Tag:Big East
Posted on: December 5, 2010 2:18 pm
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UConn Ugliest BCS Team Ever

Someone is going to read that title and make a joke about how the Connecticut Huskies are the worst team in BCS History. Let them joke I say, because no one is going to be able to tell me that my title isn't correct. Last season, UConn lost 5 games by a total of 15 points. This year, UConn's three biggest wins (Pitt, WVU, @ USF) came by a combined 8 points. UConn rarely makes football look "good" like their BCS counterparts in Oregon or Auburn. Or even VA Tech.

UConn doesn't boast a playmaking QB like Cam Newton. In fact in most games this season there could be a legitimate missing persons report for the Huskies passing attack. Connecticut is very much old-school in their football approach. They're going to run the football at you, play defense and win the turnover battle. Rinse. Repeat. See yesterday's game against USF. Jordan Todman was held under 100 yards for only the second time this year, but still carried the ball over 30 times. The UConn defense had three interceptions, including Lawrence Wilson's pick-six in the 2nd quarter, UConn's only touchdown of the game.

And how exactly did UConn win yesterday? By doing the little things. Punter Cole Wagner consistently pinned USF in their own territory as UConn dominated the field position battle all day. Kicker Dave Teggert had never hit a 50-yard FG in his career. He had two of them last night, and for the second straight year kicked the Huskies over the Bulls. UConn's only mistake: a Todman fumble (very questionable, but I'm biased) that USF quickly turned into a touchdown to make it a 16-13 UConn lead. Neither team had a lot of sustained drives deep into their opponent's territory or really threatened to score many offensive touchdowns. It was a typical UConn game. Ugly in every sense of the word.

But to say that UConn doesn't deserve a BCS berth would be insane. The Big East has an automatic BCS berth. So does the ACC, which sucks just as much. And the Pac-10 which will only have three bowl-eligible teams this year thanks to Southern Cal's probation. So West Virginia is ranked, and probably matches up better against an Oklahoma team in the Fiesta Bowl (more on that later), but UConn has a victory against WVU this year. And Pitt. And without Randy Edsall's certified brain fart (the only one he's had in years) in starting redshirt freshman Mike Box against Louisville, Connecticut could be celebrating an outright title in the Big East. Not bad for a basketball school.

But now all indications say that UConn will be going to Glendale, AZ and the Fiesta Bowl while the Stanford Cardinal are heading to Miami and the Orange Bowl. This is a huge mistake for many reasons and if there were a time where I need the NCAA conspiracy theorists to come through for me, now would be that time. You do not want UConn playing its first bowl game in Arizona. Keep UConn and Stanford on their respective coasts, its best for everyone. You get a Top-10 matchup with Stanford-Oklahoma and let the Big East another shot at beating the ACC, something our conference will never say no to.

And I'm not trying to protect UConn here, this is really best for the BCS as a whole. And I'm not a big fan of collusion (see FIFA World Cup selections), but I have to make an exception here. It makes too much sense to have the Huskies in the Orange Bowl that I can openly hope that there are phone calls going back and forth between the Fiesta and Orange Bowl reps. But either way, there is one tiny, football state that will stand united behind their Huskies no matter what.

No matter how ugly their football team is.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 27, 2010 10:48 am
 

UConn In Control of Big East/BCS Destiny

No, the following title is correct. The Connecticut Huskies are two wins away from a Big East conference title and a berth in a BCS Bowl, most likely the Fiesta Bowl. And unlike 2007, when UConn won a share of the Big East title, UConn doesn’t have to go on the road to beat the No. 2 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. That game resulted in a 66-21 loss and UConn only earned a share of the title after a shocking upset by Pitt the following week. WVU still earned the BCS bid, but lost a shot at a National title.

