Thursday, December 1, 2011

As The Big East Turns: A Preview

It's the last week of Big East football action. Tears, I know. But don't get too sad, because this weekend is as big as any. And here's why.

With a WVU and Cincinnati wins this week a three way tie for the Big East Championship will occur between those two and Louisville. Now since Louisville beat WVU but lost to Cincy and WVU beat Cincy but lost to Louisville and since Cincy beat Louisville and lost to WVU the tie breaker comes down to BCS ranking. Ya savvy? Good. Now here of course is what each team is hoping for:
Louisville: The Cardinals are big time UConn fans on Saturday. Since they have the day off, I'm sure they'll all be together cheering on the Huskies.

WVU: The Mountaineers need to win and they need Cincy to win as well. Since Louisville is idle this week the 'Eers need the three way tie in order for the tie-break to go to BCS ranking in which they are the highest ranked team of the three.

Cincy: The Bearcats need to win and WVU to lose. So the Bearcats fate can more or less be sealed tonight if the Mountaineers beat South Florida. 

Now that we have that all set and since there two games with gravitas, I can't justify one over the other for GOTW. So we are going to just look at the slate:

(23) West Virginia (8-3, 4-2) @ USF (5-6, 1-5) Thursday 8:00 ET ESPN/ESPN3D/ESPN3
This is as big a game for WVU as it is Cincy and Louisville. We'll see one piece of the Big East puzzle filled in tonight. We have two pretty good offenses going at it in this one. The big question is who will WVU see as the Bulls QB. Despite, Eveld doing a serviceable job in his place last week, the Bulls will need Daniels if they want to win this game. Vegas is favoring WVU, but only by 2 points. USF needs this game to become bowl eligible. WVU needs it to go to the BCS. And since this is the Big East I can see a WVU blow out or a USF squeaker. I'm going to go with USF and the upset. USF 27-24.

Syracuse (5-6, 1-5) @ Pittsburgh (5-6, 3-3) Saturday 12:00 ET ESPN2/ESPN3
The red headed stepchild game this week in the conference. At least as far as the conference is concerned. But this game is huge for both schools as the winner becomes bowl eligible and the other packs it in for the season. Neither of these two teams is very consistent. But we've seen the Syracuse has been pretty bad on the road and bad overall in conference. Pitt is a double digit favorite in this game and I can't see the orange doing anything to change that. Pitt 27-13.

UConn (5-6, 3-3) @ Cincinnati (8-3, 4-2) Saturday 12:00 ET ESPN/ESPN3
This game is basically the mirror of the WVU game. With a WVU loss tonight, Cincy will be playing for a BCS birth where UConn is fighting to become bowl eligible. Since losing Collaros, Munchie Legeaux has stepping in, struggled a bit at first but has got things figured out. Last week against the Orange he played his best game to date. And defensively the Bearcats are still playing very well. If WVU loses tonight, Cincy will be focused and ready on Saturday. But if the 'Eers win tonight, I don't know what the psyche of this team will be. So that makes this game tough to predict. I think UConn will be hungry, but they haven't been great on the road. I'm sticking with Cincy 31-14.

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