Say this for the Big East: The title chase won’t be without intrigue.
Losses by Louisville and Rutgers last week gave Syracuse and Cincinnati a chance to claim shares of the Big East title. Meanwhile, the two teams that scored the upsets -- Connecticut and Pittsburgh -- still have hopes of becoming bowl eligible.
Should Rutgers be on upset alert against Pittsburgh?
Rutgers and Pittsburgh will play this week in what’s an important Big East game ... for now. The Scarlet Knights are seeking their first Big East title, and Pittsburgh is looking for a bowl game.
After that, it’s off to the ACC for Pittsburgh next season, and then Rutgers to the Big Ten in two years. Elsewhere, UConn and Louisville will face each other this week in a game between teams hoping to get called up to the ACC.
Thanksgiving will lack Texas-Texas A&M, other rivalries this year
Texas alumni are holding their traditional Hex Rally this week, but it probably won’t be as fun. In College Station, the Aggies are holding Midnight Yell Practice in anticipation of their Thanksgiving week game.
But with TCU and Missouri on the other side the Longhorns’ and Aggies’ vitriol, it’s just not the same.
Khaseem Greene helps Rutgers take top spot after 10-3 win over Cincinnati
The de facto Big East championship game between Louisville and Rutgers has been established with the Scarlet Knights’ 10-3 win over Cincinnati on Saturday.
But that’s not going to be the big topic around the Big East in the two weeks before the game in Piscataway. The Big East may yet again be the subject of conference realignment talk as reports surfaced Saturday that Maryland is in negotiations to leave the ACC for the Big Ten, a possibility that could cause Rutgers to leave the Big East to be the Big Ten’s 14th member.
Syracuse's Ryan Nassib hands Louisville its first loss
As recently as Oct. 20, the Big East had three undefeated teams. Four Saturdays later, all three are sitting with at least one loss.
Despite Louisville’s loss to Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, the Big East race likely comes down to the same teams as it appeared back in early October -- the Cardinals, Rutgers and Cincinnati. The Scarlet Knights, whose lone loss is to Kent State, remains the only undefeated team in Big East play. Their tests are upcoming, starting with Cincinnati this week and Louisville in the finale.
Louisville keeps rolling along as the Big East’s only undefeated team, but the rest of the conference has serious questions to answer in the final four Saturdays of the season.
Cincinnati and USF have new quarterback concerns due to ineffectiveness or injury. Pittsburgh and Syracuse must regroup after deflating losses. Rutgers is still looking for what went wrong in two-score loss at home to Kent State. And Temple and Connecticut are searching for anything to keep them competitive in the final weeks.
Teddy Bridgewater leads Louisville to first 9-0 start in program history
If Louisville is playing with a chip on its shoulder, Cardinals coach Charlie Strong has to be pleased with the results.
Louisville is the lowest ranked undefeated team at No. 11 in the Associated Press top 25, two spots behind a two-loss LSU. The other five undefeated teams -- Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Ohio State -- are all in the top five.
Ryan Nassib tries to lead Syracuse to rare Big East win streak
Momentum for previously undefeated Cincinnati and Rutgers has been sapped the last two weeks, but the Big East has other teams starting to get hot in recent weeks.
Syracuse has won back-to-back games for the first time this season, but a game at Cincinnati will give the Orange a chance to win three consecutive Big East games for the first time since 2001. And Pittsburgh has scored a rare win streak against FBS opponents. Extending it to three will be a tough task against undefeated Notre Dame.