Now, let’s say I gave you the following two scenarios back in 1998, the first year of the BCS:

Connecticut will play in a BCS Bowl OR a non-automatic qualifier will play for the National Title

Quick, how many of you were taking UConn in ’98? Should be zero. Why? Keep reading…

Remember this, UConn was a I-AA team until 1999 and were transitional members of Div. I-A through the 2000-2001 seasons, and weren’t full time Big East members until 2004, a move that happened a year early after the BC, Miami and VA Tech moved to the ACC.

Also remember that 2004 was the first year a non-AQ made a BCS bowl (Utah 35 – Pitt 7) despite several non-AQ schools finishing in the Top 15 of the BCS standings.

So from 2004, it’s an even timeline. UConn started playing in a BCS conference in 2004 and Non-AQs starting making BCS bowl games. The next logical step for each party, making a BCS bowl game (UConn) and making a national title (Non-AQs).

So maybe the goals aren’t exactly equal, but UConn is just one school going up against half of the Div. I-A (Yes, I still refuse to call it the FBS.), so cut me some slack there. Plus, UConn plays in the worst BCS conference in the country  according to everyone (despite the ACC bowl records) and there is no way that a basketball school is playing in BCS football games. There’s a much better chance that Boise State, TCU, Utah, BYU or someone will qualify for the BCS National Title game. Right?

I mean, before the season started, UConn was a darkhorse to win the Big East. Not too shabby, but going against two Top-5 teams in Boise State and TCU. That’s a lot of ground to make up, even for what everyone thought would be a solid UConn team. And there’s no way both of these things could happen right?

Well, fast forward to yesterday. November 26, 2010. Friday afternoon, WVU-Pitt kicks off at noon, UConn needing one Pitt loss and wins against Cincy and USF to clinch the Big East’s BCS berth. WVU blows out Pitt late and UConn officially takes destiny in its own hands heading into today’s home game vs. Cincy. People who chose Option 1 above begin to rejoice.

3 PM, EST - Aubrun-Bama kicks off and Bama is out to a quick 24-0 lead. Suddenly, Option 2 is looking pretty good as well. Somehow Cam Newton rallies Auburn to an Iron Bowl victory and Auburn is one SEC Championship game vs. South Carolina away from a BCS Title berth. (By the way, UConn beat S. Carolina 20-7 in the 2009 PapaJohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama last year. It’s more or less the same roster. I’m taking Auburn.)

8 PM, EST – Arizona-Oregon has kicked off and they are trading touchdowns in the first half. A safety and a FG give Zona a 19-14 lead at half. Option 2 is still in the fight for 2010. End of good news, Ducks move on to a 48-29 rout and Boise, Idaho and Fort Worth, Texas begin to weep. And they kept weeping in Boise after failing to convert two short FGs at the end of regulation and in OT and lose to Nevada.

So maybe the Boise State’s TCU’s of the world won’t make the National Title this year. And the Non-AQ’s will ask again what they have to do to outsmart the BCS computers (play harder non-conference schedules) and the BCS school presidents (looking at you Ohio State) will sit smugly and continue to refuse to play these guys since it’s the only way they will qualify for the National Title game. And the BCS will probably schedule a rematch of the 2009 Fiesta Bowl (greatest injustice in BCS history). What should happen is a 6<sup>th</sup> BCS game and AQ berths for the WAC and MWC, the two dominant Non-AQ conferences in BCS history, mainly due to Boise, TCU and Utah. But that is a topic for later debate…

But elsewhere in the country, isolated from the rest of the college football world, sits a tiny state, whose football team was not even a glimmer in the BCS’ eye just over a decade ago. A program with one of the longest tenured coaches in Div. I-A. A program that sent four players in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft in 2009. A program that has no business playing with anyone in the BCS according to just about everyone.

