Tuesday, October 31, 2006

THE ROAD TO ... ???

Remember back when Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College leaving the Big East was going to kill it? When there were lawsuits and such nonsense flying around?

Yeah, not so much.

But whether the Big East is for real this year will, like Kim Jong Il's recent test, come down to whether Thursday's game is a nuclear event or something a bit less.

U.S. intelligence will work to confirm that this is BCS material.

That could be the difference between a trip to Glendale for the champ and a journey to, say, Miami. (Glendale actually, for once, being the better option. As long as it's for the championship game.)

First, as always, we take a look at where the conference stands thus far. On top are West Virginia, Louisville and Rutgers, all undefeated, though this would be on the level of the United States declaring war on several Eastern European nations and saying, "Look! We're undefeated!" Pittsburg is 2-1, the one loss coming to Rutgers. Everyone else is just hoping for a chance to go to Toronto for the International Bowl -- which, sadly, I am not making up.

Obviously, Thursday's showdown between Louisville and West Virginia is huge. But that is just the beginning of a series of games that could make the end of the Big East season a barn-burner -- or a couch-burner, for Mountaineers fans.

On Nov. 9, Louisville heads to Rutgers for a game that could leave just one undefeated Big East team standing -- or not. If West Virginia beats Louisville and the Cardinals can best the Scarlet Knights, then the 'Eers can punch their tickets to ... somewhere. One week later, on Nov. 16, West Virginia heads to Heinz Field for a showdown with Pittsburgh. On Nov. 25, it's Lousville making the trek to Pittsburgh.

However, the "sleeper" Big East championship game could be -- could be -- the battle between West Virginia and Rutgers on Dec. 2. The road to ... somewhere ... could very well go through Morgantown.

Or not.

Welcome to the new Big East.


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