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Big East Football Standings: Conference Could Create Doomsday Scenario

-- SB Nation New York has followed the Big East Conference chaos week-by-week. Here's a recap: Week 12, Week 11 and Week 10.

Ever drive through fog so thick that you can't see five feet past your car?

If you have, you know it's no fun. However, if you take your time, eventually, you'll drive out of the fog. It clears up and you can go on your way.

Following Big East football is like this. Except the fog never gets thinner, it gets thicker. It then begins to rain and your headlights no longer work. It's an ugly situation.

After last Saturday, it seemed like the fog was clearing as first-place Pittsburgh, which defeated South Florida, was in the league-title driver's seat with Connecticut, which beat second-place Syracuse, riding shotgun.

Big East Conference Standings

(updated 11.21.2010 at 2:38 AM EST)

If Pittsburgh won out, they would earn the BCS bowl bid.

If Pittsburgh lost one of its last two games and Connecticut wins its final two, the Huskies are traveling to Glendale, AZ to play in the Fiesta Bowl.

On Friday, Pittsburgh lost its hold on the steering wheel by falling to visiting West Virginia, 35-10, in the Backyard Brawl at Heinz Field. The loss placed the Panthers (6-5, 4-2 Big East) in a tie for first with the Mountaineers (8-3, 4-2).

On Saturday, the Huskies (6-4, 3-2) host Cincinnati and a victory places them in a three-way tie for first-place. UConn beat both West Virginia and Pittsburgh and thus owns the head-to-head tiebreaker, making them officially the league's new captain. 

Syracuse (7-4, 4-3) and South Florida (6-4, 3-3) are fourth and fifth place, respectively, and do not play conference games in Week 13. Meaning, entering Week 14 the league standings should be nicely organized. Here are the basic scenarios, assuming that UConn beats Cincinnati:

  • UConn wins Big East with a win against USF.
  • West Virginia earns title with UConn loss to USF and win against Rutgers.
  • Pittsburgh claims championship with UConn, West Virginia loss and a victory against Cincinnati.
"...Unless mass chaos occurs and there's a multi-team tie among three-loss teams," wrote ESPN Big East Blogger Brian Bennett in his Big East and the BCS standings post on Sunday. "The BCS standings are just meaningless numbers for the Big East this year."
Come on!

After six weeks of mediocre football, which has led to three straight weeks of "if they win and they lose" scenarios that even Einstein could not explain, there's isn't going to be more chaos?

Don't forget, this is the 2010 Big East Conference. These teams major in dysfunction. So, of course there's a chance for more chaos. Here's the doomsday scenario: 

If next week, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and UConn (assuming they beat the Bearcats) all lose there will be five teams with a conference record of 4-3. That's right, a FIVE-way tie is possible.

The conference winner is then decided by BCS rankings because somewhere in the mix some team beat another team, which that team beat the other team, which beat the first team. Got it? There is no head-to-head tiebreaker.

But not even the BCS rankings could clear up this mess. Oh yes, it gets better.

In the Complete Week 12 BCS Standings, West Virginia is ranked 28th and Syracuse 45th. However, if the Mountaineers lose to the conference's last-place team, Rutgers, and SU drops another game at home to Boston College then there's a possibility that NO Big East team will be in the BCS rankings.

Uh, oh.

Of course, the odds of all of this happening are about as good as me dating Katy Perry - I mean there's a chance, but let's be real.

The chance that the top-three teams dropping there final games to inferior opponents is minuscule. The scenario that features the Mountaineers losing badly enough to Rutgers and BC destroying SU, which effects West Virginia's strength of schedule enough to knock them out of the BCS rankings is unlikely.
However, I find just talking about this possibility is ludicrous. But that's the fun of it. That's why, though the Big East has been painful to follow this year, it's also such an interesting topic.

I don't hope this scenario happens because I don't know what the next step is. I am just like everyone else whose hanging onto the wheel hoping for the fog to clear.