Thursday, December 1, 2011

Big East Preview, Week 14

A lot still to figure out as we head to the final week. WVU, Cincinnati, and Louisville are all still alive for the BCS bid. None of the three actually control their own destiny, so it should an interesting weekend to say the least. Meanwhile, four other teams look to become bowl eligible. UConn, Pitt, USF and Syracuse are all looking for that elusive sixth win. To the Picks!

Last Week: 3-1
Overall: 41-24

Regular Season Over: Louisville, Rutgers

Syracuse at Pittsburgh: Both are seeking possible bowl eligibility with a win. Both are also looking for consistency as the season runs out. The Orange are also seeking their first win since Oct 21st. It's truly amazing to see what happened to this team. Syracuse seemed to have turned the corner with their win over West Virginia, but have been shambolic the last month. Meanwhile, the Panthers have been ravaged by injuries and poor quarterback play. Pitt has done a better job lately defensively. They should be able to put a lot of pressure on Ryan Nassib, and force the Orange into tough situations. Syracuse will have to play mistake-free, which just won't be the case. This will put a lot on the back of the Orange defense, a group that has struggled over the last month. The Panthers need a better game from Tino Sunseri, especially for the fact that they may be down to their third string running back. Expect some mistakes early-on, with neither team taking control. Pitt should get a grasp of this one late to hold on.

Prediction: 27-21 Pittsburgh

West Virginia at South Florida: It's a must-win for both teams. WVU needs to win to keep their BCS hopes alive. Meanwhile, the reeling Bulls need to win for bowl eligibility. Everything on paper tells you WVU wins tonight. But, that's paper. The Mountaineers haven't won in Tampa since 2005. They actually play quite horribly there. The first 15 minutes will be so crucial for a team that is known for coming out like garbage. They will deal with a tough defense to crack. USF has solid players up front, and will stay back to eliminate the big play. Look for the Mountaineers to try to establish a ground game early. The Bulls' D should keep it tight early, but Bobby Eveld will have to do more at the quarterback position if they want to win. B.J. Daniels has been ruled out, so expect a lot of running to set up some potential big passes. This game will be close early-on due to WVU's inability to play well in Tampa and in first halves, but look for too much firepower as the Mountaineers pull away late.

Prediction: 34-24 West Virginia

Game of the Week: Connecticut at Cincinnati: Well, whats the scenario? UConn gets bowl eligible with a win. Cincinnati either sends themselves or WVU to the BCS with a win. If they lose, then Louisville is on their way. So, a lot is riding on this one, folks. Most would say it's a no-brainer win for the Bearcats. That is certainly not the case. The Huskies have played better lately, including blowing Rutgers out last week. And, don't forget...Cincy is playing without Zach Collaros. However, Munchie Legaux did play well last week in a Bearcat win over Syracuse. Isaiah Pead will be looked to do a lot against a very good run defense. If he has some early success it will certainly take some pressure off the young quarterback. The Bearcats should be able to move the ball, as long as they hold on to the ball. Their biggest problem is finishing drives. Unlike last week, field goals will have to turn in to touchdowns. The Huskies can have some success defensively, but the offense is another story. They face a very stout defense that will look to shut down their run. Even if UConn is slowed just a bit, it's asking a lot for their young quarterbacks to keep them in a game. The Huskies haven't won on the road all year in the conference, and it doesn't come this weekend.

Prediction: 30-17 Cincinnati