Instant Juice: Syracuse football clinches share of Big East title

A quick take on Syracuse clinching a share of the Big East with Louisville’s 20-17 win over Rutgers on Thursday night:

WHAT HAPPENED: Louisville’s James Burgess intercepted a pass on a clear miscommunication from Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova and his receiver. That play was set up by a 29-yard field goal from John Wallace with 1:41 in the game. Though there is (for now) a three way tie atop the Big East, Louisville has all of the tiebreakers, and will be the Big East’s representative in the BCS. What it means for Syracuse is that it has clinched a share of the Big East for the first time since 2004, and will share it with at least Louisville and Rutgers. Cincinnati can also join them with an upcoming game against Connecticut.

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Marrone and Syracuse clinched the Big East championship

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ANALYSIS:

  • The automatic Big East bid will be decided by the final BCS standings. Louisville is expected to claim that spot. But until it’s announced, the Orange are technically in play for that bid. (So you’re saying there’s a chance!) Still, Syracuse is likely headed for the Compass, Belk or Pinstripe Bowl.
  • The Bearcats will play UConn with plenty on the line. With a win, the Huskies will earn bowl eligibility. Should Cincinnati win, half of the Big East will claim a share of the title.
  • It was an amazing turnaround for the Orange, who were picked 7th in the preseason Big East coach’s poll. It shows you how little those polls can mean, sometimes.

» Related: Doug Marrone and the future of SU football

  • The three co-champs will all be leaving for different conferences. Rutgers will be headed to the Big 10, while SU and Louisville are ACC bound.
  • Syracuse has been through a hellish decade, its worst in school history. Yet, in the past 10 years, Syracuse has still clinched a Big East title on two occasions.
  • It’s always difficult to play the “Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve” game, but imagine if Syracuse had beaten Rutgers? It’s a painful memory, but the Orange committed four turnovers that day en route to a 23-15 loss. Or how about that Brandon Reddish dropped pick-6 that would’ve changed the complexion of Syracuse’s loss to Cincinnati? Again, easy to look back, but it would’ve been nice to leave the Big East with the outright championship.
  • In case anyone was interested, if Kent State wins, Louisville will likely play in the Sugar Bowl against Florida. If Kent State loses, then the Cardinals will play Florida State in the “All ACC” Orange Bowl.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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