Yes, yes, it’s all been said before: the Big East is terrible and in no way do they deserve an automatic BCS bowl berth. We get it.
But, in fairness to a conference who has gotten more than their fair share of bad press this season, there may be one slice of good football come the day after Thanksgiving.
Well, one would hope, anyway.
Pittsburgh and West Virginia will face off in the 103rd meeting of the Backyard Brawl this Friday, the longest and pretty much only true rivalry left in the new Big East. More importantly, it will be a game played with serious BCS implications.
Earlier today, Pittsburgh defeated South Florida 17-10, as the Panthers continue to control their own destiny with just two games remaining in the season. If Pitt wins out, they will be headed to their first BCS bowl under Dave Wannstedt.
Additionally, West Virginia defeated Louisville with their own 17-10 victory earlier, keeping them fully entrenched at 3-2 in the five-way cluster-you-know-what that are the BE conference standings. For the Mountaineers, a win over Pittsburgh next week and a little help from UConn would go a long way in allowing Bill Stewart to get his team back to the BCS, as well as cool his own seat.
Rivalries are part of what makes college football so great and any time conference championships are on the line, it’s better for fans and it’s better for the game. As abysmal as the Big East has been this year, they can take pride in knowing that the conference’s best rivalry has significant meaning this year.
And they’ll take the victories where they can get ’em.