The Big East Conference as we know it is undergoing a substantial makeover off the field, but on the field, games are still to be played. Here is a look at what the coaches are saying as they enter into a game that will decide their future as well as that of Syracuse:
Charlie Strong - Louisville Cardinals:
"We have to get back on track." Those were the words of the Cardinals' coach going into their match with the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. After rising to 9-0, Louisville has lost their last two games, both in the Big East, first to Syracuse and then to UConn.
"The thing that happened last week [versus UConn]...we didn't do a good job of protecting Teddy [Bridgewater]," Strong stated. The Cardinals offensive line allowed their quarterback to be sacked five times in their triple-overtime loss to the Huskies.
It will not be any easier with Rutgers up next. "[Linebacker Khaseem] Greens is probably one of th best defensive players in the country," Strong expressed. Greene has 115 total tackles as well as 5.5 sacks and two interceptions through 11 games.
A Louisville win would mean that more than one team will share the Big East regular season title, including the Syracuse Orange.
Kyle Flood - Rutgers:
Coming off of their own loss last week, Rutgers is hoping that their skid mark is not any longer. "We were disappointed in how we performed," said Flood. "Pitt's a very talented football team."
But Flood is not allowing what happened last game to, well, flood into this match-up. "Win or lose, you have to put the last game behind you," stated Flood.
"As a coaching staff, you gotta take your own advice," he added. "You gotta make your corrections and you gotta move on."
Looking to the match with Louisville, Flood expressed, "We're trying to get back to being 1-0 this week."
With no Big East Conference championship game to decide the outright champion, Flood considers his team's finale with Rutgers to be "the closest thing you're gonna have to a conference championship."
If Rutgers wins:
They will be given the nod to be the Big East representative this season in a BCS bowl.
If Louisville wins:
At least Louisville, Rutgers, and Syracuse will be in a three-way tie for first place in the Big East. The Cardinals need the win and to then be ranked higher in the BCS than the Scarlet Knights in order to get gain access to the bowl.
Louisville's victory does, however, also open up the possibility for Syracuse to gain the BCS bid. Syracuse defeated Louisville in the regular season, so if they could somehow get into the BCS-Top 25 ahead of Louisville and Rutgers, the BCS seat reserved for the Big East would be theres.
If Cincinnati were to beat UConn, they would tie Louisville, Rutgers, and Syracuse at 5-2. They would then have to outrank each of those three schools in the BCS standings to claw their way into a BCS bowl.