Big East football BCS scenarios: Rutgers controls own destiny in regular-season finale

Justin K. Aller

A lot can still happen in the Big East Conference, but Rutgers just needs to defeat Louisville on Thursday to earn the program's first BCS bowl berth.

Saturday's results in the Big East Conference were certainly unpredictable, as the top two teams in the league, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Louisville Cardinals, were both upset.

The results set up a possibly chaotic scenario for the conference's automatic BCS bowl berth, which could be decided by a four-team tiebreaker involving the BCS rankings.

Currently, Rutgers, Louisville, the Cincinnati Bearcats and Syracuse Orange all still have a shot at earning a BCS bowl berth. Realistically, however, Thursday's showdown between the Scarlet Knights and Cardinals is what will decide it all.

Confused? Well, here's the BCS scenarios entering the final week of the season:

  • Rutgers beats Louisville: The Scarlet Knights earn the BCS bowl berth.
  • Louisville beats Rutgers, Cincinnati loses to UConn: There's a three-team tie for first place involving Louisville, Rutgers and Syracuse, which are all 5-2 in the league. Head-to-head matchups feature a round-robin tie, which means the determining factor is BCS rankings. Because of its victory over Rutgers, Louisville will more than likely be ranked higher than both teams, thus, earning the BCS berth.
  • Louisville beats Rutgers, Cincinnati beats UConn: There's a four-team tie for first place involving Louisville, Rutgers, Syracuse and Cincinnati. First tie-breaker is head-to-head record, which features Cincinnati and Syracuse at 1-2 while Louisville and Rutgers are 2-1. Because Louisville defeated Rutgers, they move on to the BCS bowl game.

Again, mathematically both Syracuse and Cincinnati are still in the BCS mix, but realistically neither can collect the bid. It all comes down to Thursday night's showdown between Rutgers and Louisville (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN).

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