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How Syracuse Can Win the Big East and the BCS Bid

With victory in Piscataway, Syracuse has win number seven, a mark the team hasn’t reached since 2001. The ‘Cuse will be bowling and speculation among Orange Nation has run rampant on where. As a top-tier program in the Big East, the Pinstripe Bowl, the Champs Sports Bowl, and Meineke Car Care Bowl all are possibilities. But with a chance to finish 5-2 in the conference, should we be thinking about the possibility of a BCS game (likely the Orange Bowl or Fiesta Bowl)?

Crazy? Maybe, but in 2010 it’s still possible SU could win the Big East. The league is down in a year Syracuse is up, but we’re not complaining. Here are the contenders, and what would need to happen:

SYRACUSE (7-2) (4-2)

Vs. Connecticut

Vs. Boston College

The Orange needs to beat UConn for a chance at the title. Syracuse hasn’t won the league since ’98 with a perfect 7-0 in conference play. If SU finishes with a record of 5-2, the Orange would need Pitt to lose two of its final three games. The Panthers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with the convincing win at the Dome last month. USF can win out and still not take the league because of the loss to Syracuse. SU at 5-2, USF at 5-2, Pitt at 4-3 means Syracuse takes the BCS crown. Pitt at 5-2 means the Panthers win the league.

It’s nice to have former rival Boston College back on the docket, but the season finale at the Dome will only be for window-dressing. It doesn’t effect the league standings, SU’s postseason eligibility nor what bowl SU even heads to because of Big East slotting. Even though B.C. needed a stop on 4th-and-goal late last weekend to take down Duke, Syracuse still can’t overlook the Eagles.

PITTSBURGH (5-4) (3-1)

at USF

vs West Virginia

at Cincinnati

The Panthers control their own destiny. With only one loss so far and the victory over SU, the Panthers only need to win two of their remaining three games to grab the BCS bid. However, after the “Randy Edsall Happy Dance” loss where Huskies RB Jordan Todman went for 222 yards, there’s still questions. Can Pitt shut down Noel Devine and Isaiah Pead in the last two weeks of the season? And can a Dave Wannstadt-coached team not choke and actually fulfill preseason expectations and win the league?

USF (6-3) (3-2)

Vs Pittsburgh

At Miami

Vs Connecticut

The Bulls haven’t lost in nearly a month. It’s been three straight weeks of powerful offensive output with 38, 28, and 24 points. But those wins came against the three worst teams in the league in Cincinnati, Rutgers, and Louisville. The Bulls need the most help to win the league for the first time in program history. USF must beat Pitt next weekend, win out and have Syracuse lose to UConn. Under that scenario, the Bulls and Panthers each would have two conference losses, USF the head-to-head win, and the Orange with three league losses. Crazy, but not impossible in this strange year in the Big East.

West Virginia and UConn have an outside shot at the league title, but both would likely need to run the table in their final three games and hope for some help. No program has four defeats in conference, so even three-loss Cincinnati, Louisville and Rutgers mathematically are still alive. But it would take a miracle scenario to win the BCS bid.

SU’s BCS potential popped up while watching football at Team Fizz headquarters this weekend. What if SU took on Alabama/Auburn/South Carolina in a BCS bowl game?

Could the Orange win? Probably not, but it would sure be interesting to watch. The stated goal by the team this year was to make a bowl game. Done. Now it’s just a matter of where the charter plane is headed.

Posted: Mike Couzens

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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