Big East lunchtime links: UConn still waiting

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

No Big East team has a longer layoff than Connecticut, which won't play the International Bowl until Jan. 3, some four weeks after its regular-season finale. But that layoff can have its advantages, Desmond Conner writes in the Hartford Courant. The Huskies can focus solely on football instead of trying to juggle practice and exams and the holidays, and cornerback/wide receiver Darius Butler has had time to let his injured knee heal for the International Bowl.

Conner also blogs that the Huskies have sold only 3,000 tickets to the game against Buffalo so far. Not too surprising, given the locale, the economy, the way UConn finished the season and the fact that there are men's and women's basketball home games the same day as the bowl.

• Trying to figure out how to coordinate a bowl week schedule is an entirely new thing for Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt, Paul Zeise writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Kevin Gorman takes a look at the Panthers' history with the Brut Sun Bowl in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

• With a victory in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, West Virginia's seniors can lay claim to being the winningest class in school history, Chuck Finder says in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Mountaineers have not committed a turnover in their last three bowl wins, and that needs to continue against North Carolina, Jack Bogaczyk writes in the Charleston Daily Mail.

• South Jersey has become a prime recruiting hub for Rutgers after years of being nearly impenetrable, Tom Luicci writes in the Star-Ledger.

• Former Louisville defensive coordinator Ron English is up for the challenge of making Eastern Michigan a winner, the Associated Press writes.