As has been the case almost every year since 2005, the Big East race is absolutely wide open. With three weeks left in the regular season, six of the league's eight teams can win the conference outright if a set of things (in some cases miraculous) happens in their favor. Since South Florida and Syracuse both already have four conference losses, they cannot win the Big East (by definition if a Big East team loses four game at least one will have won four game, so they're out). That being the case, here is what each of the six remaining teams needs to happen to win the Big East outright and go to the BCS.
Cincinnati - The Bearcats, even with the loss to West Virginia on Saturday, are still in the driver's seat in the conference. The loss of quarterback Zach Collaros for the rest of the season makes the task a bit longer, but having just one loss right now means they're not dependent on anyone else to win the league. If Cincinnati wins out, it wins the Big East. But should it lose one game with Munchie Legaux at quarterback, here is how things would have to play out for them to still win the Big East.
- If Cincinnati loses to Syracuse but beats Rutgers and UConn, it would win the Big East with one more West Virginia loss.
- If Cincinnati loses to UConn, it would need UConn to have already lost to Louisville or Rutgers.
- If Cincinnati loses to Rutgers, it would need Rutgers to lose to UConn the following week and West Virginia to lose one of its last two games against either Pitt or South Florida.
Connecticut - Connecticut is mathematically still alive for the Big East title, but is in the weakest position because currently, its two wins in Big East play have come against the two teams that cannot win the league: Syracuse and South Florida. That being the case, this is what UConn needs to happen:
- Connecticut must win out and finish 5-2 in Big East play. Any loss against the remaining three teams puts them at best tied with a team that beat them. If it does win out over Louisville, Rutgers, and Cincinnati.
- Cincinnati to have lost another game either to Rutgers or Syracuse
- West Virginia to lose to South Florida
- Pittsburgh to lose to Syracuse
Louisville - Louisville is in the enviable position of having wins over Rutgers and West Virginia, which means it is mostly hoping for Cincinnati to falter. With just two games left on its schedule, this what Louisville needs:
- Louisville must win its final two games at UConn and at South Florida.
- Cincinnati must lose to Rutgers and then lose one of its last two against Syracuse or UConn.
- Pittsburgh must lose to West Virginia.
- Rutgers must win its final two games against Cincinnati.
- West Virginia must win its final two games against Pittsburgh and South Florida.
Pittsburgh - After the rough start out of conference and a withering rash of injuries, Pittsburgh has rallied and is still in position to win the Big East with just a little help. Here's what Pittsburgh needs:
- Pittsburgh needs to win its final two games against West Virginia and Syracuse.
- Cincinnati must lose two of its final three games.
- Rutgers must lose one more game.
Rutgers - Rutgers main advantage now is that has a head to head win over Pitt. Its second advantage is that it still gets Cincinnati and its gets them without Zach Collaros. Still, with losses to Louisville and West Virginia already, the Scarlet Knights have their work cut out for them. Here's what they need:
- Rutgers needs to win its final two games against Cincinnati and UConn. It is one of only two teams that don't need Cincinnati to lose twice to win the Big East (the other is West Virginia).
- West Virginia must lose to South Florida.
- Louisville must lose to either South Florida or Connecticut.
West Virginia - With wins over Cincinnati and Rutgers and Pitt still ahead of it, West Virginia is also in very good position to win the Big East with very little help. Here's what West Virginia needs to win the Big East:
- The Mountaineers need to win out against Pittsburgh and South Florida.
- Cincinnati must lose one of its final three games against Rutgers, Syracuse, and Connecticut, it does not matter which one.
- Louisville must lose one of its final two games against Connecticut and South Florida.