With yesterday's results, the Big East race has clarified considerably. First, the highlights:
USF, Cincinnati, and Louisville are eliminated. None of which is surprising. Cincy did win today, but were mathematically eliminated by other results.
Syracuse can still win the BCS bid, but they need Armageddon to happen. There's one way they can still win the Fiesta Bowl invite, but they need a lot of help.
The BCS poll will not be a factor in the league race. Today's results eliminated all possibilities that would have had to be decided by BCS poll standing. All possible ties can now be broken by head-to-head results between or among teams.
The 5-way tie is still in play. West Virginia has to beat Pitt and lose to Rutgers, Cincinnati has to beat Pitt, and UConn has to lose to Cincy and/or USF. So a crazy multi-way tie is getting to be unlikely. The 4- and 6-way tie are no longer possible.
The Backyard Brawl will probably decide the Big East, unless UConn wins out, or everyone falls apart. More on that as we look at each team's chances, after the jump.
Here's what each team needs to do to win the Big East BCS bid:
Option 1: Win both remaining games.
Option 2: Beat WVU, lose to Cincinnati, and UConn loses at least one game.
Option 3: Lose to WVU, beat Cincinnati, Rutgers beats WVU, and UConn loses at least one game.
What scares me is that both Pitt and UConn will win next week. That could leave the UConn@USF game to decide the Big East. Beat UConn, and watch our conference be represented in the BCS by Dave Wannstedt and the Pitt Panthers. Lose to UConn, and play Southern Miss or East Carolina in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl. Grim choice.
Option 1: Win both remaining games, and UConn loses at least one game.
Option 1: Win both remaining games, and Pitt loses at least one game.
Option 2 (Armageddon!): Win one of their two remaining games, WVU beats Pitt, Cincinnati beats Pitt, Rutgers beats WVU. That would create a five-way tie at 4-3, and UConn wins any tie they're a part of.
Option 1 (Armageddon!): West Virginia beats Pitt, Cincinnati beats UConn, Cincinnati beats Pitt, USF beats UConn, Rutgers beats West Virginia. If all this happens, Syracuse will be tied with Pitt, Cincy, WVU, and USF at 4-3. West Virginia and Syracuse both went 3-1 against teams in this group, and Syracuse beat WVU, so Syracuse wins Big East BCS tiebreaker.
Option 2: Construct time machine, replay UConn game. And tart up that Washington score while you're at it.
All other teams are eliminated from winning the BCS bid, though Cincinnati and USF can still win a share of the conference title if they get to 4-3 and no one else gets to 5-2.