Cincinnati Bearcats Football: Big East Title Still Within Reach

Alex Callos@@alexcallosCorrespondent INovember 27, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 29: Head coach Butch Jones (center, no hat) of the Cincinnati Bearcats walks to the locker room after his team defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 27-24 at FedExField on September 29, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

With how crazy this past Saturday was in the Big East, it is hard to believe, but Cincinnati still has a legitimate shot to finish in four-way tie for the Big East title.

With a Louisville victory over Rutgers and a Cincinnati win over Connecticut, the top four teams in the conference will all finish with identical 5-2 records in league play.

While Cincinnati will not win a four-team tiebreaker, the Bearcats would still grab a share of their fourth Big East title in the past five seasons.

Winning four conference titles in five years is a remarkable feat, and it has not been done by any BCS school over the past five years.

While there are certainly a lot of distractions off the field for Cincinnati, the Bearcats will try to have their full concentration on a Connecticut defense that is quickly developing into one of the best in the conference.

The Huskies have an offense that struggles to score points. The group is 120th in the country, only averaging 17.8 points a game. The defense, on the other hand, ranks 19th, only allowing 18.5 points a contest.

While the defense is allowing nearly 19 points a game, part of that is because of such an anemic offense. When it comes to yards, the defense ranks 10th in the country, only allowing 305.73 yards a game.

These are remarkable numbers, and the Huskies' strong defense is something that Cincinnati will have to overcome in order to remain in contention for another 10-win season and Big East tittle.

The Huskies do have a lot to play for. At 5-6, they need one more win to become bowl eligible. The win would be their third straight and would cap off a very nice finish.

As mentioned, the Bearcats will have plenty of distractions off the field, as talks continue to swirl about a possible move to the ACC.

There have also been discussions about head coach Butch Jones leaving for a better gig. Tennessee is among the possibilities along with Purdue.

If the Bearcats can put all of this aside and play the game that they are capable of, a victory at Connecticut and share of the Big East crown are strong possibilities.