This season has been a whole new world. Not only for Orange fans but for those of other programs. Take Cincinnati, USF and UConn. Since they joined the Big East in 2005, the only world they've ever lived in is a world in which Syracuse football is terrible. Cincy and USF already learned the harsh truth about the La Revolucion Anaranjada, now it's the Huskies turn. This time, however, it's not just the Orange that are different, but also the stakes of the game.
Make no mistake, this game is HUGE for all parties involved. For the Orange, a win means they will finish 5-2 in the Big East, no worse than 2nd overall. It also sets them up for a prime spot to win the Big East if a three-way tie-breaker emerges and/or Pitt loses out.
For the Huskies, a win puts them on the road to 5-2 where they own a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Panthers. If Pitt stumbles once and the Huskies win out, they will have come through on those preseason expectations to win the Big East title.
For the Big East, the conference will look to the winner of this game to win-out. The Big East needs overall wins. It needs teams with 8-9 wins when all it said and done.
So the game has high stakes for sure. But don't forget to throw in one more factor that makes this one of the most important Big East games in a long time for the Orange. The Vengeance Factor.
Doug Marrone would never say it out loud. In fact, he's downplaying the hell out of it and talking about what good fiends he and Randy Edsall are. The fact remains, Marrone was PISSED OFF after what he perceived as UConn running up the score against the Orange last year.
I don't know if that becomes anything in this game. Just keep an eye out for any late 80-yard touchdown bombs from the Orange if and when they've put the game away late.
Last week, the Orange solidified their role as road warriors. The Huskies have been doing the opposite. UConn is 0-4 on the road this season and a horrific 4-18 on the road in the Big East since joining. The good news for them is that the Orange have struggled at home against Big East teams this year, going 0-2. Something, as they do say, will have to give on Saturday.