Fun Thursday: Big East Predictions
This story originally published on CuseNation.com

CuseNation.com
Posted Nov 29, 2012


The Big East will be decided this week as some big games are on the conference slate. The CuseNation.com makes their predictions on who will win and be crowned Big East champions.

Current Standings

Dan Tortora: 27-10

Mike McAllister: 26-11

John Garcia Jr: 22-15

Idle: Syracuse, Temple

Louisville at Rutgers

Dan Tortora: This Thursday night match-up pits two Big East-jumpers against one another. On the line: the opportunity for a BCS Bowl. Also, this may or may not be their last go-around in the conference, making this title even more of a prize. Cardinals' head coach Charlie Strong said earlier in the week that quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will play. Louisville is coming off of a two-game losing streak, while Rutgers recently lost to unranked Pittsburgh. The Cardinals will finally turn on in this game and outduel the Scarlet Knights' will their own. Louisville wins, 31-21.

Mike McAllister: Rutgers has been coming down to earth lately, and struggled mightily against Pittsburgh last week. Back at home, they should play better. However, their lack of consistency on offense will come back to bite them again as the Cardinals find new life. Bridgewater plays and has a fantastic performance. Louisville 27 Rutgers 17

John Garcia Jr: The battle for the Big East crown should be a good one, and the status of Teddy Bridgewater may determine the game. He is slated to play despite injury, but how effective can he be? Well, we know he's a gamer and his success is predicated on efficiency, not arm strength or deep-ball prowess. With the help of good run-after-catch wideouts and a balanced running game, the defensive struggle will lean the Cardinals way. The only way Rutgers wins is if Gary Nova protects the ball for four quarters, and I don't see that happening. UofL 21, RU 13.

Cincinnati at Connecticut

Dan Tortora: Cincinnati head coach spoke earlier in the week about his decision to keep Brendon Kay in the starting role, but emphasized that he will need to learn quick with UConn fast-approaching. Kay showed he could manage part of a game when playing Syracuse, but a whole game may work in the Huskies' favor. This will be a close one. Bearcats attain the victory, 24-21.

Mike McAllister: Connecticut is looking to become bowl eligible, and Cincinnati is looking to claim part of the Big East crown. Ultimately, the Huskies defense steps up and keeps them in it despite their anemic offense. Lyle McCombs does just enough offensively as UConn edges Cincy. Connecticut 17 Cincinnati 13

John Garcia Jr: UConn has been on the rise of late and they are at home - but Cincy needs to win a statement game to close out their 2012 campaign. Two good defenses will keep the scoreboard low, but the Bearcats have slightly more talent on both sides of the ball. Cats 20, