Football is back baby…and what a season it is going to be. The Big East is looking to gain respect back after a marginal 2009 campaign. Some teams waste no time, and will hit the road for big non-conference games. However, there are those teams that rather start the year beating up on the dregs. To the Picks!!!
Last Year: 50-10
Stony Brook at South Florida: A sure fire way to start your tenure off right? Play a Big South team. Skip Holtz’ boys should have no issue with the mighty Seawolves. BJ Daniels (if he plays) should have a nice game to ease back into the swing of things. And the Bulls’ defense, which lost some big time talent, will look to get coordinated against this inferior opponent. Holtz’ cruises to his first victory.
Prediction: 34-10 South Florida
Coastal Carolina at West Virginia: Will the investigation distract the Mountaineers? Will Noel Devine crack under the Heisman pressure? Will Geno Smithfail to live up to QB potential? Will…wait a minute…it’s Coastal Carolina. Blowout.
Prediction: 41-14 WVU
Norfolk State at Rutgers: The Knights are to out to prove something this year. Rutgers has fallen a step behind in the conference, and this could be the year to get back up. It starts with a thorough drubbing of Norfolk State. Don’t expect much a game here.
Prediction: 51-17 Rutgers
Kentucky at Louisville: This rivalry is certainly a much bigger one on the ball court, but the game does have some intrigue. Both teams have new coaches, returning skilled-position players, and defenses that give up quite a few points. Charlie Strong has much more rebuilding to do however at the Ville. The Cardinals are far away from the glory days…of about three years ago. As nice as it is that they do have some experience coming back, it will still be a long day against bitter rival Kentucky. Look for Randall Cobb to have a field day rushing, receiving, and returning the football against the ‘Ville. If this game was in Kentucky it would be a blowout, but we’ll give a little love to Louisville at home…though not a lot.
Prediction: 31-20 Kentucky
Syracuse at Akron: Don’t laugh, but this is a huge game for not only Syracuse, but also the reputation of the Big East. The struggling conference can’t afford to lose a game on the road to a MAC opponent. It’s also an opportunity for Syracuse to get off to a good start before going out west to face Washington. The Orange will rely on a solid run attack, with Delone Carter, Antwon Bailey, and an improving offensive line. It should also be a good game for QB Ryan Nassib to settle in. Akron is coming off a dismal 3-9 year, and the future isn’t exactly peaches and cream. If Cuse plays mistake-free football, the win should be a no-brainer.
Prediction: 27-13 Syracuse
Cincinnati at Fresno State: Trap Game! Expect a lot of offense in this game. Both teams won’t be relying on defensive prowess in this matchup, which can only be described as a “take the over game”. Tony Pike may be gone, but the Bearcats won’t miss a beat with Zach Collaros taking over. The poor man’s Tim Tebow, Collaros impressed last year when Pike was injured, accounting for 14 touchdowns in 7 games. The new Bearcat star should have a monster game to start the. However, Cincy’s defense is going to be in for a long night trying to slow down Ryan Colburn and the Bulldog attack. Expect a close game into the fourth quarter, with a crucial turnover being the difference. And, since Cincinnati rarely turns the ball over, expect that to be Fresno.
Prediction: 35-31 Cincinnati
UConn at Michigan: Another huge game for the conference as the Huskies head to the Big House to take on the Scumbag’s Wolverines. This is a big year for the Huskies. The offense has weapons, and the defense will be stingy. Jordan Todman should be able to run all over a pathetic Michigan defense, and look for the passing attack to improve steadily throughout the game. This could be a very long game for Michigan if the offense sputters early. Connecticut is on a mission this year, and a dark horse to win the conference. We will see how the Wolverines react to all the early pressure. If they come out flat, this game will be over at halftime…and Rich Fraud may be out of a job by October 1st.
Prediction: 28-21 Connecticut
Game of the Week: Pittsburgh at Utah: “The Stash” and the Panthers are finally the major conference favorite. However, that gets put on hold with a tough trip out west to start the season. Dion Lewis will be ready to go. The Panther’s wideouts are ready to get it on. Pitt’s tough defense will be amped up. The big question is at quarterback. New starter Tino Sunseri gets thrown to the wolves to start his career. Utah has a very stingy defense and will attack all night long. Look for Pitt to rely heavily on misdirection and draws with Lewis to try to relieve some of the pressure for Sunseri. But, the Utes’ defense is too good not to be able to adjust. If this game were in Pittsburgh, it would be a no-brainer Panther win. This just seems too much for a green quarterback.
Prediction: 21-17 Utah