I really don't have a problem with the Big East. They've been a good home to Pitt for the past 30 years and despite the clear favoritism towards hoops and Providence, I am going to miss certain things about the conference when Pitt heads to the ACC. The bowl lineup is most certainly not one of them.
I hope those of you who have seen Pitt in Birmingham enjoyed your trip their because if the projections are correct, Pitt could be heading back for a third straight year. ESPN Big East blogger Andrea Adelson offered up her bowl projections and picked the Panthers to head to the BBVA Compass bowl yet again. But she did add this:
If Pitt is bowl eligible AND West Virginia is available, there is the very real possibility [the Pinstripe Bowl] could feature the two rivals playing the Backyard Brawl once again.
So root your hearts out for this potential matchup. Obviously a Pitt win on Saturday is the first step as without it, Pitt will be spending the winter home for the first time since 2007. The next part is tricky as West Virginia plays Big 12 bottom feeder Kansas at home no less on Saturday. A WVU win is virtually guaranteed, which puts the Mountaineers in a tie for 5th or 6th depending on how other games go next week. With WVU new to the Big 12 this season, bowls with Big 12 tie-ins are certainly eager to select the Mountaineers and their rabid fan base. Certainly the Pinstripe Bowl would love to have the Mountaineers available should WVU fall that far as regardless of who they face (either Pitt or Syracuse), it would be a rematch of a pretty good Big East rivalry. But a WVU win would likely shoot them up in the Big 12 bowl lineup and the Mountaineers figure to be gone by the time the Pinstripe Bowl selects their teams.
What does all of this mean? Root for WVU to lose, which I know shouldn't be hard for any of you. A WVU loss moves them down the Big 12 pecking order and even a disappointing 6-6 WVU team will be snatched up by the Pinstripe Bowl. Pitt and West Virginia may not have played in the regular season, but their is certainly a chance that they meet up in the first ever Backyard Brawl bowl game.