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Times: Bowl picture murky for USF Bulls and Big East


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Bowl picture murky for USF Bulls and Big East

By Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer

Published Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TAMPA — With three weeks left in the regular season, the Big East's bowl picture remains as murky as ever, with Notre Dame and the BCS complicating the projections of which team might play where.

USF needs one more win to be bowl eligible, and despite online models that have the Bulls playing all the way up in Toronto or returning to St. Petersburg, the most likely match is the Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. Many questions remain before anything can be official.

• Will Notre Dame take the Big East's spot in the Gator Bowl? If Connecticut beats the slumping Fighting Irish this week, it becomes more likely that the Big East runnerup (perhaps Pittsburgh) plays in Jacksonville. If the Irish (6-4) get a seventh win this weekend or at Stanford, they will still be a tempting pick for the Gator, even against a nine- or 10-win Big East option.

• Could the Big East land a BCS at-large spot? It's unlikely, but if Cincinnati and Pittsburgh were to win their remaining games until their Dec. 5 meeting and the Panthers won a close game at home, you wonder if a one-loss Cincinnati team with a hot coach could get the nod for the Sugar Bowl's final BCS pick over two-loss teams such as Iowa, Oklahoma State or Penn State.

• Does anyone benefit from USF returning to Tropicana Field? The Bulls can't want their bowl experience for the second year in a row to be a 45-minute drive across the bay. Central Florida makes sense on the Conference USA side of the bowl, which should help the second-year game with attendance. That would allow the bowl to line up a northern Big East team on the other side.

The Big East has the same payout for its lowest three bowls, in St. Petersburg, Birmingham and Toronto, so it can arrange the teams to find the optimal matches for all three games.

The most likely scenario has Rutgers and USF left for bowls in Birmingham and St. Petersburg, and rather than repeat last year's pairings, the league would be more likely to send the Bulls to Alabama and bring the Scarlet Knights to Tropicana Field.

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i am absolutely praying for a match up with an SEC team in bama.

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we WILL be in the PJ.com BOWL...mark it down!!!

GO BULLS!!!

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Papajohn all the way and Dreamland BBQ. Lets start the planning now.

Cheers

Mike

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PJ's is definitely the most logistically doable for me ...

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If ND gets gator and we don't get 2 BCS games then where do they put WVU if we go to Bama and Rutgers comes to st pete?

Toronto?? I don't see the BE sending their best traveling team to Toronto for a bowl that will no longer have ties to the BE after this year.

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Birmingham PLEASE!!!

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PJ's is definitely the most logistically doable for me ...

Same here.

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If ND gets gator and we don't get 2 BCS games then where do they put WVU if we go to Bama and Rutgers comes to st pete?

Toronto?? I don't see the BE sending their best traveling team to Toronto for a bowl that will no longer have ties to the BE after this year.

No, in that case I would think WVU would go to B'ham against the SEC... Rutgers would go to Toronto against Temple... and USF would be in the Trop.

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If ND gets gator and we don't get 2 BCS games then where do they put WVU if we go to Bama and Rutgers comes to st pete?

Toronto?? I don't see the BE sending their best traveling team to Toronto for a bowl that will no longer have ties to the BE after this year.

No, in that case I would think WVU would go to B'ham against the SEC... Rutgers would go to Toronto against Temple... and USF would be in the Trop.

I think if rutgers beats syracuse and UofL , finishes 9-3, then they go to st pete. especially if UCf is in that game.

rutgers was in toronto 2 years ago. we were in st pete last year.

they won't care about attendance at a bowl that no longer has conference ties therefore they will send us there unless we finish 3-0(maybe 2-1).

If WVU loses it's last 2 then maybe they send them to toronto but I still don't think they will send their best traveling fan base to a bowl that no longer exists for BE.

Most likely IMO:

WVU - PJB

Rutgers - st pete

USF - international

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