And perhaps the Connecticut Huskies will not reach the Big East summit this season. Perhaps they lose one of their final two games and West Virginia plays in a BCS bowl and saves conference respectability like ESPNs Brian Bennett says. Or maybe the NCAA will step in a forfeit the Big East’s BCS bid for this bowl season and save UConn the embarrassment of being the worst BCS team ever like Bleacher Report says. After all, the last unranked BCS team was that Pitt team that got clobbered by Utah, what chance would UConn possibly have. Or maybe UConn has gotten right like ESPN’s Ivan Maisel wrote in the preseason. (One of my favorite articles ever, and not because it’s about the Huskies, I would have loved it if it had been about the WKU Hilltoppers.)

Either way, everyone who rightly picked against UConn making a BCS bowl over a Non-AQ title contender are probably trying to hedge their bets for the rest of the 2010 season.

But if UConn can come this close to playing a BCS football game, there is certainly a chance that Boise State or TCU can play for a National Title.

Perhaps not this year, but soon.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: March 9, 2010 10:53 am
 

Big East Tournament Preview

Now that my MAAC coverage is done, I can move away to another depressing Siena win, to something that is probably more depressing, my home state, UConn Huskies. My college roommate called me yesterday saying that he has tickets to the 2nd Round games, both the morning and night sessions at MSG. I refused to make a decision knowing that the last time I went to a Big East tournament ('08 Pitt-G'Town Final) I accepted the tickets in January and UConn got bounced in the quarters.

Now, UConn is the 12th seed, facing the 13th seed Johnnies, winner plays Marquette. And the Huskies have been doing their best to prove my wrong after I wrote about their WVU win a few weeks ago. Somehow they're still on the bubble, mainly because they have three wins over Top 10 teams. Whatever...here's the preview.

Big East Bracket

The new super-16 team Big East has 5 rounds of tournament play, every team makes it in. Teams 9-16 play each other in the first round seeded against each other. Teams 5-8 are slated to play in the second round and teams 1-4 get a bye into the quarterfinals.

The Favorite: Syracuse
I'm not sure how you can have a favorite in this tournament since probably 9 teams could win the whole thing. But the top-seeded Orange are the best bet and are probably a lock to earn the No. 1 seed in the NCAA's wherever the East Region is this year. I'm going to say that Andy Rautins goes nuts in this tournament. I'm getting a Gerry McNamara vibe from him, and that's a good thing for the Cuse. Bad news for everyone else.

The Contenders: Pitt, WVU, Nova, G-Town, L'Ville
This is why there isn't a favorite to win this thing. I could fill out literally 20 brackets on just the Big East and be confident that each one could happen. That's how deep this league is. All of these teams are either ranked, good, well-coached or a combination of the three in my opinion.

The Darkhorses: Marquette, ND, USF
These teams are the ones that will be doing the upsetting, because the other teams mentioned above are just going to beat the snots out of each other. ND has played well of late, Marquette has proved it's a NCAA team and USF has played above themselves all year. Watch out for Bulls star Dominique Jones.

Homerville: UConn
Ahh, my beloved Huskies. How did they end up down here? By not winning any road games (except at Nova) and not having that go-to guy. UConn looks directionless on offense most of the time and relies to much on individual play. Only Gavin Edwards seems to know what he's doing. Yet, this team still has Top 25 talent and is a threat, despite playing on the first day.

Best 1st Round Game: No. 15 Providence vs. No. 10 Seton Hall
Why this game? Because of all the teams in the bottom four, I like the Friars to be competitive more than Rutgers, St. John's and DePaul, and I hate Bobby Gonzalez from his days at Manhattan. That's really the point I wanted to get in there.

Good 2nd Round Games (assuming they happen): UConn/Marquette and Cincy/L'Ville

(I went 8-1 in my MAAC predictions. This probably means I will get less than 50-percent this time. Fair warning.)

PREDICTIONS
First Round:
USF, UConn, Prov, Cincy
Second Round: G-Town, UConn, ND, Cincy
Quarters: Cuse, Nova, Pitt, WVU
Semifinals: Nova, WVU
Champion: Nova

Yes, I hate Bobby Gonzalez that much (he's really fun to annoy, too.) Yes, I'm going chalk in the quarters, but I'm insane enough to pick that final. I think UConn and Cincy can each win two games out of the first round. Watch out for a USF upset in the 2nd round as well. If you watch any of these games, watch the games from the quarterfinals (Thurs.) all the way through Saturday's final. Should be 7 great Big East games and most of the 2nd round games should be pretty good as well.

Hopefully I'll get home to watch the UConn game live after my classes, not that I'm sure I want too. I'll have updates and recaps for the morning and night sessions for each of the first three days and hopefully better previews as well after today. Because tomorrow's where the real fun begins in the Big East. You just have to get there first. And if UConn does advance I might take my roommate's offer and watch Wednesday's afternoon session live from MSG.

But I'm not calling him back until after the UConn game. If they lose, I'm not calling him at all nor will I pick up any calls from him.

Unless he finds NIT tickets, then I might be interested.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Big East
 
Posted on: February 23, 2010 10:22 am
Edited on: February 23, 2010 3:08 pm
 

UConn Beats WVU, Clinches Tourney Berth

Okay, so you can't actually clinch a tournament berth for the NCAAs. And certainly another bad loss by the UConn Men in the closing weeks of the regular season and/or in the Big East tournament won't help things. But, and I've ripped this team all year for their absurd ranking in the Top 25, they are an NCAA tournament team.

So UConn is 17-11 overall and 7-8 in the absolutely loaded Big East, where 13th place means you were probably a bubble team last week and in the tournament the week or two before. And the Big East is the hardest conference to pick bubble teams from because they've beaten the heck out of each other and a committee has to determine who is left standing. Tough job.

The Big East currently has 5 teams in the top 25 AP poll (Top 12 actually - [4] Cuse / [7] Nova / [8] WVU / [11] G'Town / [12] Pitt), all of whom are pretty much locks for the NCAAs. Two others, Marquette and Louisville are in the receiving votes sections both have fairly good chances at bids.

Here's UConn's problem: their Big East play has been so sporadic that their resume has great highs with three wins over Top 10 teams (@ Nova, WVU, Texas) and terrible lows like getting swept by Cincinnati (who because of two wins over UConn, are a bubble team). Here's why this is a problem, if the tournament puts UConn in, and they probably will at this point, you have to include Cincy (next best win: Vandy). This is a problem because of the log jam in the Big East standings with four teams with 6-8 conference records (Cincy, USF, Hall, ND). The Big East can't get 12 teams into the NCAA, that's absurd. And if you don't like the 16-team basketball conference, do what I do: blame the ACC and/or Boston College. (Very fun thing to do by the way. Shame BC's not making the big dance.)

Really, the whole Big East bubble scene changes on a daily basis. And the committee takes into account the last few weeks of the season as well. So if UConn ends the season on a 6-game winning streak, including two wins over Top 10 teams and bubble hopefuls ND and USF, then they are in barring a terrible showing in the Big East tournament. The Bearcats, who were ranked at one point this season, have lost 3 of 4 and 4 of 6, beating Providence and UConn. They play DePaul, then @ WVU, Nova, @ G'Town. They probably need two wins over teams not named DePaul to make the NCAAs.

Again, the Big East bubble changes daily. I think that the Big East will get at least 8 bids, and 7 of those are pretty much locked up. The one spot that is open now currently rests with the UConn Huskies. There may be another (9th) spot left for someone else in the Big East, UConn could slip up and lose before the Big East tournament, this wouldn't suprise anyone.

But I do know one thing. IF UConn gets a bid, two teams are going to be very upset. The team that they're matched up with in the first round, and the higher seeded team opposite them in the same pod.

