Many believe (myself included) that the Big East conference is teetering on the verge of collapse. Conference realignment has chosen the conference as a buffet, and team after team has decided to leave for greener pastures. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are leaving the Big East after this academic year, effectively ending any recognizable form of the conference. So this bowl season is the last hoorah for the Big East, and so far it has been one heck of a party.
The Big East is currently 3-1 this postseason, including Louisville’s massive upset of Florida in the Sugar Bowl. The conference may be dying, just don’t tell that to the teams with a Big East patch on their jersey. It started with Cincinnati’s win over Duke in the Belk Bowl. The Bearcats scored 14 points in the final minute of the game to win by that margin.
Syracuse then got in the act with a 38-14 win over West Virginia in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The fact that the Mountaineers left the Big East for the Big 12 less than a year ago made the victory that much sweeter. Next year the Orange will be in the ACC, but they will always be able to say that they dominated one of their rivals in their final game in the Big East.
Louisville may be the biggest surprise in the biggest surprise this postseason. The Sugar Bowl was supposed to be a blowout, only it was supposed to go the other way. Florida was supposed to dominate Louisville, but the Cardinals didn’t abide to the script, instead they rewrote it. Will Muschamp and the Gators’ defense simply couldn’t stop Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville’s offense.
Cincinnati, Syracuse and Louisville have already made this bowl season a success for the Big East but it’s not over yet. On Saturday, Pittsburgh will take on Ole Miss in the BBVA Compass Bowl. If the Big East can achieve one more victory over the mighty SEC, then this will be a December and January to remember.