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Big East: Week Twelve

With every bowl contract expiring next year, expect to see many stories about potential bid reshuffling in the next few months. After securing a better deal for the Gator Bowl (or an equivalent, like the Outback Bowl), the Big East's next priority needs to be to find a better #3 bid. The Liberty Bowl reportedly fell through at the eleventh hour in 2005, which left the Big East with the Texas Bowl as a mediocre replacement. Tire Bowl (I refuse to use the name of whatever they're calling it these days) organizers are reportedly interested in upgrading the bowl's prestige, which would include a higher payment. It's not a total pipe dream, ala the Gator Bowl's goal of usurping other New Year's Day games, but would involve leapfrogging the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando and the Music City Bowl in Orlando. The ACC may favor those matchups with the Big Ten and SEC respectively.

ESPN's Brian Bennett looks at why Big East football scheduling is so tricky. The conference is in a very difficult position with ESPN right now, even though it's a little better than it was immediately following the ACC raid. Scarlet Scuttlebutt's Keith Sargeant argues that improving the television arrangement is at the forefront of new BE commissioner John Marinatto's agenda.

It's just not acceptable for viewers at home to miss games due to a game of chicken between Disney and Comcast/Cablevision/Time Warner. If ESPN wants to buy the rights to every Big East football game, fine. Either air them on one of their networks with wide coverage, or release them to local cable TV stations like SNY that have paid for the rights to broadcast games. Buying games with the intent of airing them exclusively on ESPN U or ESPN 360 generates a lot of ill will, and I doubt it has increased their bargaining position much. Personally, I think ESPN U is a pox on the world, while 360 is a fairly cool service as long as it's complementary and not exclusive. I was actually happy when Comcast moved the NFL Network to a pay tier last year, because they tried to pull the same stunt (before ultimately backing down). Another thing that both networks share in common is that the majority of their programming has little, if any, appeal. Cable operators would be much more likely to add them if they had more substantive content to offer.

Cincinnati is playing the best football in the conference right now, and one reason is their emphasis on special teams.

Tyler Lorenzen will start at quarterback for UConn when he returns from injury, but it won't be this weekend.

Louisville saw its game against Pitt spiral out of control due to turnovers, which won't cut it either against Cincinnati tomorrow.

Syracuse may play multiple quarterbacks against UConn this weekend. exists? Actually, I had been confused by some of USF's playcalling on offense, but that seems rash. It gets weirder, as USF is pinning its hopes on a player nicknamed the "Dancing Bear".

West Virginia's recruiting class has recovered by adding quarterback Eugene Smith and receiver Stedman Bailey on the heels of Tajh Boyd's decommitment