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2011 Big East Bowl Projections: SU To The Orange Bowl

The Syracuse University earn a huge Big East Conference victory Friday night against the nationally-ranked West Virginia University, 49-23, at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (5-2, 1-1 Big East) played a complete game to rout the Mountaineers (5-2, 1-1) and quickly become one of the favorites to earn the league's automatic Bowl Champion Series berth.

Though, Syracuse fans shouldn't chalk up a Big East Title just yet, there are a few experts out there that are now projecting that the Orange are going to play in the Orange Bowl against Clemson University.

From SB Nation's Samuel Chi:

Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Syracuse - In a couple of years, this will be an ACC conference game. This year, it's yet another stinker between the ACC and Big East champs in Miami. Obviously we're not picking the Tigers to go undefeated, either.

Meanwhile,'s Stewart Mandel is also on the SU to the Orange Bowl bandwagon.

"You'll notice the BCS lineup includes a new Big East representative: Syracuse, which dismantled 11th-ranked West Virginia 49-23 last Friday with a wholly different performance than we'd seen from the Orange to date. The defense, buoyed by the return of end Chandler Jones (two sacks), pressured Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith all night. Maybe it was a one-time thing, but we'll give Doug Marrone's team its moment in the sun for now."

On Monday, I wrote that because of the victory Friday, Syracuse does have much better chance of reaching its goal of winning the league's BCS berth, but it's going to be a long, nerve-racking road for the Orange, who still have five conference games remaining. It's nice to see Syracuse earning some national credit for efforts, but SU fans shouldn't jump the BCS gun. There's still a lot of football to be played.

For more BCS bowl projections, check out SB Nation's college football hubpage.