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2011 Bowl Projections: Big East Title Within West Virginia's Grasp Heading Into Final Weekend Of Regular Season Play

Just one weekend of college football games remains before we find out who will be playing in the myriad bowl games scheduled for December and early January.  There's plenty of scenarios still in play across the college football landscape, most notably of course with the BCS Title Game pairing. But the Big East conference, which does not have a championship game, still has several different possibilities in play.

SB Nation has updated its 2011 Bowl Projections, with the most recent addition including scenarios for the Big East champion, as well as potential bowl game destinations for Penn State. Let's start with the Nittany Lions, who lost their opportunity to win the Big Ten this past weekend with a loss to Wisconsin. A December 30 matchup against Baylor in the Insight Bowl appears to be the consensus. If so, the game would feature two teams that play different brands of football.

As for Pitt (5-6), an invitation to the December 20 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl to place Florida International is a possibility provided the Panthers bounce back from their heartbreaking loss to West Virginia and defeat Syracuse this weekend to become bowl-eligible. 

The rest of the Big East is where it gets really interesting, though. Here's how Bill OConnelly breaks down the scenarios still in play:

The Big East title scenario is as follows:

-- If UConn beats Cincinnati, Louisville is Big East champion.
-- If Cincinnati beats UConn and USF beats West Virginia, Cincinnati is Big East champion.
-- If Cincinnati beats UConn and West Virginia beats USF, West Virginia is (probably) Big East champion. At this point, BCS ranking is the tie-breaker, and WVU is currently the only Big East team ranked in the BCS Top 25.

In the above scenario, West Virginia takes the title, but WVU-USF is a complete and total tossup. Cincy is projected to comfortably beat UConn, but that projection does not take into account the fact that, even with his good performance last weekend, Munchie Legaux's Cincy offense is not at the same level as the Cincy offense led by injured quarterback Zach Collaros.

The eventual winner will be headed to south Florida to play in the Orange Bowl against the winner of Clemson and Virginia Tech in this weekend's ACC Championship Game.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.