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Big East still worthy of BCS Bid?

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  • Big East still worthy of BCS Bid?

    The real dilution of the Bowl Championship Series is not an outsider like Miami (Ohio) (13-1 last season) playing in a major bowl game. Nor is it a Fresno State or Boise State infiltrating a BCS bowl.

    Big East
    Predicted Finish
    1. West Virginia
    2. Boston College
    3. Connecticut
    4. Syracuse
    5. Pittsburgh
    6. Rutgers
    7. Temple
    Off. Player of Year:
    Dan Orlovsky, UConn
    Def. Player of Year:
    Mathias Kiwanuka, BC
    Coach of the Year:
    Rich Rodriguez, W. Va.
    There is, at least, a curiosity factor with the so-called coalition schools having easier access to the BCS beginning in 2006. Whatever teams qualify in the future, they will be, well, qualified. It will take an undefeated or one-loss season to get into the exclusive club.

    An Ohio State-Miami (Ohio) Fiesta Bowl would have been a delight last season. If not that, then an all-purple TCU vs. Kansas State major bowl game.

    Those matchups would not be the death of postseason football as we know it. More close to that frightening prospect is the BCS keeping the Big East in the loop. The Crippled Conference limps into this season with the most fortunate grandfather clause in sports.

    The Big East has lost Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech. Boston College departs for the ACC after 2004. Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida enter next season. Yet, the league kept is automatic BCS berth.

    The real fly in the Bengay for bowl executives is, in any given year, an 8-3 Cincinnati could be playing in the Sugar Bowl. South Florida could find its way to the Orange Bowl. Even a 10-1 West Virginia, this year's favorite, doesn't exactly promise a television ratings bonanza.

    The point is the reconfigured Big East probably has the least desirable potential cast of champions in the BCS. Syracuse? In basketball, yes. In football, weeelll ...

    Boston College isn't even close to being the top draw in its own city. Rutgers? Uh, no. The conference's best story this season is Connecticut, which joined the league a year early after the ACC raid. With a break here and there, the Huskies could find themselves winning the league and playing in a BCS bowl in their first season in the Big East.

    But UConn went 9-3 last season as an independent and didn't get a postseason sniff.

    Given the dearth of desirable bowl programs, you wonder how the conference got to keep its BCS bid. Maybe commissioner Mike Tranghese's peers simply had pity on him and his league after all it has gone through in the past year.

    The clock is running. Big East champions will have to average a final No. 12 ranking in the BCS ratings over a four-year period or the conference's BCS status will be reviewed.

    All that overshadows the Mountaineers. For now, they are the Big East's best program, which is saying more than you might think. They might be giants -- the next program to make the jump to national prominence.

    Coach Rich Rodriguez seems to have hit his stride in his fourth year at the school. After a 1-4 start, his team won seven of its final eight. A heart-breaking loss at Miami meant the Mountaineers had to share the conference title at 6-1. Over the past two seasons, West Virginia has won 12 of 14 conference games.

    An undefeated season is not out of the question even with Maryland and Virginia Tech on the schedule. The Mountaineers are still smarting from being swept by the Terps last season -- 34-7 in the regular season and 41-7 in the Gator Bowl. The Hokies will be waiting in Blacksburg after losing the past two to the 'Neers.

    Rodriguez is known as an offensive mastermind, but West Virginia has developed into a tough, all-around team. Who can forget Quincy Wilson's run in the Orange Bowl last year against Miami? With only four returning starters, the defense held opponents to 3.5 yards per rush.

    It starts this year, though, with quarterback Rasheed Marshall. The poor man's Michael Vick has run or passed for 46 combined touchdowns in his career. Health is definitely an issue. Marshall missed all or parts of three games with a concussion and abdominal injuries. In the spring scrimmage, he broke a thumb.

    Marshall will be ready for the opener. Will West Virginia be ready for the bright lights of the BCS? For all its success under Rodriguez, the Mountaineers have yet to beat a BCS team in a non-conference game in his three seasons (0-8).

    1. West Virginia: Proved to be the equal of Miami and Virginia Tech last year. The Mountaineers are even stronger this season with the 'Canes and Hokies out of their hair.

    2. Boston College: The most despised team in the Big East makes a lame-duck trek one last time through the league. Biggest roadies are at Pittsburgh and West Virginia. ... Security!

