UConn Opens Big East Door
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The Big East is wide open after a UConn 30-28 victory over Pittsburgh brought the Panthers back to the pack. Now, with all Big East teams having either four or five league games remaining, and a only a one loss difference between every team in the conference, every single program has a chance to make a run at the Big East crown and a BCS berth. The Big East race got a whole lot more interesting after last night's game!
Pitt came in undefeated in league play at 3-0. As the preseason favorite and still unbeaten in conference, it looked as if a Pitt win would send them well on their way to the conference championship. But as I looked at Pitt's three losses (Utah, Miami, Notre Dame), I was concerned that the Panthers had some real problems. None of the schools just mentioned are super good this year, and Miami's victory was a beat-down.
As for UConn, they came in 0-4 on the road, but 4-0 at home. This being a UConn home game, I decided to take the Huskies, and I'm glad for it.
UConn may have been the home team, but they didn't get the home-cooking from the refs! Late in the game, with Pitt down nine, the zebras overruled an incomplete pass in the end zone, saying the receiver actually did get a foot down in bounds. All of the replays I saw last night didn't seem to be enough to overturn it, but it was overturned. Then this morning on SportsCenter, I saw a replay that clearly showed he was out of bounds.
But that big play in the end zone takes backseat to another big play that went down just minutes later to seal the game for the Huskies. Leading 30-28 with just under two minutes to go, and the ball deep in their own territory, UConn Head Coach Randy Edsall decided to go for a 4th and 1. Thats right - he went for it! The outcome could have been disastrous. If he is stuffed, Pitt wouldn't even have had to move the ball for the game-winning field goal try! But Jordan Todman (222 yards) picked up the first down and moved the chains. That was ballgame.
So now we can all sit back and watch the Big East get after it. My favorite team in the league is West Virginia. Entering Thursday, it was looking bleak for the 'Neers to go BCSing this year. Now though, they are completely alive with four league games to go - one of them being Pittsburgh.
People can talk smack about the Big East, and granted right now they are an easy shot. But I look forward to keeping up with this league this year. I was very impressed last night with the kind of athletes UConn had. Those guys seemed big and strong and fast and talented. They stepped up and made the Big East race a marathon that will be one of the most exciting in the country...
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