Bowl chances: Pitt

November, 17, 2011
11/17/11
4:00
PM ET
With five Big East teams fighting for bowl eligibility, I am taking a look at the chances of each team making it to at least six wins. Next up: Pitt.

Record: 5-5

Games remaining: at West Virginia, Syracuse.

Breakdown: Things looked bleak for this team after a tough loss to Cincinnati, dropping the Panthers to 4-5. But a win over Louisville has them back in the race not only for a bowl game but for a conference championship. If the Panthers can run the ball as effectively as they did last week, they will have a chance to win their last two games. Tino Sunseri and the offensive line did a much better job, and Sunseri was able to manage the game well without having to throw the ball 30 times. He only had 22 attempts against Louisville, second-fewest on the season. The defense has come on of late, especially Aaron Donald, who now has 9.0 sacks on the season to lead the Big East. In the first five games of the season, Pitt allowed an average of 414.4 yards per game. In the last five, Pitt has allowed an average of 296.8 ypg. Players are now more comfortable in the new defensive scheme, and the defensive front has been particularly controlling. Linebacker Todd Thomas also should be a bit healthier, so that definitely will help. The problem with Pitt is you do not know what team is going to show up. The Panthers have been hard to predict mainly because the offense has been so inconsistent. But if this offensive line has turned a corner the way Todd Graham says it has, you have to like Pitt's chances of becoming bowl eligible. The West Virginia game is always unpredictable and Pitt has won six straight over Syracuse by an average of 16 points per game.

Chances of getting six wins: 75 percent.

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