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Will exams get in the way?

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Greg Auman reported last week that the St. Pete Bowl was likely to invite Rutgers or UConn (barring the outcomes of next week's games). Technically, the International (Toronto) and PapaJohn's.com (Birmingham) bowls have first dibs before St. Pete, but my understanding is that, in practice, the Big East office works with the three to set up the best logistical matchups (a point echoed by Auman). Hence, they don't want to send a team to the same game two years in a row, and want to avoid sending a team like USF all the way to Canada.

I think that Rutgers is likely to get the nod over UConn for several reasons if it came down to those two teams. Rutgers won the head to head matchup (although, UConn may very well be the better team this year...), they're a bigger name, hail from a bigger media market, and have a better travelling reputation. Now, on Wednesday, an Orlando Sentinel blogger reported that UConn was unlikely to accept any bid to the St. Pete bowl if it was offered, as it conflicts with their finals schedule. Does that mean they're ticketed for Toronto (or a trade with Detroit?) However, Dec. 19th falls right in the middle of the Rutgers finals too. I have to think that Rutgers would absolutely not turn St. Pete considering the other options, although this is one more reason to try to win next week, because the bowl in Charlotte is on the 26th.

Yes, I am completely discounting the possibility of a Notre Dame win over Stanford, which could further throw a wrench into things.