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Big East: Possible Three or Four Way Tie for Title

For once, the big news out of the Big East Conference was about a sporting event and not a realignment announcement. The Louisville Cardinals defeated a tough Rutgers Scarlet Knights team on Thursday night to earn a share of the Big East Conference Football title.

In a season where realignment of conferences has taken precedence over actual football, soccer, and other sporting events, it is refreshing to see a good football game take over the headlines for a day.

With under two minutes left in the game John Wallace of the Louisville Cardinals connected on a field goal of 29 yards to give the Cardinals a 20-17 victory over Rutgers. The win will most likely qualify Louisville for a BCS Bowl, the first for the Cardinals since 2007.

The win for Louisville prevented Rutgers from winning their first Big East title outright and ensures that at least three teams will share the conference title. The Scarlet Knights are now 9-3 on the season and led the game at halftime by the score of 14-3. However, in the second half Teddy Bridgewater rallied Louisville by tossing a pair of touchdown passes in the third quarter to help improve the Louisville season record to 10-2.

Kyle Flood the Head Coach of Rutgers praised Bridgewater’s playing by saying he was a tremendous playmakers and in the end the Rutgers team could not match him.

Both Rutgers and Louisville ended the season with Big East records of 5-2, which was good enough to share the title with Syracuse that finished 5-2 on the season in the conference as well. Cincinnati has one game remaining and they are 4-2 on the season and a win this weekend could make them 5-2 as well.

Rutgers started out strong thanks to two scoring passes from Gary Nova during the first half of play. Nova hit Brandon Coleman on an 85-yard scoring pass and Mark Harrison on one for 68 yards that gave Rutgers their 9-point halftime advantage.

Due to all of the realignments and the changes taking place for the BCS in 2014, the Big East might lose an automatic bid to a bowl game. The new system will have the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 all receiving automatic berths in one of the BCS bowls. The sixth spot would go to the team that is highest rated amongst a group of conferences. That particular cluster of conferences includes the Sun Belt, Big East, Mid-American, Conference USA and Mountain West.

The Big East website has said that if Cincinnati is defeated on Saturday, Syracuse, Rutgers and Louisville will tie for the title of the regular season, with the berth for the BCS going to the school with the highest overall ranking, which is most likely going to be Louisville.

However, if Cincinnati comes out on top, the title for the conference title would be broken by head to head records which would eliminate Cincinnati and Syracuse, then through BCS rank, which is likely to favor Louisville.

That will all be determined late Sunday after the last BCS rankings are released and teams start preparing for bowl games or for next season.

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