Three Things You Should Know About the Big East
- The Big East is the only conference in D1-A football that has had every one of its teams play in a bowl game in the past two seasons. West Virginia ('05 Gator Bowl and '06 Sugar Bowl) and Louisville ('04 Liberty Bowl and '06 Gator Bowl) are the only schools with a multi-year streak intact. South Florida ('05 Meineke Car Care Bowl) and Rutgers ('05 Insight.com Bowl) were the Big East's other two bowl game participants last season. Pittsburgh ('05 Fiesta Bowl), Cincinnati ('04 Forth Worth Bowl), Syracuse ('04 Champs Sports Bowl), and UConn ('04 Motor City Bowl) each made appearances following the 2004 season. Unfortunately, the Big East teams have only won 3 of the 10 bowl games they have appeared in over the past two seasons.
- No current Big East head coach has ever defeated West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez. A nice psychological advantage for the Mountaineers' head coach, but, looking inside the numbers, not as impressive of a feat as you might think. Rodriguez is 5-0 versus Rutgers' Greg Schiano and 2-0 against Connecticut's Randy Edsall. While there was no turnover among Big East head coaches this season, last season, five new coaches were introduced to the league. Pittsburgh's Dave Wannstedt and Syracuse's Greg Robinson took over at existing Big East programs, while Cincinnati's Mark Dantonio, Louisville's Bobby Petrino, and South Florida's Jim Leavitt entered the conference when their teams joined the Big East last season and each of the rookie coaches' teams lost to West Virginia in 2005. WVU's Coach Rodriguez owns a lifetime record of 12-0 against current Big East head coaches. He is one man that was not upset by the ACC-defections of Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Miami.
- The teams currently in the Big East own exactly one BCS game victory. WVU's exciting Sugar Bowl victory over the SEC champion Georgia Bulldogs went a long way towards validating the Big East's inclusion in the Bowl Championship Series, but the Mountaineers' win was the first non-Miami BCS victory since the league's inception in 1991. Virginia Tech (0-1), Syracuse (0-1), and Pittsburgh (0-1) had all represented the Big East in the BCS, but only Miami, with a 3-1 record, had ever won one of the big four bowl games for the conference prior to WVU's win last season. While that sounds bad for the conference, consider that the ACC has only won a single BCS game--Florida State's 1999 national championship over Virginia Tech--since the coalition was established in 1998.