Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Thursday appetizer

The weekly picks and news from our Thursday call with Randy Edsall will be up between 1 and 2 p.m. To tide you over, here are my updated bowl projections.

Since Notre Dame will surely get to seven wins this weekend, the Gator and Sun Bowls are no longer an option for a Big East team. South Florida seems a natural to play in the St. Petersburg Bowl, but I don't think they'll beat UConn on Saturday, meaning they probably won't get seven wins. Rutgers, with seven wins seeming likely, moves into the St. Pete Bowl and USF gets sent to whatever opening there may be. Rutgers could also also be an option for Birmingham, but not Toronto since it was just there last season.

Spoke with Don Loding, a rep from the International Bowl this week. He said they like UConn a lot, but feels there's still a lot that can happen in the next few weeks. Also, Loding said the International Bowl and the Bowl work in conjunction with each other when selecting from the Big East to get the best matchups for both bowls. They pick fourth/fifth (after the BCS, Gator/Sun and Meineke). Hard to envision Meineke passing on West Virginia, if available, or even Cincinnati (barring a total meltdown). So, expect UConn and Pitt to wind up in Toronto and Birmingham in some way, shape or form. Unless Pitt wins the whole enchilada.

Maybe it is still too early for predictions. Ah, what the hell.

UCONN (7-3, 3-2)
11/23: at South Florida (W)
12/6: Pittsburgh (L)
Predicted record: 8-4 (4-3)

CINCINNATI (8-2, 4-1)
11/22: Pittsburgh (W)
11/29: Syracuse (W)
12/6: at Hawaii (W)
Predicted record: 11-2 (6-1)

PITTSBURGH (7-2, 3-1)
11/22: at Cincinnati (L)
11/28: West Virginia (L)
12/6: at UConn (W)
Predicted record: 8-4 (4-3)

SYRACUSE (2-8, 1-5)
11/22: at Notre Dame (L)
11/29: at Cincinnati (L)
Predicted record: 2-10 (1-6)

WEST VIRGINIA (6-3, 3-1)
11/22: at Louisville (W)
11/28: at Pittsburgh (W)
12/6: South Florida (W)
Predicted record: 9-3 (6-1)

SOUTH FLORIDA (6-4, 1-4)
11/23: UConn (L)
12/6: at West Virginia (L)
Predicted record: 6-6 (1-6)

LOUISVILLE (5-5, 1-4)
11/22: West Virginia (L)
12/4: at Rutgers (L)
Predicted record: 5-7 (1-6)

RUTGERS (5-5, 4-2)
11/22: Army (W)
12/4: Louisville (W)
Predicted record: 7-5 (5-2)

Which would make the Big East standings:
1. Cincinnati 11-2 (6-1)
2. West Virginia 9-3 (6-1)
3. Rutgers 7-5 (5-2)
4. Pitt 8-4 (4-3)
UConn 8-4 (4-3)
6. USF 6-6 (1-6)
Louisville 5-7 (1-6)
Syracuse 2-10 (1-6)

And the Big East bowl shake-out (this is also the order the bowls choose)
Orange Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Miami
Gator Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Maryland
Meineke Car Care Bowl: West Virginia vs. Georgia Tech
International Bowl: UConn vs. Western Michigan Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Troy (SEC doesn't have enough to fill slot)
St. Petersburg Bowl: Rutgers vs. Southern Miss
Independence Bowl: South Florida vs. Bowling Green


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