    3. Connecticut: There's something about the fast-track aspect of this program. The Huskies have won 13 of their past 16 games going back to 2002. Quarterback Dan Orlovsky might be the league's best offensive player. UConn had more victories last year than West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and BC. We hear the school is pretty good in basketball, too.

    4. Syracuse: Paul Pasqualoni's future might come down to the season finale Nov. 27 at BC. Not good.

    5. Pittsburgh: Massive offensive losses will make it next to impossible to match last year's averages of 30 points and 406 yards per game. Defensively, a Pittsburgh tradition of late has been an inconsistent defensive line. Good thing Rutgers and Temple are still in the league to prop up the Panthers.

    6. Rutgers: Last year's 5-7 record was cause for celebration. Does that give you any idea how down this program has been?

    7. Temple: Perhaps the most callous move of all the conference re-shuffling. The Owls will be kicked out of the conference after this year into the netherworld of supposedly independent status.

  • #2
    Re: Big East still worthy of BCS Bid?

    I think the BCS needs the Big East for that Northeastern marketplace. Each school can carry a decent sized market. Right now the Big East is weakened, no doubt, however, in a few years the talent will start to resettle and the Big East will improve. If you think about it, Miami and VT haven't been dominant for very long in the grand scheme of things.


    Related Topics


    • DJRamFan
      West Virginia closing in on BCS spot with Big East title on line
      by DJRamFan
      Nov. 10, 2004 wire reports

      West Virginia could be the first team to secure a spot in the Bowl Championship Series.


      Boston College has other ideas, but the Mountaineers will clinch at least a tie for the Big East title with a win over the Eagles on Saturday. If West Virginia winds up tied for first place, it would get the BCS bowl bid because of a better overall record.

      In its transition year, the Big East has drawn criticism from those who say it doesn't deserve an automatic BCS berth. The league said goodbye to Miami and Virginia Tech before this season, leaving it with just seven teams and no heavyweights.

      The Mountaineers entered the season as the defending conference co-champions, overwhelming favorites to win it again and with hopes of running the table and playing for a national title.

      That last part was dashed when the No. 13 Mountaineers (8-1, 4-0) lost last month at Virginia Tech, now a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The result hurt the Big East's reputation -- even a supposedly middle-of-the-road ACC team could beat the best of the Big East.

      Since then, West Virginia has won four consecutive games against league foes, getting little attention in the process.

      "We haven't played great football all year, but we've played well enough," West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. "We have most of our goals still out there and, believe it or not, we can get one of them accomplished this week. A major one."

      No. 21 Boston College (6-2, 2-1) can keep its hopes for a Big East title and BCS bid alive with a victory in a place where wins have been rare for the Eagles. Since Big East football was born in 1991, Boston College has not won in Morgantown, W.Va.

      "I think they've been better football teams for the most part," Eagles coach Tom O'Brien said. "There are some schools that seem to have a whammy over another."

      BC joins Miami and Virginia Tech in the ACC next season, while the Big East welcomes Louisville, South Florida and Cincinnati.

      The last thing the beleaguered Big East needs heading into next season is its defending champion playing in the ACC.

      AP NEWS
      The Associated Press News Service

      Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
      -11-11-2004, 11:12 AM
    • DJRamFan
      FSU to battle West Virginia hard in Gator Bowl appearance
      by DJRamFan
      Dec. 31, 2004 wire reports

      JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida State's Chris Rix and West Virginia's Rasheed Marshall met at a children's hospital during a recent Gator Bowl function.


      They talked about getting thrust into the spotlight long ago as freshmen, Rix's California roots and their mutual respect.

      They'd rather be at a more prestigious postseason game, frankly. But their teams, preseason favorites in their respective conferences, couldn't secure Bowl Championship Series berths.

      So the two athletic quarterbacks hope to ease the hurt by ending recent postseason futility in the Gator Bowl on Saturday.

      "When you first hear what bowl you're going to, and it's not a BCS game, sure, guys are letting down," Rix said. "But after having a week of practice, our guys have a perspective: 'Hey, if we're going to play this game, we're going to give it our all and make sure we win."'

      That would avoid an unprecedented third straight bowl loss for the 17th-ranked Seminoles (8-3), who were second to Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference and haven't finished in the Top 10 since the 2000 season.

      Florida State's Bobby Bowden will face his former school for the first time since the 1982 Gator Bowl. He can earn his 19th bowl win, which would bring him within one of the NCAA record held by Penn State's Joe Paterno.

      "Everybody would love to go out of the year with a win and go into the next year with momentum. It's something your kids can build off of," Bowden said.

      "But it's not a disaster. It's not like, 'Oh man, everything's lost.' We've lost bowl games before and our best recruiting year followed. Then we've had years when we won a bowl game and didn't recruit all that well."

      Three years ago, Rix led the Seminoles to a Gator Bowl win over Virginia Tech as a freshman, throwing for 326 yards and two scores while running for another TD.

      Rix was Bowden's first four-year starter at quarterback, but he's thrown just two touchdowns this season and will be making only his fifth start, getting the nod ahead of sophomore Wyatt Sexton.

      Rix's "career was kind of up and down and he gave it everything he had," Bowden said. "You could describe it 'feast or famine."'

      Marshall was the Big East's offensive player of the year after throwing for 1,755 yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing for 790 yards and four scores.

      The Mountaineers were expected to be the runaway winner in a revamped Big East, which lost Miami and Virginia Tech to the ACC.


      West Virginia (8-3) started the season at No. 10 and rose to as high as sixth before falling out of the rankings with consecutive...
      -12-31-2004, 04:03 PM
    • RamsFan16
      New BCS game sets stage for things to come
      by RamsFan16

      New BCS game sets stage for things to come
      April 25, 2006
      By Dennis Dodd
      CBS Senior Writer
      Tell Dennis your opinion!

      PHOENIX -- The Legos are in place. Or Tinker Toys. Or Lincoln Logs. Whatever you want to call the new Bowl Championship Series.

      The structure is in place for a small, modest playoff in Division I-A football.

      The system was put in place to help mid-majors like Utah. (Getty Images)
      It might not even be fair to call it that. Plus, any such monumental change is probably at least four years away.

      It might take that long to figure out the current BCS structure, which kicks off this season. Ask around. Here's a bet that a large chunk of coaches don't even know how things are going down this season.

      And we're less than nine months away from playing the actual bowl games.

      That's why we offer this tutorial from this week's BCS meetings.

      What's this new "double-hosting" format?

      Starting this season, there are now five BCS bowls instead of four. Because of a threat of Congressional anti-trust intervention launched by non-BCS schools, a fifth game was added for better access two years ago at these meetings.

      That means the bowl that is hosting the national title game each year -- after this season it is the Fiesta Bowl -- will also host its normal bowl game more or less a week prior.

      Here's how it looks this year:

      Jan. 1: Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.
      Jan. 1: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
      Jan. 2: Orange Bowl in Miami
      Jan. 3: Sugar Bowl in New Orleans
      Jan. 8: BCS national title game back in Glendale, Ariz.
      Give us a projected lineup in those bowls

      Fiesta Bowl: Big 12 champ vs. at-large (Oklahoma vs. West Virginia)
      Rose Bowl: Pac-10 champ vs. Big Ten champ (USC vs. Iowa)
      Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs. at-large (Florida State vs. Texas)
      Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs. at-large (Notre Dame vs. Auburn)
      BCS national championship: No. 1 vs. No. 2 in final BCS standings (No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 2 LSU, based on pre-spring top 25)
      How does a non-BCS school get in?

      Nothing is finalized -- hey, it's only April -- but count on any team from a "coalition conference" (MAC, WAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, Conference USA) automatically qualifying by finishing in the top 12 of the BCS standings.

      A further entry point: If the lowest-ranked BCS conference winner (among the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, SEC, ACC and Big East) finishes No. 16 or lower, a coalition can get in by finishing No. 15 or higher.

      Does the extra BCS game make sense...
      -04-27-2006, 07:12 PM
    • DJRamFan
      Forget ACC, being big in Boston is Eagles' real problem
      by DJRamFan
      Feb. 12, 2005
      By Dennis Dodd Senior Writer
      Tell Dennis your opinion!

      Suddenly, Boston College's move to the ACC doesn't look so daunting.

      Forget a super conference; football coach Tom O'Brien is surrounded by super teams and Super Bowls. Good bud Bill Belichick seems to be doing OK with his New England-based NFL team. Word has it that the local major-league franchise seems to have ended some sort of curse.

      Boston College has won its past five bowl games, the best streak in the nation. (AP)
      From early December to mid January, BC's basketball and hockey teams combined for exactly no losses. Men's basketball started a Big East-record 20-0. The hockey team is ranked No. 1.

      So how hard can Miami, Florida State, etc. be? The pressure to live up to Boston's best begins when he leaves the house.

      "Now it's time to challenge ourselves," O'Brien said. "I'll give you a Belichick answer. I was trained that way."

      Oh yeah, The Bill, reigning king of New England -- at least until pitchers and catchers report. Belichick and O'Brien trace their relationship back 30 years when both coached at Navy. They are so thick that the BC staff routinely heads over to the Patriots facility for X's, O's and lunch. Belichick, then a gopher with the Colts, once got O'Brien tickets for a first date/hot date to see a Baltimore exhibition game. O'Brien ended up marrying Jennifer Byrd.

      2005 ACC Football
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      Boston College
      Florida State
      North Carolina State
      Wake Forest

      Coastal Division
      Georgia Tech
      Miami (Fla.)
      North Carolina
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      The connection, then, is both technical and emotional. But as the No. 4 sports option (maybe) in the nation's sixth-largest media market, BC sometimes struggles to get column inches.

      The move to the ACC might help it in that struggle. The story has everything tabloids are looking for.

      Critics say BC has abandoned its Northeast roots to play in the now widely scattered ACC. O'Brien already admitted he struggled to recruit in traditional ACC hotspots in the Carolinas and Virginias.

      BC is the last addition to an at-times contentious expansion. That extra year in the Big East led to angst that filtered down to fans. It seemed as if O'Brien faced at least one question every week about the next conference road game, where fans were ready to unload with invective.

      "I told the AD, this is all well and fine but I'm walking the point out here," O'Brien said. "The (other Big East) administrators set the tone. By them setting the tone, it trickled down (to the fans).

      "The (Big...
      -02-18-2005, 08:47 AM
    • Nick
      Top 25 games of the season (or why the SEC still rules)
      by Nick
      Top 25 games of the season (or why the SEC still rules)
      By Dennis Dodd Senior Writer
      Aug. 26, 2011

      This season's five Ws -- who, what, when, where and wahoo!

      The games of the year (ranked 1-25):

      1. LSU at Alabama, Nov. 5: Seriously, can we hit the "sim" button on the season and just fast-forward to this mega-matchup? A lot of folks think these are the two best teams in the country. This game could decide the SEC West, the SEC and half of the BCS championship game. Alabama still has quarterback issues, but, oh, that defense. Speaking of quarterback issues, for all of his problems, Jordan Jefferson has missed only seven of 27 passes in his career against Alabama. Last year's 10-of-13 performance in Baton Rouge was one of the best of his career.

      2. Oklahoma at Florida State, Sept. 17: FSU has to prove it's back. No. 1 Oklahoma has to stay unblemished to continue its national championship run. The Sooners will have to win without leading tackler and best trash talker Travis Lewis. You get the feeling this is an all-in game for the 'Noles. In other words, if they do lose it's going to be hard to recover emotionally with a trip Clemson up next. Bottom line: OU can afford a loss. FSU can't.

      3. Alabama at Auburn, Nov. 26: Don't sleep on the Iron Bowl after last year's all-timer. Remember what has happened in the offseason -- the Toomer's Oaks, the tornado, Saban's 9-foot statue, the Cam Newton investigation hovering over it all. 'Bama will be favored but what will that mean? This is guaranteed to be one of the most emotional Iron Bowls ever.

      4. Oregon at Stanford, Nov. 12: This game should decide the Pac-12 North. (It feels funny just writing that.) It also could decide the Heisman given that the leading active vote getters are playing in this game (Andrew Luck, LaMichael James). This is the Cardinal's revenge game. There aren't many of them. After blowing a 21-3 lead last year at Oregon, Stanford watched the Ducks score 49 of the next 59 points.

      5. Nebraska at Wisconsin, Oct. 1: Anyone not wearing red gets smacked over the head with a full Leinenkugel's. This is what Jim Delany had in mind when he expanded the Big Ten. Inventory for the league, lots of hype and two top-11 teams. Big Ten title-game preview? Nebraska plays its first conference game in its new league. Wisconsin tries to remind the Huskers who's boss. Russell Wilson never faced a defense like this in the ACC.

      6. LSU-Oregon, Sept. 3 in Arlington, Texas: At this rate, patrolmen from Eugene and Baton Rouge will be going out for the coin toss. Call it in the air -- heads and Jordan Jefferson is suspended. Tails, Oregon receives -- another call from the NCAA. But seriously folks, this is one of the biggest season openers in years. The last time two top-five teams played on a neutral field to start the season was 1984. LSU will want to keep its momentum...
      -08-30-2011, 06:22 PM