| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Big East title, BCS bowl still in cards for WVU

College Football Videos

By Josh Sickles
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With a win and some help, West Virginia can claim the Big East title — and a BCS berth.

The first step for the No. 22 Mountaineers is to win Thursday at South Florida to claim a share of the conference championship.

"This game is what this team is going to be remembered for," coach Dana Holgorsen said. "You can take the rest of the games, and you can delete them."

Who will claim the Big East's automatic BCS berth is more complicated: West Virginia, Cincinnati and Louisville remain alive, but none controls its destiny.

Louisville (7-5, 5-2) has earned at least a share of the Big East title. If Cincinnati (8-3, 4-2) loses Saturday vs. Connecticut, the Cardinals are headed to a BCS game -- likely facing the ACC champion in the Orange Bowl, which is last in the BCS pecking order this season.

Cincinnati needs West Virginia to lose Thursday and to beat Connecticut on Saturday to get the BCS berth; it holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with Louisville.

West Virginia (8-3, 4-2) needs a little more help because its 38-35 loss to Louisville on Nov. 5 would cost it the head-to-head tiebreaker. To earn the BCS berth, the Mountaineers must beat South Florida, then Cincinnati must beat Connecticut to force a three-way tie atop the conference.

The first tiebreaker is head-to-head among the three teams, and each would be 1-1. The BCS standings would be next; the Mountaineers, at No. 23 this week, would hold the advantage there barring major changes.

Even without a BCS berth, West Virginia would be happy with a share of the Big East title, which was its goal at the start of the season.

"There still will be a trophy coming in here, a number on the weight room saying 'Big East Champions 2011,' " defensive tackle Julian Miller said. "I think that's the main focus coming into this game. This is our conference championship."

Holgorsen has been adamant about his team remaining focused on what it can control, but that will change this weekend. After Thursday, West Virginia can't do anything but hope Cincinnati wins and pray the BCS standings remain unchanged.

"I'm sure everybody's going to be glued to the TV set if we're able to get a victory Thursday," Holgorsen said. "But if we can't take care of business and get the victory Thursday night, it really doesn't matter what happens Saturday."



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pittsburgh police break up customer fights over Air Jordan 11 shoes
  2. Penguins call up prized defensive prospect Pouliot
  3. Undersized Beachum quietly excels at 1 of game’s pivotal positions
  4. Steelers notebook: Polamalu, Taylor unlikely to play, Harrison ‘ready’
  5. As smokers seek Cuban cigars, retailers point to trade embargo
  6. Michigan State defensive coordinator a Pitt coaching candidate
  7. Position move fits Pitt sophomore Artis
  8. Pitt: Football coach hire comes 1st, athletic director 2nd
  9. Connellsville teen charged in attack on 80-year-old man, daughter allowed to play high school basketball
  10. Penn Township man who shot friend gets probation
  11. Hotel building boom sweeps Pittsburgh region
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.