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West Virginia BCS Scenarios: Why WVU Needs Cincinnati To Win

We’ve written before about the scenarios under which West Virginia will head to a BCS bowl, but after WVU’s wacky win over South Florida Thursday night, they’re worth revisiting.

West Virginia needs a win from Cincinnati against UConn on Saturday. That means the Mountaineers are in the strange position of rooting for a team to catch up with them in the standings. Here’s why they’re doing that.

Both WVU and Louisville are finished with Big East play, and they’re tied atop the standings, at 5-2. That’s a problem for WVU, because the Mountaineers’ loss to Louisville would send the Cardinals to a BCS bowl if there weren’t any other teams involved.

If, however, Cincinnati were to also finish its Big East slate at 5-2 by beating UConn, there would be three teams at the top. If that happens, the tiebreaker is a "mini-conference" among the three teams. All three would end up tied, because they all have a 1-1 record against one another. (Cincinnati beat Louisville and lost to WVU.) So the Big East would have to turn to the next tiebreaker after that, which is the team with the highest BCS ranking – which would be WVU.

That’s why WVU fans will be cheering for the Bearcats this weekend.

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