Big East Preview

Now that the BCS standings have made their first appearance, the college football season is now starting to bloom with possibilities. Can a one loss Irish team make the title game? Will either Big 10 power fall this weekend? And will there be a changing of the guard in the Big East?

WEST VIRGINIA vs. UCONN

Sometimes the inevitable requires us to bear through the intolerable. West Virginia is slated for some key conference games in the following weeks but this will not be one of them. UCONN will become one dimensional behind Terry Caulley, and Matt Bonislawski will have to depend on his arm entirely too much. UCONN has had trouble defending the run (see the 41-17 trouncing by Navy) and Slaton will again continue to inflate his Heisman hopes against mediocre competition. West Virginia indeed has talent, but they are far too overrated in my opinion. They win this match handily, running up the score, in preparation for the coming weeks. My Prediction: WVU 47 -10

LOUISVILLE vs. SYRACUSE

Again, I'd like to think that there would be cause for optimism with Syracuse potentially holding the key to an upset. But alas, since the Iowa game, the upset bug seems to have been squashed in New York. Brian Brohm will continue to polish the rust off his skills set in preparation for a monster conference showdown next Saturday when they take on West Virginia. Syracuse has some talent, and has proven that it can stay with teams. But they have not shown the ability to play lights out, emotional football for 60 minutes. Thus, losses to Iowa, West Virginia, and now Louisville will loom over their lack of bowl eligibility. I'd love to be wrong and see both teams fall, but sometimes, even I can realize wishing is all but fruitful. My Prediction: Louisville 34-13

PITTSBURGH vs. RUTGERS

I've said it before, now let me say it again, Rutgers will be undefeated when they play Louisville on November 9th. With that being said, their best test comes against a Pitt team that loves to throw the ball and whose only loss is to a lowly MSU team in week four. Tyler Palko loves to throw the ball, but in the pass three wins, he's only had to throw for nearly 177 yards to gain a victory. Normally, that might spell doom, but I think the ability of Rutgers to run the ball and control the clock will determine this game. Everyone wants to talk about Ray Rice against H.B. Blades, but the real battle will be between Blades and FB Brian "Not Sugar Ray" Leonard. Leonard is a great FB pro prospect and will be plastered to Blades all game long. If Rutgers can control the clock by running the ball and keep the big plays of Oderick Turner and Derek Kinder in check, the Knights will prevail. I believe they will. My Prediction: Rutgers 31 – 30

CINCINNATI vs. SOUTH FLORIDA

For a team that has supposedly played an exceptionally hard schedule, the Bearcats are better than expected. Coach Dantonio's crew will take on dual threat QB Matt Grothe and South Florida this weekend. But make no mistake; the Bearcats have had their shares of near misses. In close losses to Virginia Tech and Louisville, Cincinnati has shown that they can compete on a national level and QB Dustin Grutza has become the leader of this team. The problem is that the Bearcats have been inconsistent as of late, losing three of their last five, and only really blowing out one opponent. Who was that opponent? It was Eastern Kentucky in week one. South Florida has been a little inconsistent too, and is a missed two point conversion against Rutgers and a late interception to Kansas away from being undefeated. The difference is that the measure of consistency weighs in the Bulls favor and they win this weekend, but closer than most would imagine. My Prediction: USF 20 – 17


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories