Parity Clouds Big East Championship

by Helen Sowell

The $64,000 question remains who will win the Big East Championship and earn the BCS bowl berth. It looked like the Bearcats of Cincinnati were in command but they suffered two setbacks on Saturday: a loss at home to West Virginia, 24-21, and they lost starting quarterback Zach Collaros to an ankle injury that will probably keep him out for the remainder of the season. The Cats were the only unbeaten squad in conference play but now all that has changed!

There are five, that’s right, FIVE teams with two league losses and if Cincinnati loses one of their remaining three, things get even murkier. They face Rutgers and Syracuse away then close at home against UConn. The door to the title is kicked wide open and now it’s up to the Bearcats to close it.

Rutgers, West Virginia, Louisville, Pitt and UConn are waiting to pounce but who among them has momentum? There has been no pattern to wins and losses among this group. They all seem to win away and at home with no particular consistency. Just when it looks like a team has its rhythm, they trip. It might be fair to say each one of these teams disappoint when we expect them to prevail so who will finally exert their will?

One might surmise Louisville has the hardest road since their remaining games are away but that hasn’t been an accurate barometer thus far. Each of the five face contests on the road and at home. UConn, Rutgers and West Virginia have season finales away from their faithful. Only Pitt ends the regular season at home. Will that make a difference? Who knows.  When your league is as balanced as the Big East, there are no obvious frontrunners so buckle up, keep a close watch and let’s see how this unfolds!