Well, here it is. This will be the week that gives us the Big East champion...possibly. If Cincy wins, they are headed to South Florida. If they lose, well...we will be back to square one. The Backyard Brawl also highlights this light schedule of games for the holiday week. Here are the picks.
Last Week: 2-3
Syracuse at Cincinnati: All the Bearcats have to do is beat a weaker opponent, and they are BCS-bound. Not so fast though. Syracuse is coming off a huge win over Notre Dame, and will look to continue the winning streak for their fallen coach. It will be a tall task though, considering Cincy is on a roll and lead in virtually every statistical category. The 'Cuse do have a better running game, and will look to set up their offense through running back Curtis Brinkley. The senior has had a superb season for the Orange, and has one more chance to impress the NFL scouts before the combine. The Bearcats will certainly stack the box and try to force the Orange to be one-dimensional. Expect Cincy to roll offensively, especially with the way the offensive line has been playing. It's not a guarantee that Cincy wins this game, but expect the Bearcats representing the Big East in the New Year.
Prediction: 31-14 Cincinnati
Game of the Week. West Virginia at Pittsburgh: The Backyard Brawl is back. By far the best rivalry in the Big East, the Brawl shouldn't disappoint. Last season's version had Pitt ruining WVU's chance to play in the National Championship. This year's doesn't have that drama, but it's two schools that absolutely despise each other....gotta love it. They are both 7-3, have solid rushing attacks, and legit D's. So something has to give, right? That something could be the passing attack. Pitt's Bill Stull has been fairly efficient, though is susceptible to throwing the pick. Pat White doesn't throw for a lot of yards, but has completed over 65% of his passing. If the Mountaineers can establish a passing game, forget about the Panthers' chances. However, this is a rivalry game, so throw out all the stats...except one...Pat White. It's one thing for White to throw efficiently...it's another if he breaks off at least 100-yards rushing. Look for Pitt to spy White with possibly two linebackers at times. It will be close, it will be hard fought, but in the end WVU has too many weapons for the Panthers...that's if WVU shows up.
Prediction: 34-30 WVU