Because neither of those teams wants to play UConn.
Posted on: December 26, 2009 9:05 pm
 

Big East Expansion

I know the Big Ten (Eleven) is looking to expand to add a 12th team and a title game, so I figured the Big East should get into the act as well, and not because they could lose a team to the Big Ten. The Big East needs to add at least a 9th team to even out the conference schedule (4 home/4 away) but should think about getting up to 12 teams as well.

There are some teams from the FBS and also some from the FCS that have a reasonable chance to actually join the conference. Notre Dame is not among them for the purposes of this entry. ND would make more sense in the Big Ten next year, but in the Big East several years down the road. This a just a list of schools, I don't know the requirments for joining the FBS or the Big East and I'm sure some (or most) of these ideas have no chance of happening.

Here are some of the FCS teams I'd like to see join the Big East...

Villanova Wildcats -- The 2009 FCS Champions play basketball and other sports in the Big East and could transition in quickly to the Big East. For a 9th team, aside from ND, they're probably the most logical choice. They would most likely have to play home games in Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, as well as the MAC's Temple Owls (who were kicked out of the Big East earlier this decade). Again, this is a logistical nightmare and would require a few years to plan out, but overall this is the best fit for the Big East.

Other CAA teams (Richmond, William & Mary, New Hampshire - All ranked in FCS Top 10)

Appalachian State Mountaineers - Who could forget their upset over Michigan in 2007. App. St. has been a FCS power for a few years now behind QB Armanti Edwards. Whether the continues when he leaves is another story, but I don't think having two schools nicknamed the Mountaineers is a bad thing. Some of the problems is that App. St. is located in North Carolina without any real rivals but it does have one of the larger student bodies on this list.

Here are some of the FBS teams that could join down the road...

Army & Navy - Look, I know Navy likes to make their own schedule and they have their own bowl ties, etc. But if the Big East wants to expand to 12 teams, they're going to need both of these schools to do it. Or some of the Big East basketball schools are going to have to start playing football. I know the Big East has looked at this idea before and from a prestige standpoint, it probably doesn't do all that much. But everyone hates Big East football anyway, so I say let's do it.

East Carolina Pirates -This is a solid program under Skip Holtz (son of former ND coach Lou Holtz) and I've heard this rumor recently as well. I hate to say it, but it's easier for the Big East to invite an established FBS team to join than to transition one or more from the FCS level. If the Big East does invite ECU or UCF or another C-USA team, they could take the time to transition several FCS schools who could compete better in C-USA immeadiately.

Central Michigan Chippewas - One of the best MAC teams in the past few years behind stud QB Dan Lefevour, C. Mich has been the stepping stone for Cincy coaches recently. So why not give them an invite? The program is very established and I think could compete down the road.

At the very least, the Big East needs to get to 9 teams. Having an unbalance conference schedule is a joke and I've hated it since it started a few years ago. It makes too much sense to transition Villanova into the conference, but they would have to probably both play at the Linc, something I'm sure would be a problem. Again, I have no idea how the divisions would be split up if the Big East got to 12 teams, but soon the Big East could be could be the only BCS conference without a title game.

Of course, that's assuming the Pac-10 invites Boise State and TCU for their 12-school conference, and while I'd love to see that too, I'm not getting ahead of myself.

But the Big East should. They got caught with their pants around their ankles when Miami, VA Tech and BC left to join the ACC. That shouldn't happen twice to this conference.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Big East
 
Posted on: September 9, 2009 3:09 pm
 

Big East Power Rankings - Week 1

I can't remember the last time I posted a blog entry. Seriously, how am I still a Superstar? I haven't logged on in weeks let alone posted anything.

So without further ado, the return of the Big East Football Power Rankings:

1 - Cincinnati Bearcats (LW: NA; W @ RUTG 47-15)
This is an easy choice for the first number one of the year. The defending Big East champs went on the road to Piscataway, NJ and crushed Rutgers in their home building. Tony Pike was outstanding and even Mike Freeman is gushing about the QB's preformance. If I had a preseason favorite, it would be the Bearcats or out number two team...

