Big East Football: Cincinnati Wins, Rutgers Loses, Race Tightens

By Alex Callos

As expected, the Big East race will go down to the final weekend of the season.

Heading into this past weekend, there were still six teams who were mathematically in the race for the Big East championship.

That number has been cut in half now heading into the final weekend of the regular season and things have been simplified.

The Louisville victory on Saturday knocked out Connecticut and West Virginia defeated Pittsburgh on Thursday night in the Backyard Brawl to knock them out of contention.

The surprise of the weekend was Connecticut defeating Rutgers 40-22 on Saturday to remove the Scarlet Knights from contention.

Louisville defeated South Florida to close out the regular season at 7-5 overall and 5-2 in conference play.

The Cardinals will sit at home watching over the weekend and hoping for the best. Louisville will win the conference and qualify for a BCS bowl if Cincinnati loses to Connecticut on Saturday. If the Bearcats win, Louisville will be eliminated.

A loss by Cincinnati would create a tie between Louisville and West Virginia with the Cardinals holding the tiebreaker due to their head-to-head victory.

West Virginia will go to the BCS bowl if they defeat South Florida on Thursday and Cincinnati defeats Connecticut on Saturday.

That would create a three-way tie between Louisville, West Virginia and Cincinnati.

The first tiebreaker would be head-to-head matchup. All three teams would be 1-1 against each other. The second tiebreaker would be the highest BCS ranking, which would put West Virginia in the BCS game.

Cincinnati can earn a BCS berth if they defeat Connecticut on Saturday and West Virginia loses to South Florida on Thursday.

This would create a tie between Louisville and Cincinnati with the Bearcats holding the tiebreaker advantage due to their head-to-head victory.

While things are still relatively confusing, the picture is much more clear than it was a week ago.

Whether the teams deserve their BCS spot or not is still a question, but either way, the race is as tight as any conference and the final weekend will be very exciting in the Big East.

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