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Big East race update

As it stands today, the race for the Big East is a simple one to figure out. If Cincinnati wins out, the Bearcats are the Big East champs and are going back to a BCS game for the third time in four seasons. If they lose one, they still claim the conference championship even if one-loss Louisville wins out because they own the head-to-head victory.

The Cardinals win the Big East if they win out and Cincinnati loses twice.

But this is the Big East and nothing works out simply, right? Behind Cincinnati (3-0) and Louisville (3-1), four teams have two losses: Rutgers (3-2), West Virginia (2-2), Pittsburgh (2-2) and Connecticut (2-2).

So as a refresher, here are the tiebreaker scenarios should there be multiple two-loss teams this season, courtesy of Chuck Sullivan in the Big East office.

  • A two-way tie is simply decided by the head-to-head result.

  • In a three- or four-way tie, the first tiebreaker is to compare head-to-head records against the tied teams. So last year, for example, UConn got the BCS bid because it beat both West Virginia and Pitt.

  • In a three-way tie, if each team is 1-1 against the other two, then the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings gets the bid.

  • In a four-way tie, if there are two teams that are 2-1 against the group of tied teams, then the higher ranked of the 2-1 teams in the final BCS standings gets the bid.

  • If there’s a four-way tie and one team is 3-0 against the group of tied teams, then that team gets the bid, regardless of rankings.

Remember, no team with three conference losses has ever won the Big East championship.

I asked what it would take for preseason favorite West Virginia to win the conference. At this point, it is tough to predict because the Mountaineers need help. They need to win out, and any ties with Cincinnati and Rutgers would help. But a tie with Louisville hurts.