Here are five games to watch this upcoming season in the Big East this season:
Thursday, Oct. 10 ESPN
The Buzz: Rutgers was one of four teams that finished with a 5-2 record in the Big East last season earning a share of the conference championship. The Scarlet Knights started out last season by winning their first seven games including a perfect 4-0 record in the Big East before stumbling late against Kent State and back-to-back league loses versus Pittsburgh and Louisville. The loss to the Cardinals was especially painful with Rutgers up 14-3 at the half with a berth in a BCS bowl game on the line. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater rallied Louisville with 17 second-half points to propel his team past Rutgers, 20-17 and into the Sugar Bowl.
Friday, Oct. 18 ESPN/ESPN2
The Buzz: UCF gets its first real test in the Big East when it travels to Louisville to take on Charlie Strong and the Cardinals in a primetime match-up. Louisville has all the momentum in the world after coming off an 11-2 season, which included an upset win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who is from Miami, is a Heisman Trophy candidate going into his junior year. Last season, he passed for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns, which was good enough for second in the conference in passing yards and total offense. A victory on the road against what should be a ranked team would go far to make an early impression for the Knights.
Friday, Nov. 29 ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
The Buzz: It’s a good, old fashioned Conference USA showdown … just without the Conference USA as the two newest members of the Big East collide in what traditionally has been a great rivalry between the two schools from Texas. Houston is 17-10-1 all-time against SMU including three straight wins at home. In fact, before last season’s 72-42 loss to SMU, the Cougars had won six straight and nine of the previous 10 meetings. The game last season the second worst-loss in the series dating back to 1975.
USF at UCF
Friday, Nov. 29 ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
The Buzz: Another of the perks of UCF joining the Big East is the renewal of the in-state rivalry with USF. The ‘War on I-4’ kicks off again with a Black Friday showdown at Bright House Networks Stadium on national television. USF owns this brief series with a 4-0 record including the last time these two teams met back in 2008. In the game, the Bulls jumped out to a 24-10 lead in the fourth quarter before the Knights stormed back with 14 unanswered points to sent the game into overtime before eventually losing 31-24. This will be Willie Taggart’s first glimpse of the rivalry after being hired as USF’s new coach in the offseason.
Louisville at Cincinnati
Thursday, Dec. 5 ESPN
The Buzz: Cincinnati earned a share of the Big East title after the Bearcats were one of four teams to finish the conference with a 5-2 record. The two losses were to Rutgers and Louisville. In its game against the Cardinals, Cincinnati jumped out to a 17-14 halftime lead before Louisville pulled ahead 31-24 late in the fourth quarter. With less than two minutes left, Bearcats quarterback Munchie Legaux threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to send the game in overtime before Louisville won it on a 30-yard field goal. In the offseason, Butch Jones was hired away from Cincinnati to coach Tennessee and the Bearcats, in turn, hired former Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville as his replacement.
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