New bowl wrinkle: Win, head to El Paso?
One final wrinkle in USF's potential bowl scenarios, and it looks like a strong possibility if the Bulls can win at home Saturday against Connecticut. If that happens and West Virginia can beat Rutgers as expected, USF could be making a return to the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, where they'd likely face Boston College from the ACC.
The Sun has an opening for an at-large berth and has been talking with the Big East, and bowl chair John Folmer said Friday night that the bowl has specific interest in USF, which played in El Paso in 2007, losing to Oregon. If USF can beat Connecticut and West Virginia wins to clinch a BCS bowl berth, the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando would then pick Notre Dame, and Folmer said he would like to have the Bulls come to El Paso at that point.
With a noon kickoff on New Year's Eve, the Sun Bowl would be a strong last-minute addition to the Big East bowl lineup -- we'd previously thought Notre Dame's presence in Orlando would just mean a lesser team like Pittsburgh would get shipped to Detroit for the Little Caesar's Bowl there.
Louisville looks to be nearly a lock for the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg to face Southern Miss, and if the Sun Bowl option doesn't work out, it still looks like a BCS opponent for USF, with Charlotte with a Bulls win and Birmingham with a USF loss. Folmer said he'd like to invite the Bulls on Saturday night if he can, but said other bowls might need more time to make their decisions on Sunday.