Staff Picks: Big East, Week 5

With Syracuse football in its final season of Big East play, the staff takes a look at each conference game for the rest of the season and attempts to predict the outcome.

Syracuse exits the Big East after the 2012 season, so the staff figured it should predict the final games in the conference with SU still a member of it.

Each week, the staff will pick each game - and one contributor will go more in depth on why he is making picks. That will rotate, but each will provide a hint as to why the score was selected. The records will be tallied at the end of the year for bragging rights purposes.

This week, only four conference teams play. Syracuse, Rutgers, Temple and Pittsburgh are idle.

Game 1 - Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (neutral location)

Dan Tortora - This game pits double threat quarterback versus double threat quarterback with Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech and Munchie Legaux of Cincinnati leading their respective offenses on the ground and through the air. But Cincinnati runs the ball better and allows less points to their opponents, including Pittsburgh, of whom Virginia Tech lost to. Cincinnati wins by a touchdown, 21-14.

Mike McAllister - The Bearcats defense will let them hang around, but ultimately the more talented Hokies pull away in a close 24-14 contest.

John Garcia Jr. - No way the Hokies lost two straight to the Big East right? Logan Thomas reminds NFL squads why he has so much potential in a solid 31-17 victory in D.C.

Game 2 - Buffalo Bulls at Connecticut Huskies

Dan Tortora - Too much offense for Buffalo to handle in this game. If UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer can alleviate interceptions in his game (he has six interceptions to three touchdowns) like he has done more recently, where he had three touchdowns to one interception in the Huskies last game versus Western Michigan, then he will keep the Bulls from charging. UConn wins big 31-7.

Mike McAllister - Despite the struggles of the Huskies early in the season, they should dominate an undersized and far less talented Buffalo Bulls squad. UConn wins 38-10.

John Garcia Jr. - Lyle McCombs and company will rack up the yards on offense against the lowly Bulls. 27-7 UConn.

Game 3 - Louisville Cardinals at Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Dan Tortora - Despite the Cardinals' defensive woes as of late, including allowing the North Carolina Tar Heels to score 34 points to pull within less than a touchdown after leading them 29-0, Louisville has too much talent to lose this "Battle of the Nest" against a struggling Golden Eagles' squad. The Cardinals perch atop the Golden Eagles, 38-17.

Mike McAllister - The Golden Eagles keep it close at home, but the Cardinals defense along with Teddy Bridgewater are the difference. Louisville wins 27-14.

John Garcia Jr. - USM is better than most think and they're at home...but Bridgewater will be too much to handle. Efficiency leads to a 24-13 UofL win.

Game 4 - Florida State Seminoles at South Florida Bulls

Dan Tortora - South Florida's largest victory of the season came against an FCS (Division I-AA) opponent in Chattanooga, while the Bulls only other victory in their next three games came against Nevada, who ranks in the top five in the country from their backfield's yardage output. Although South Florida was the last standing versus a strong backfield, they have went on to drop a game to Rutgers and then Ball State. Florida State is playing toward a national championship, beating their first three opponents handily and defeating Clemson, a team ranked in the top 10 among every FBS (Division I-A) schools by almost two touchdowns. South Florida may cause some harm in the Big East, but against a power like the Seminoles, not so much. Florida State wins "Battle: FL", 42-21.

Mike McAllister - The Bulls struggles continue as the best defense in the country overwhelms B.J. Daniels. Seminoles take it 38-13.

John Garcia Jr. - Daniels embarrassed the 'Noles in Tallahassee the last time these two squared off, no way history repeats itself. Despite "trap game" feel, revenge leads to 41-21 FSU win.

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