Tuesday A.M. Quickie here: Knicks win! (and other NBA observations), the state of Boise, Malkin Mania, NFL Quick Hits and more.
West Virginia-Louisville is the biggest game of the college football season so far, edging out Ohio St-Texas. If this game's winner proceeds to win out, it will be the second-biggest game of the season, period. (Behind, OSU-Mich, obvs.)
Why? Because, as I've been saying since the summer, it's a de facto national-championship semifinal game: The winner -- again, if they win out -- will likely be the second team in the BCS title game, meeting the Ohio St-Michigan winner.
Now, "winning out" is suddenly no guarantee (The Rutgers Factor! Can you believe we have a "Rutgers Factor?!?!"), but it will be very hard to deny the legitimacy of West Virginia, if they beat a Top 5 team on the road (or Louisville, if they beat a Top 3 team at home).
What makes this all the more intriguing is that WVA and L'ville have the entire stage to themselves tonight in primetime: Every college football fan will be paying attention, and there are no other games to distract us.
A spectacular showing by one or the other (or both, as in last year's wild barn-burner) will do more than all this season's previous games combined.
There's a fascinating kicker from Big East commish Mike Tranghese in Pete Thamel's profile of the Big East in today's NY Times, which ends with Tranghese's feelings if an unbeaten Big East champ is nudged out of the national-title game by a one-loss champ from, say, the SEC:"I'd be disappointed. But if the worst thing that happens to the Big East is that we have a 12-0 team who finishes third in the country left out of the championship game, and we go play in another major bowl, it isn’t so bad."
I appreciate the attempt to manage expectations and I appreciate how far the Big East has come from two years ago when the league was a BCS laughingstock, but this is precisely the wrong thing you'd want to hear from a commissioner of a conference trying to earn everyone's respect. I wonder how WVA or L'ville (or Rutgers) fans/boosters/coaches feel about that?
Comments Question: What's your take on the game? The stakes? Is this game getting enough hype? Too much? Too little? Have at it.-- D.S.