Each week Big East Coast Bias polls bloggers around the conference on a football topic. How do their views differ from yours? This week, we asked:
What is the most pivotal game on the 2012 Big East conference schedule?
Survey said …
It's hard to say because it's hard to tell who is going to step up in the conference this season. The safe bet is that Louisville will be among the best teams. After them, the question is whether or not USF or Cincinnati will step up to expectations. I'm going to go with Louisville vs. Cincinnati. It's a Friday night game and the winner could very well be in the driver's seat for the Big East title. Louisville has a very east road after that while the Bearcats have a slightly harder road. Either way, expect it to be a quality contest.
I keep hearing about how Louisville and Rutgers are the frontrunners in this conference, but I think those picks are crap shoots, to be honest. Problem is that I don't have any strong feeling about any other teams stepping up, either. I think South Florida and Pitt could be right there and to me, all four can contend for the title. But with Louisville and Rutgers squaring off in their final game of the season, hard to think that one won't be a key game.
Since Louisville and Rutgers are the consensus favorites to win the conference, their match-up should be considered the most important of the year. Set up on the last weekend of the year on Thursday night at Rutgers, the conference was banking on recreating the magic of their 2006 showdown when they scheduled this one. Considering it would be very doubtful that a team can run the table this season, the November 29th game should have at least a share of the conference title on the line.
I have a feeling that the consensus will wind up falling to Louisville and Rutgers on the 29th of November but I don't see it. Not because Louisville will be a disappointment, they won't, but Rutgers will. Because Rutgers has as much natural talent for disappointing as Jason Kelce does for growing a spectacular beard. Call me a homer, I’m sure you will, but I think the most pivotal game of the year will be for a Keg of Nails (Cincinnati at Louisville). It is relatively early in the slate for both teams and has a good chance of shaping the narrative for the rest of the season as either a coronation (Louisville win) or the jump-start to chaos (Cincinnati win).
With only seven conference games per team, every game is important but, at this point, two games stand out to me. One is the first conference game: Pitt at Cincinnati (Sept. 6). These two teams have a lot of potential and a lot of questions. A win in this game could determine the direction for both squads.
The other game that I see a factor is Oct. 20: USF at Louisville. Contrarian that I am, I have South Florida as the team to watch this season. I expect Louisville to be at the top of the pack too. A road victory here would be huge for USF.