Pitt's losses to UConn not only hurt the team in winning the conference and heading to the BCS Bowl. It bumped the Panthers down another level and cost them a chance at playing in the Champs Sports Bowl.
It was believed that a Notre Dame team that qualified for the Champs Sports Bowl would get the bid. But as I wrote a while back (after reading the article from ESPN.com's Brian Bennett, I might add), the Champs Sports Bowl can only select Notre Dame once in its four-year deal. Notre Dame was eligible at 7-5, but I mentioned that the bowl may wait for a better Irish team down the road.
That was indeed the case as West Virginia was selected instead. Now, the Mountaineers were 9-3 and Pitt, only 7-5. But more to the point - the fact that the Irish were passed over this season just means they will be selected another year (assuming they are eligible). And that year could come when Pitt may be eligible for the bowl.
With Pitt out of the Champs Sports Bowl picture this season, the Panthers would have been far better served if the bowl selected the Irish this season instead of West Virginia. A Big East team will still get jobbed out of that bowl and it could be Pitt.