Well, the Big East championship picture is clear now for West Virginia University’s football team. If WVU beats Rutgers on Saturday they will share at least part of the league title. That title may very well be shared with Pitt and Connecticut if those teams win their games on Saturday as well. In that scenario all three teams would be 5-2 in the league. That is well and good, but there will be few couches burned in Morgantown for merely sharing this title.
That is because the BCS Bowl game is the real prize, and WVU only gets to go if they beat Rutgers and Connecticut loses to South Florida. West Virginia eliminated Pitt from the 5-2 tiebreaker with an inspiring 35-10 win over the Panthers last Friday. Connecticut, though, took care of its business by trouncing Cincinnati and now need only to beat USF in Tampa Saturday night to claim their first BCS bowl bid by virtue of owning the tiebreaker over WVU and Pitt.
If you pay attention to what odds makers think, then you would like West Virginia’s chances to lay claim to the BCS bowl. WVU opened as a 20-point favorite over Rutgers and USF is a 2 1/2 point favorite to down UCONN. The Bulls are coming off an emotional overtime win over Miami last weekend. West Virginia fans are understandably nervous about the USF mindset going into Saturday’s game.
Nervous, or not, West Virginia fans will have plenty to pay attention to on Saturday. The West Virginia-Rutgers game kicks off at noon on ABC. That should allow most fans to get into place to watch UCONN-USF game at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. Those who live near Morgantown, or know how to program your DVRs, can also view the WVU at Miami basketball game at 4 p.m. on regional channels.
West Virginia fans know all too well the perils of playing important games at home as huge favorites, but assuming West Virginia can take care of business against Rutgers, all Mountaineer eyes will turn to South Florida. As mentioned, how will the Bulls come out after their emotional win over the Hurricanes?
That answer is a crapshoot folks. I would suspect first year Bulls coach, Skip Holtz, will have them ready to play. Others think they will lay an egg. Perhaps the bigger question is how will UCONN play?
The Huskies opened conference play losing to Rutgers and Louisville. Then, on a late October Friday night in Storrs, the Huskies took advantage of fumble prone West Virginia to win 16-13 in overtime. Since then UCONN has tacked on wins against Pitt, Syracuse and Cincinnati to put them in position to capture the BCS bowl bid. The streaking Huskies figure to keep Mountaineer fans on edge Saturday.