- BCS Bowl - BIG EAST Champion
- Champs Sports Bowl - BIG EAST vs. ACC
- Meineke Car Care Bowl - BIG EAST vs. ACC
- New Era Pinstripe Bowl - BIG EAST vs. Big 12
- Papajohns.com Bowl/AutoZone Liberty Bowl - BIG EAST vs. SEC or C-USA
- Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl - BIG EAST vs. C-USA
It appears from the above that the Big East has 6 teams that can go bowling this year if eligible (at least 6 wins (one win can be against FCS school if win wasn't counted in previous year)). However, there is more to the story. The Notre Dame issue is alive and well. Champ Sports may select Notre Dame one year out of the 4 it has contracted with the Big East. So really only 5 bowls are a lock for Big East teams.
The order of selection is somewhat interesting as well. The BCS Bowls: BCS Championship; Tostitos Fiesta Bowl; Allstate Sugar Bowl; Fed Ex Orange Bowl; and Rose Bowl Game, shall select the Big East Champ in that order. Once that selection has been made the BCS may (it has never happened) select another BCS Bowl eligible team (to be eligible a team must finish in the top 15 in BCS rankings).
Once that mess is cleared up. The Champs Sports Bowl may select either Notre Dame or a Big East Team remaining to play its choice of ACC team. Notice I didn't say the team that finished second in the Big East Standings. The only place that the standings dictate selection is the first place team. This selection process is found on the Big East Football Page. So the Champs then selects from the remaining eligible teams.
After Champs has made its selection the Meineke Car Care Bowl shall select a Big East team from the remaining eligible teams to square off against its pick of an ACC team. (There was a twitter rumor circulated by the Meineke Car Care Bowl site that they now had the second selection but I have not been able to confirm this. Until Big East confirms this I am going with what is posted from their official site.)
After MCCB makes its selection then the brand spanking new, New Era Pinstripe Bowl Shall make its selection from the remaining Big East pool of teams to square off against its pick from the Big 12. I, for one, am excited about this addition to the Big East bowl games. I think this bowl could develop into a large payday for the Big East.
After NEPB makes its pick things get interesting. The Big East, SEC, and Conference USA have entered into a horse-trading arrangement with two bowls: The Autozone Liberty Bowl and the PapaJohns.com Bowl. One of those two bowl games shall have the next available pick from the Big East to play either its pick of Conference USA or its pick from the SEC. This will really come down to putting the best possible games together from the remaining picks. It allows for flexibility. War rooms for those bowls shall be up late on selection Sunday making their picks.
Once that mess is cleared up the Beef O Brady's Bowl has the final selection from the remaining Big East pool to slate against its pick from Conference USA.
West Virginia benefits in the above scheme because in the event they don't win the Big East Championship (God Forbid) it usually is selected ahead of other teams in the Big East due to its marketability on TV and its loyal and well travelled fan base. Thus, when all else is almost equal WVU will be the team selected by the bowl. My feeling is that we are going to either be BCS bowling or playing in Orlando or Charlotte this season. It is unlikely that we would fall below those bowls, though were we not to play in BCS Bowl I wouldn't mind spending New Years in New York.
So to review. It is likely that the Big East will have 5 teams competing in bowl games this year. There theoretically be 7 teams taken but I won't hold my breath. I know it is pretty early to discuss bowl games but I hope you will have this blog post to use as a reference throughout the season for prognostication.