Bix's Picks UConn BEARCATS vs. SLED DOGS

Bix's Picks returns for yet another sojourn into the unpredictable world of Wager Land. Last week's accurate prediction of the accounts and events of what would and did happen was more fortunate than uncanny.

The exception of course would be my prediction of Coach Jim Leavitt's behavior, which Dr. Phil and I have come to the conclusion that he's clinically unstable. Regardless, the Bearcats got a much needed win, and Bix's Picks returns to a Nostradamian level of prognostication expertise of which he is so unaccustomed.

Coach Randy Edsall brings his UConn Huskies (8-1, 4-0 in the Big East) into what I expect to be a raucous Nippert Stadium tomorrow afternoon. Who are these Huskies and how can they be ranked 13th in the country and atop the Big East? That is the million dollar QUESTION!!! I guarantee you even the most avid Bearcat fan would be hard pressed to name 3 to 4 Husky starters!!! Hell, I'll go one step farther and say that I bet even the most avid HUSKY fan would have a hard time naming 3 to 4 Husky starters!!! I'll give it go….Let's see there is Balto…..ummm Togo, Fritz and well you see what I mean. I think that this is how these Huskies like it, as they have been flying under the radar and quietly knocking off the likes of Louisville, South Florida and Rutgers the past three weeks. I seriously doubt any of these Huskies will be immortalized with a statue in Central Park, but I will guarantee you they will play smart, as a team (no pun intended), and come into Nippert with an oversize sled load of confidence. Coach Randy Edsall, who by he way is the exact antithesis of Jim Leavitt, is truly the Leonhard Seppala to these Huskies as his cool and confident demeanor has jettisoned the Boys from Storrs to heights even they did not think were accessible this year. SOUND FAMILIAR????

The #13 UConn Huskies are led by junior college transfer QB Tyler Lorenzen. Other than being a fairly large human, you're not going to be that impressed with this guy. There is nothing flashy, no laser-like arm, no Grothe like scrambling skills, just your average Joe Schmo QB. The thing you will notice about him though is that the kid WINS! He is not going to do anything to jeopardize his team and will play within the parameters of his God given skills. The RB's are a pair of redshirt sophomores. Donald Brown had success last year and began the year as the starter. His play faltered somewhat, and he was replaced by Mr. Dreadlock, Andre Dixon. As if Dreads are not noticeable enough, Andre decided to highlight his……Snazzy! Anyway, this cat does have a little swagger and does lead the team in rushing yardage. Brown, who has risen like the Phoenix in recent weeks will however get the bulk of short yardage and goal line carries. In sticking with the nothing flashy-we just win theme, the wideouts are led by sophomores Terence Jeffers and Brad Kanuch along with junior D.J. Hernandez. Junior TE Steve Brouse has good size at 6'4" and 257 pounds and has been on the receiving end of 4 of Lorenzen's 11 TD passes. That's their "O". There are no Rices, Slatons, Grothes, Whites etc. There also won't be anybody requesting autographs before and after the game from this crew, all they do is just go out there and win football games.

The Husky "D" has been nearly as proficient in forcing turnovers as the nation leading Bearcats. They've accumulated 19 picks and have returned 4 of those 19 for TD's. Fan favorite and redshirt freshman LB Scott Lutrus has 4 picks, and he and senior LB Danny Lansanah are solid tackling machines. Darius Butler is an excellent cover man, and sophomore FS Robert Vaughn leads the team with 5 picks. UConn's defense has been VERY opportunistic all season forcing turnovers and employing a bend but don't break defensive style. UConn has also been accused of receiving more than their fair share of fortuitous calls and bounces. Be that as it may, I'm a big believer in things balancing themselves out, and may the process begin at Nippert Saturday afternoon.

How are the Cats going to knock off this juggernaut??? Another daunting task you say??? Should we just go ahead and book our reservations for Toronto??? As an announcer who shall not be named but gives me gas would say, "Not so fast my friend!". These guys have never beaten us. They are 0-3 and destined for 0-4, at least so says Vegas, and who am I to question Vegas??? These guys have only been playing DI level ball since 2002!!! They are due to fold up like a lawn chair…..OVERDUE!!! I don't care how well grounded they are. They are sailing into unchartered waters far away from the friendly confines of Rentschler Field. In what can only be described as fortuitous scheduling, Rentschler is where they played Louisville, USF and Rutgers……Ahhh!!! Is it coming to light now??? Are you seeing where I am going with this???? It has been nearly a month since the Cats last played at Nippert and there will be full house of rabid Bearcat faithful on hand to welcome them home!!! Bring on those Huskies!!! Mush!!!

Now it is time for the prognosticatin' segment. You know, folks, we are a combined 7-2-1 on picks this season, and if you keep reading, I believe 9-2-1 is in the bag!!!

THE SKINNY: The line opened @ Bearcats –4.5 points on Monday. This line has been bet all the way up to –6.5 as of Thursday afternoon. The true oddity is that 53% of the betting "public" is on UCONN. We all know by now the first rule of wagering, always bet against the "public." Vegas is built on the "public's" money!!! The total has been set at 48.

THE PLAY: Randy Edsall is bringing a fine team into Cincy this weekend. However, I truly believe that the Bearcats have the superior athletes this week for the first time in several weeks. I also believe that if the Huskies are in fact the false prophets that some sport pundits have declared them to be, they will likely be defrocked by our Bearcats on Saturday. It is simple really….Our "D" is better than their average "O" and their "D" is going to bend and break, all day long, against Ben and the boys when we are on "O". I like the Bearcats to win in convincing fashion sending the Huskies back to Storrs with their tails between their legs and their 1st Big East loss tied around their necks like a soup bone. Take the Cincinnati Bearcats big and lay the 6.5. I also like this game going over the total of 48. Always remember "Gamblin' money's got no home" and GO BEARCATS!!!!

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