West Virginia could be the first team to secure a spot in the Bowl Championship Series.
Boston College has other ideas, but the Mountaineers will clinch at least a tie for the Big East title with a win over the Eagles on Saturday. If West
Virginia winds up tied for first place, it would get the BCS bowl bid because of a better overall record.
In its transition year, the Big East has drawn criticism from those who say it doesn't deserve an automatic BCS berth. The league said goodbye to
Miami and Virginia Tech before this season, leaving it with just seven teams and no heavyweights.
The Mountaineers entered the season as the defending conference co-champions, overwhelming favorites to win it again and with hopes of running the
table and playing for a national title.
That last part was dashed when the No. 13 Mountaineers (8-1, 4-0) lost last month at Virginia Tech, now a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The
result hurt the Big East's reputation -- even a supposedly middle-of-the-road ACC team could beat the best of the Big East.
Since then, West Virginia has won four consecutive games against league foes, getting little attention in the process.
"We haven't played great football all year, but we've played well enough," West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. "We have most of our goals still
out there and, believe it or not, we can get one of them accomplished this week. A major one."
No. 21 Boston College (6-2, 2-1) can keep its hopes for a Big East title and BCS bid alive with a victory in a place where wins have been rare for the
Eagles. Since Big East football was born in 1991, Boston College has not won in Morgantown, W.Va.
"I think they've been better football teams for the most part," Eagles coach Tom O'Brien said. "There are some schools that seem to have a whammy over
BC joins Miami and Virginia Tech in the ACC next season, while the Big East welcomes Louisville, South Florida and Cincinnati.
The last thing the beleaguered Big East needs heading into next season is its defending champion playing in the ACC.