Rutgers, Syracuse still contenders for Big East football crown

Rich Schultz

There's still a lot of football to be played, but the Big East Conference title contenders are slowly shaping into form.

The Big East Conference is no stranger to drama, especially when it comes to finding its regular-season champion in football. Every year it seems the league gets to the halfway point in conference play and there's a handful of schools still in the race for a BCS bowl berth.

This season is no different. Currently, the Big East standings feature two teams with unbeaten league records -- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-0) and Louisville Cardinals (3-0) -- and two others with just one loss -- Syracuse Orange (3-1) and Cincinnati Bearcats (1-1). The Temple Owls (2-2) remain a contender despite suffering back-to-back conference losses, however, that could change this Saturday when they travel to Louisville.

The rest of the field -- Pittsburgh Panthers (1-3), Connecticut Huskies (0-3) and South Florida Bulls (0-3) -- are seemingly out of the race, as history shows if you have three conference losses you will not win the league.

So, with five weeks to go the Big East has five teams in the mix. But, before we move onto scenarios, here's next week's schedule:

-- Syracuse at Cincinnati (noon on Big East Network)
-- Temple at Louisville (noon on ABC or ESPN3)
-- UConn at South Florida (7 p.m. on ESPNU).
-- Pittsburgh at Notre Dame (3:30 p.m. on NBC)

By next week, the standings could look like this if all the favorites earn victories (Cincinnati beats Syracuse; Louisville defeats Temple; South Florida downs UConn).


Big East Conference Standings

(updated 10.28.2012 at 2:01 AM EDT)


However, things could look like this if Syracuse upsets Cincinnati and the rest of the favorites go onto win.


Big East Conference Standings

(updated 10.28.2012 at 2:01 AM EDT)


Things could get chaotic if Syracuse and Temple both win.


Big East Conference Standings

(updated 10.28.2012 at 2:01 AM EDT)


All-in-all, it seems like the winner of the league will have just one conference loss. Louisville got a leg up on Cincinnati last week with a victory over the Bearcats, while Syracuse, Rutgers and Temple still need to play both schools.

If you'd like a rundown of each team's upcoming schedules, here you go:

Syracuse Orange

Nov. 3: @ Cincinnati
Nov. 10: vs. Louisville
Nov. 17: @ Missouri*
Nov. 23: @ Temple

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Nov. 10: vs. Army
Nov. 17: @ Cincinnati
Nov. 24: @ Pittsburgh
Nov. 29 (Thurs.): vs. Louisville

Louisville Cardinals

Nov. 3: vs. Temple
Nov. 10: @ Syracuse
Nov. 24: vs. UConn
Nov. 29: @ Rutgers

Cincinnati Bearcats

Nov. 10: @ Temple
Nov. 17: vs. Rutgers
Nov. 23: vs. South Florida
Dec. 1: @ UConn

Temple Owls

Oct. 27: @ Pittsburgh
Nov. 3: @ Louisville
Nov. 10: vs. Cincinnati
Nov. 23: vs. Syracuse

So, Big East football fans: Who do you got? (Vote in the poll below.)

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