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Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Big East in the bowls

By Andrea Adelson

The Big East has done pretty well for itself during bowl season. The last time the league had a losing bowl record was back in 2005, the first year of the newly reconfigured conference.

Can the league keep up its recent winning bowl streak?

The Big East has gone 23-10 in bowl games in the past six seasons. But interestingly enough, four of the five Big East teams in bowl games are underdogs. Only Cincinnati is favored to beat Duke in the Belk Bowl. So the oddsmakers believe the six-year streak with a winning bowl record will come to an end.

I am going to say the Big East will finish no worse than 3-2 during bowl season. I think Cincinnati, Pitt, Rutgers and Syracuse all have great chances at winning their bowl games; I like Louisville's odds much less. You will have to wait on my official predictions until we get closer to the games, but here is why I think the Big East has a great shot at another winning bowl record.

Cincinnati vs. Duke, Belk Bowl, Dec. 27

Where does Cincinnati have the edge? Much better defense.

Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech, Russell Athletic Bowl, Dec. 28

Where does Rutgers have the edge? Much better defense and special teams.

Syracuse vs. West Virginia, New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Dec. 29

Where does Syracuse have the edge? Way better defense (I am sensing a trend ...)

Louisville vs. Florida, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 2

Where does Louisville have the edge? Quarterback. Teddy Bridgewater > Jeff Driskel. But will it be enough?

Pitt vs. Ole Miss, BBVA Compass Bowl, Jan. 5

Where does Pitt have the edge? Running back, with Ray Graham.

Bowl records since 2005

2005: 1-3

2006: 5-0

2007: 3-2

2008: 4-2

2009: 4-2

2010: 4-2

2011: 3-2