Louisville Clinches Share of Big East Title; BE Bowl Picture Still Hazy
The first game of championship week is complete, with the Louisville Cardinals spanking the Connecticut Huskies, 48-17. The Cardinals turned the ball over three times, but rolled up 570 yards of total offense, with Brian Brohm throwing for 341 yards and 4 touchdowns. UConn running back Donald Brown II rushed for 122 yards in a losing effort.
The win clinches a share of the Big East crown for Louisville and removes the possibility of West Virginia winning a share of, what would have been, their fourth consecutive conference title. The Mountaineers will meet Rutgers, tonight at 7:45 PM EST, in Morgantown. Rutgers, with a win over West Virginia, would share the Big East title with Louisville, but the Scarlet Knights would earn the conference's BCS bid by virture of their win over Louisville back on November 9th.
The three Big East teams' bowl picture is still very much in doubt, but the scenarios are basically:
- If Rutgers beats West Virginia, Rutgers will earn the Big East's BCS bid--likely the Orange Bowl against the Wake Forest. The Gator Bowl would have the option of picking between Louisville or West Virginia or selecting a Big 12 team, but would probably pass on both, as Louisville participated in the game last season and a 3-loss West Virginia would probably be passed up for a Big 12 team that travels well. The Sun Bowl would then select between Louisville and West Virginia to play against Oregon State. The remaining team would then be picked to play in the Texas Bowl against a Big 12-team, likely Texas Tech or Oklahoma State.
- If Rutgers loses to West Virginia, Louisville will earn the Big East's BCS bid--either the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl against the winner of the Florida-Arkansas game. West Virginia would be considered for the Gator Bowl (which has the option of taking a Big 12 or Big East team this season, but would likely pass on Louisville because they appeared in last season's game) to play against Georgia Tech or be selected to play in the Sun Bowl. Rutgers would then earn the trip to Houston to play in the Texas Bowl.