Syracuse wraps up its regular season today in Philadelphia, so it’s officially time to start projecting the bowl bids in the Big East. We know the Orange is eligible, and unless a bizarre set of upsets happen across the league over the final two weeks, SU is essentially guaranteed a bowl spot because of how few teams will get to six wins in conference.
Here’s how The Fizz sees the season and bowl bids unfolding:
Friday: Syracuse beats Temple on the road, Cincinnati defeats USF at home.
Saturday: Louisville drubs UConn at home, Rutgers travels to Pitt and wins.
Thursday: Rutgers knocks off Louisville at home on national television.
Next Saturday: Cincy goes to UConn and wins, USF beats Pitt in Tampa.
That will mean the final standings look like this:
Rutgers 7-0, 11-1
Louisville 5-2, 10-2
Cincinnati 5-2, 9-3
Syracuse 5-2, 7-5
Temple 2-5, 4-7
USF 2-5, 4-8
UConn 1-6, 4-8
Pitt, 1-6, 4-8
By virtue of winning the conference, Rutgers will get the bid into the BCS game – heading to Miami for the Orange Bowl. The Fizz projects Florida State winning the ACC, and facing the Scarlet Knights.
Three teams would be tied for second place at 5-2, and SU, Cincy and Louisville would have all lost to one another, so here’s the Big East tie-breaking:
All three teams have either a 6-1 or 5-2 record and have each won one game and lost one game against the other tied teams in the mini-conference. In this case, the highest ranked team amongst the three earns the bid. If two of the three teams are tied for the highest ranking, the bid is earned by the team winning the head-to-head match up.
So let’s assume the Cardinals are ranked, meaning they’re the Big East’s 2-seed and the Russell Athletic Bowl will take them. UofL will take on Clemson down in Orlando.
By virtue of beating Syracuse, the Bearcats become the three-seed. The Belk Bowl takes Cincinnati, and pairs them with Georgia Tech.
Meaning Syracuse is the four-seed again in the Big East, and the Pinstripe Bowl comes calling for the second time in three years. However, it’s a juicy matchup. As the Big 12’s team, the Orange will battle TCU at Yankee Stadium.
(Update: This post originally had SU taking on Texas. Correction, the Pinstripe has the Big 12’s seventh team. If Texas loses to Kansas State this weekend, and Texas Tech and TCU both win, UT could drop to 6th. So instead of the Horns, let’s put the Horned Frogs against the Orange in the Bronx. Still a fun matchup with some sizzle.)
In our standings, no other Big East team will finish bowl eligible.
That’s how we see it playing out. Note that bowls are not obligated to take teams based on order of finish. So who knows, maybe the decision-makers down in Orlando or Charlotte love Otto the Orange so damn much, they ignore the tie-breakers and dial Doc Gross. But playing in the postseason is a delicious end to the season no matter where.