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Thursday, December 13, 2012
Best case/worst case: Big East bowls

By Andrea Adelson

We are days away from the start of bowl season, though the first Big East game does not kick off until Dec. 27, when Cincinnati plays Duke in the Belk Bowl.

Let's take a quick look at the best case/worst case scenarios for each Big East team in the bowls.

Cincinnati

Best case: The Bearcats beat Duke in the Belk Bowl to finish with a 10-win season for the fifth time in six years and a Top 25 ranking in the final polls for the second straight season.

Worst case: Losing to a 6-6 ACC team that ended the regular season with a four-game losing streak would look pretty terrible for a team that just won a share of the Big East title.

Louisville

Best case: Beating the big, bad SEC in the Allstate Sugar Bowl!

Worst case: Getting stomped the way Cincinnati did in its last Sugar Bowl appearance. Florida delivered that beatdown, with current Louisville coach Charlie Strong directing the Gators defense for the last time.

Pitt

Best case: Ray Graham ends his career with a 100-yard game against Ole Miss in the BBVA Compass Bowl, and Pitt closes the season with a winning record for the first time since 2010. But best of all -- it won't have to set foot in Birmingham for another bowl game!

Worst case: Tino Sunseri doubles his interception total, and the Panthers play without any motivation and finish with consecutive 6-7 seasons.

Rutgers

Best case: Rutgers beats Virginia Tech in the Russell Athletic Bowl to win 10 games for just the third time in school history and finishes with a Top 25 ranking for the first time since 2006.

Worst case: The Scarlet Knights lose to a 6-6 Virginia Tech team that couldn't even beat Pitt or Cincinnati. Wait, Rutgers didn't beat Pitt, either.

Syracuse

Best case: The Orange beat West Virginia for the third consecutive time, showing the Mountaineers life would not have been easier had they stayed in the Big East.

Worst case: West Virginia hangs 70 on 'em in a replay of last year's Orange Bowl against Clemson.