Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Full speed ahead for the Big East conference, as a full-slate of games will entertain us this week. USF gave the conference the first marquee win of the year, taking down Kansas. There are ample opportunities again this week for the Big East to step-up. However, come Monday there may only be one team ranked. Here are the picks.
Last Week: 3-1
This Week: 14-5
Kansas State at Louisiville: Two teams trying to make a name for themselves. The Wildcats are 2-0, but have played nobody. The Cardinals lost ugly to Kentucky in the first week, and are looking for an early statement win. KSU quarterback Josh Freeman has been productive, with five touchdowns to his name. However, it's tough to get an idea about how good this team is when they play North Texas and Montana State. Louisville's defense may be outmatched, but they will have a great Wednesday night crowd behind them. The Cards must make K-State's offense one-dimensional, and Hunter Cantwell has to throw the ball more efficiently. The Cardinals are in danger of slipping in to mediocrity with a loss. Expect a shootout, with a determined home team, desperate of getting back into the mix.
Prediction: 38-31 Louisville
Baylor at UConn: Don't look now, but the Huskies are 3-0...granted those wins are over Hofstra, Temple, and UVA...wow is the ACC bad. Though, give credit to UConn, as they absolutely throttled the Cavs by 35. Donald Brown has been unstoppable on the ground. He has already surpassed 500 yards...and eight touchdowns to boot. As a team, the Huskies rank 5th in the nation in rushing, with over 297 yards-per-game. However, this may be Tyler Lorenzen's coming-out party, because Baylor is more susceptible to the pass. If UConn plays their game it shouldn't be close. Baylor is relying on a freshman QB, and the Husky defense should blitz all day long.
Prediction: 31-10 UConn
Northeastern at Syracuse: The battle of the beatens. These gems have a combined 0-5 record, and will duke it out in the dome this weekend for the Cuse homecoming. I refuse to break this joke down.
Prediction: 10-9 Syracuse
Miami (OH) at Cincy: A new look this week for the Bearcts, as starting hurler Dustin Grutza is out with injury. That means junior Tony Pike steps in. Pike is just 8 for 18, but did throw for a score at Oklahoma. Cincy will now be relying on John Goebel and Scott Johnson to get the ball moving on the ground...something they should be able to do against Miami's defense. Cincy's defense may not be talked about with the best, but they did lead the nation last year in takeaways. Epect at least three of those this weekend. The Redhawks are certainly battle-tested, having lost to Michigan and Vandy. They're only shot is if Daniel Raudabaugh doesn't turn the ball over...unlikely considering four picks are already on the shelf.
Prediction: 29-17 Cincy
Rutgers at Navy: This is a game between two teams trying to restart the season. Rutgers has looked anemic on all ends of the spectrum, and Navy is missing former option genius Paul Johnson. Navy quarterback, Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada...greatest name ever...is back and should give more of a boost to the Middies offense. The Knights have been dreadful, and Mike Teel has been an embarrassment. The senior quarterback has thrown five interceptions, with just one touchdown. He hasn't been bailed out by his receivers at all either, with numerous drops in both losses. The bigger story may be the defense though. Greg Shiano's boy's have let up way too much through the air. Fortunately for the Knights, Navy is primarily on the ground, which does benefit Rutgers. Expect Rutgers to get up early with a few statement drives. Navy isn't built to comeback.
Prediction: 28-18 Rutgers
Iowa at Pitt: Interesting clash between two teams looking for an identity. Iowa is coming off a strong, defensive performance against rival ISU. The Panthers spent the week off looking for an offense. Pitt needs to rely on more than LeSean McCoy. There is no doubt that Iowa will stack the box, which means Bill Stull better be ready to throw the ball. The Hawkeyes have a solid secondary, so expect turnovers. Coach Wanny has had ample opportunities to turn this program around, and this is the type of game they should win. However, so was Bowling Green. The Panthers defense will keep them in the game, but the offense is just not creative enough to bust up Iowa.
Prediction: 20-17 Iowa
South Florida at Florida International: USF saved the Big East last week with a solid victory over Kansas. A letdown doesn't seem probable this weekend at 0-2 FIU. The Panthers have done nothing well, and will be blown out. Expect Matt Grothe to do whatever he wants, and the George Selvie-led Bulls defense to demolish FIU. The Panthers only chance is an early lead and a prayer.
Prediction: 42-3 USF
Game of the Week. WVU at Colorado: The Mountaineers have had a week and a half to forget about the lack of effort in a beatdown in Greenville. Expect WVU to get back to work on the ground with Pat White and Noel Devine. The run needs to open up the pass in the spread offense...not the other way around. Colorado will rely heavily on athleticism and the arm of Cody Hawkins. Hawkins has all the tools, but is prone to a meltdown. Neither of these teams have shown much on defense, so expect a shootout. Thursday night in Boulder will be a rocking environment, which will not bode well to the young WVU defense. The turnover battle will be huge...something that WVU lives and dies with. At the end of the night, the athleticism and home field advantage will prove to much for West Virginia.
Prediction: 34-24 Colorado
Chris Sedenka is the host of the PM JAB, which can be heard weekdays between 3-7pm on 96.3FM and AM1440 sports radio WJAB in Central and Southern Maine...and is 2-0 in fantasy football.
Posted by Chris at 1:42 PM