As with the prior post Rutgers, Houston, South Florida, Central Florida and Temple are written off. Temple and Houston are semi dangerous, but the bottom five have only won three times* against the top five teams in the conference. So sorry Knight (Scarlet and otherwise), Cougar, Bull and Owl fans, but your team have no part to play in these matters.
* I think its three, with two of those coming against SMU
So, lets update the remaining schedules of the top five contenders.
|@ UConn||Temple||@ Houston||UCF||@ USF|
|@ Rutgers||@ SMU||@ Cincinnati||@ Memphis||Rutgers|
|Opponent Win Percentage||64%||66%||75%||68%||63%|
|Games Against Top 5||2||3||3||2||2|
So, where does that leave us? The Bearcats and Cardinals are in a virtual tie atop the standings of the conference, the half game lead comes from the Bearcats playing one more conference game than the Cards. Of the two the Cardinals probably have the tougher road, having to go to Memphis and SMU before hosting UConn on the final day of the conference regular season is a really tough close. With the way that Slick Rick's boys are playing they will be favored in every game down the stretch. Likewise the Bearcats will be favored against Memphis and Rutgers, but could be a slight underdog at UConn next saturday, possibly. Though the Huskies did just get soundly beaten by SMU at Gampel so who knows.
What the math suggests is that it is going to be very hard for either Memphis, SMU or UConn to make up the ground needed to tie or overtake Cincinnati or Louisville, unless the Cards and Bearcats both fall completely apart in the final two weeks of the season. UC and UofL are heavy favorites to win the league, it is up to those three teams to decide who wins it.
UC and the Cards are tied atop the conference, and in a dead heat with no way for either team to make up ground on the other. But both are capable of losing ground with the schedules they have. There is no margin for error for either squad, both having to win out to clinch a share of the crown. The Bearcats need Memphis, UConn or (most likely) SMU to deal a loss to the Cards to give Mick and the boys a chance to win the title outright. Likewise Louisville needs UC to drop one at UConn (most likely) or at home on senior night against Memphis to win the crown outright.
I don't know about you, but I will be watching a whole lot more of Louisville than I have at any point this year. Go TiHusTangs.