between Syracuse and Pitt in Pittsburgh could have a bowl game hanging in the balance.
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