2 - South Florida Bulls (LW: NA; W vs. Wofford 40-7)
After a slow start the Bulls dispatched Wofford handily after the game was tied 7-7 after the first quarter. USF doesn't have a legitimate game until Sept. 26th when they play at Florida State. Matt Grothe has returned to lead the Bulls to perhaps their first Big East championship.

3 - Pittsburgh Panthers (LW: NA; W vs. Y'Town St 38-3)
Another team who dispatched an FCS/Div. I-AA team in their opener. Pitt heads to Buffalo next week and then plays Navy at home. Nice to see someone in the Big East with something that resembles a non-conference schedule. Bill Stull reamins the starting QB but is there a competition brewing for the spot?

4 - Connecticut Huskies (LW: NA; W @ OHIO 23-16)
No, I am not being a homer right now. UConn went on the road to Ohio and played rather well. New starting QB Zach Frazer did throw three picks, but the Huskies D is just as strong as it was last year. The Huskies non-conference schedule isn't easy, with games against UNC and Notre Dame. Many have the Huskies as a conference darkhorse, and if Frazer can limit the turnovers, this team has the defense to compete at the top.

5 - West Virginia Mountaineers (LW: NA; W vs. Liberty 33-20)
Okay, so WVU struggled in their opener. There's still enough talent offensively for their team to succeed. The defense however is another story. We'll know more after a couple of weeks after a road game in Auburn.

6 - Syracuse Orange  (LW: NA; L vs. MINN 20-23)
I hate to say it, but Greg Paulus is actually a pretty good QB. Much better than anyone who lined up for Rutgers last weekend anyway. A costly interception in OT sank the Orange, but let's see how fiesty they are at Happy Valley this week against Penn State.

7 - Louisville Cardinals (LW: NA; W vs. Indiana St. 30-10)
The Cardinals clearly look like they are about to have a down year. Their next two games at Kentucky and at Utah will be telling for the rest of the season. Combine that with four conference road games and that's a pretty tough road schedule for a young team.

8 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (LW: NA; L vs. CINCY 15-47)
Yikes. How they were preseason favorites is beyond me. I've thought this team has been overrated for a while and this might have just proved it. They're too inexperienced at QB, with two fifth-year seniors (combined 13 pass attempts career) and a true freshman, Rutgers just has too many holes to fill from last year's offense. Luckily, a heavy diet of cupcakes on the non-conference schedule (Howard, FIU, TX Southern) could get this team to a bowl game.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Big East
 
Posted on: March 5, 2009 1:13 pm
 

Big East vs. ACC - March Madness

So my roommate and I were talking about how many teams from the Big East and the ACC would make it to the Big Dance. Being a loyal defender of the Big East for both football and basketball, my roommate was probably just antagonizing me when he said that the ACC would have more teams (7) than the Big East (6). So we broke it down:

(Note: We kinda did this last week, and is very subject to change going into the conference tournaments)



Definitely In (1-4 Seeds):

ACC

North Carolina - UNC is still fighting for a #1 seed in March, and a strong finish against Duke and in the ACC Tournament should guarantee that.

Duke - Probably looking at a #2 seed but could sneak up to a #1 by beating UNC and winning the ACC.

Wake Forest - Probably my favorite team to watch in the ACC. Look for Jeff Teauge to lead the Deacons to deep runs in the ACC and National tournaments.

Clemson - I think the Tigers are heading for another 1st round NCAA exit, but I can't deny they are headed for March.

Big East

Connecticut - The Huskies are also in the hunt for a #1 seed, and could be the #1 overall with a Big East Tournament win. Losing Jerome Dyson for the season with an injury did hurt UConn, but they are still one of the most talented teams in the country.

Pittsburgh - Losing to Providence yesterday might have cost them a #1 seed, but at worst this is a very solid team that will be making deep runs in the Big East and NCAA tournament.

