Big East bowl projections

Welcome to the first of our now-weekly Sunday bowl projections for the Big East.

There's so much football left to be played that these truly are projections. And with five of the eight teams in the Big East already saddled with three losses, just getting to a bowl should be the focus for most of the league.

I am basing these projections on the assumption that Notre Dame wins at least seven games and takes the Big East's No. 2 spot in the Champs Sports Bowl. The Irish are currently 4-3 with games left against Navy, Tulsa and Army, along with Utah and USC. That would mean the No. 2 Big East pick would go to Charlotte, and others might be left scrambling for at-large spots.

Right now, I am not projecting Syracuse, Louisville or South Florida to make the postseason. Also note that this is not necessarily indicative of how I think the final standings will play out, other than the BCS pick. Bowls want new teams from year to year, and this scenario has the four non-BCS teams going to their Big East-affiliated bowls for the first time.

OK, here we go:

BCS (Fiesta Bowl): West Virginia

Meineke Car Care Bowl: Cincinnati

Birmingham Bowl: Pittsburgh

Beef O'Brady's Bowl: Connecticut

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers