We are closing in on the last month of the regular season, so it is time to begin taking a weekly look at the conference race. I will outline the easiest path for teams in contention to win the title.
In the event of a two-way tie, the head-to-head winner between the teams will represent the Big East in the BCS game. In the event of a three-way or four-way tie, there are multiple scenarios that could determine the BCS rep. The two most common scenarios in a three-way tie: 1) if one team beat the other two tied teams, that one gets the BCS bid, regardless of ranking; 2) if they’re each 1-1 against the other two tied teams, it goes to the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings (as with West Virginia last season).
South Florida is the only team that has been mathematically eliminated from winning a Big East title.
Rutgers (7-1, 4-0 Big East)
Remaining league games: at Cincinnati, at Pittsburgh, Louisville.
1. The Scarlet Knights win the Big East title if they run the table.
2. If Rutgers loses one Big East game BUT beats Louisville at the end of the regular season, and both teams end up in a two-way tie for first, the Scarlet Knights go to the BCS.
Louisville (8-0, 3-0)
Remaining league games: Temple, at Syracuse, Connecticut, at Rutgers.
1. The Cardinals win the Big East if they run the table.
2. If the Cardinals lose one Big East game BUT beat Rutgers at the end of the regular season, and both teams end up in a two-way tie for first, the Cardinals go to the BCS.
Syracuse (4-4, 3-1)
Remaining league games: at Cincinnati, Louisville, at Temple.
Easiest path: The Orange already lost to Rutgers earlier in the year. So they need to win out and have Rutgers lose twice.
Cincinnati (5-2, 1-1)
Remaining league games: Syracuse, at Temple, Rutgers, USF, at UConn.
Easiest path: The Bearcats already lost to Louisville. So they need to win out and have the Cardinals lose twice.
Temple (3-4, 2-2)
Remaining league games: at Louisville, Cincinnati, Syracuse.
The Owls are indeed in the hunt. Big East communications wizard Chuck Sullivan gets the hat tip for giving me the scenario the Owls need to get to the BCS. Ready? Here goes:
Temple can get to 5-2 in the Big East, and in doing so, would have beaten Louisville, Cincinnati and Syracuse. So then, if ALL this happens ...
Rutgers loses out;
Louisville loses to Syracuse and UConn (we’re already counting a loss to Temple and a win against Rutgers);
Syracuse loses to Cincinnati (already counting a win against Louisville and a loss to Temple);
Cincinnati loses to USF and UConn (already counting wins against Syracuse and Rutgers and a loss to Temple);
... then Rutgers, Louisville, Syracuse and Cincinnati all finish at 4-3. And Temple is in the BCS.