West Virginia is not a football powerhouse. But the soon to be newest member of the Big 12 next year, is a name. They’ve been on the BCS stage before. Remember their 13-9 loss at home to Pitt? That cost them a berth in the national title game in 2007. Pat White and Steve Slaton were prime-time names in college football for years. West Virginia has been here before.
Plus, they’re 9-3 (respectable enough I suppose in the whacky world of BCS automatic qualifying) and they’re ‘wait for it, wait for it,’ actually ranked! Yeehaw. So after the Mountaineers quietly held on to beat a disappointing USF team in Tampa last night, assuring them at last a share of the comedically mediocre Big East, it kept hope alive that the Big East wouldn’t be the first team to send not only an unranked team to the BCS, but an unranked 5 loss team.
Yup, Louisville completed their season by also beating USF 34-24, assuring themselves of a Big East title as well. Louisville is 7-5, has losses to both Marshall and Florida International (though FIU is halfway decent this year) and lost 3 games in a row in October. They might be a nice comeback story, but they’re the nightmare scenario the Big East and BCS has to to be dreading.
So here’s where we stand: All the cards appear to be in Cincinnati’s hands. The Bearcats (remember them/wish you could go back in time Brian Kelly?) can also clinch a tie in the Big East with a win over Connecticut this Saturday, which would give us a three way conundrum in the Big Least. Should Cincy drop the ball and allow the Huskies to prevail with a win, it would hand the Cardinals a BCS berth via the fact that they won the head to head matchup over West Virginia.
A 7-5 team in the BCS? While a team like Boise State (no chance for the BCS), South Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin perhaps etc. falls to a 2nd and 3rd tier bowl. People have been clamoring for change. This could be that moment. If Cincy wins, thereby creating the afformentioned 3-way tie, the winner of the BCS berth would be awarded to the highest rated BCS team. Since West Virginia is the only ranked team amongst the group, they’d get the trip to Sun Life Stadium, against either Clemson or Virginia Tech. While far from a spectacular matchup, it’d be a heck of a lot better than say Clemson versus Louisville (yikes!)
People clamoring for the BCS to whisk their automatic qualifying status away from the Big East may actually get their wish, as the higher ups may be forced to take action should this embarrassment occur.
While far from a star, West Virginia brings credibility to the conference with a 9-3 record. A 7-5 Louisville team in the Orange Bowl just might bring shame. And the worst BCS ratings in … history?