Marquette - A huge win over UConn could vault them into the conversation for a #1 seed.

Loiusville - The Cards have almost quietly gotten to the top of the Big East standings and the polls, where the Fightin' Pitinos are ranked 6th.

They're In, But Where? (5-12 seeds)

ACC

Florida State - The Seminoles just entered the national polls, but were quickly beaten by...

Boston College - I hate BC, but they're going to be making the Big Dance.

Big East

Villanova - The Wildcats have had another solid year, compiling 10 wins in the Big East and over 20 on the season.

Syracuse - A rather mediocre showing for the Orange in Big East play, but another 20 win season for Jim Boeheim's team will get them to the NCAA's.

Just Played Their Way In (Bubble Team of the Week)

ACC

Maryland - Knocking off UNC is huge, and puts them above the other bubble teams from the ACC right now.

Big East

Providence - The second team this year to beat #1 Pitt, the Friars have a good chance to make the dance now.

On The Bubble

ACC

Miami - The Hurricanes probably need a little help to become the ACC's 8th team in the field.

Big East

West Virginia - The Mountaneers have a very ordinary resume, no big wins, but no big losses either.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 2, 2008 7:32 pm
 

Big East Football - Week 6 Preview

After a week off, my Big East Preview is back. While everyone will be watching TBS and the MLB Playoffs, I'll be watching three primetime Big East games on ESPN Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sadly, only one is a conference game, but my #24 UConn Huskies are playing UNC on Saturday night. Only four games on deck this week, but two are conference matchups and Syracuse and Louisville are on off this week.

Thursday 10/2

Pittsburgh (3-1, 1-0 BE) vs. #10 South Florida (5-0, 0-0 BE)
Our first primetime game features a very unimpressive Pitt side against the Big East favorites, USF. Pitt came into the season with high expectations after knocking off WVU last year to end the season. I didn't buy into those expectations, and Pitt's 3-1 record is misleading. They lost to Bowling Green to start the year, then beat Buffalo (by 11), Iowa (1) and Syracuse (10). USF has had a pretty easy few weeks since knocking off then #13 Kansas, beating FIU and NC State. This is Pitt's best opponent by far this season and I expect Matt Grothe to be everywhere for the Bulls, who shouldn't have any trouble with the Panthers.

Friday 10/3

Cincinnati (3-1, 0-0 BE) vs. Marshall (3-2, 2-0 C-USA)
The big question here is who is playing QB for the Bearcats? Coach Brian Kelly is down to redshirt freshmen Chazz Anderson and Zach Collaros at QB after injuries have sidelined starter Dustin Grutza and backup Tony Pike. Cincinnati struggled to beat Akron last week and I have a feeling that they will struggle offensively against the Herd as well. If the Bearcats are going to win the game, their defense will have to step up big time. Marshall plays their second straight Big East opponent after losing to WVU last week.

Saturday 10/4

Rutgers (1-3, 0-0 BE) vs. West Virginia (2-2, 0-0 BE)
The first conference game for both teams shouldn't be much of a game. Rutgers has been awful lately and WVU might be turning the corner from their September funk. WVU's offense looked solid last week against Marshall. Rutgers has yet to beat a Div. I-A/FBS team but did play the upstart Navy team tough in a 23-21 loss. Look for WVU to re-establish their dominance in Big East play after a slow start.

#24 Connecticut (5-0, 1-0 BE) vs. North Carolina (3-1, 1-1 ACC)
Both teams will be sporting new QB's as both starters are out due to injury. UConn will go to sophomore transfer Zach Frazer and UNC will most like go to junior Cameron Sexton. I'm not sure where to put this UNC team though. They started the year with a close win over Div. I-AA/FCS side McNeese St., then blew out Rutgers in NJ before splitting a pair of ACC games to Va. Tech and Miami. I know the Tar Heels are going to need a strong run defense to stop Donald Brown, who leads the nation in rushing.
Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
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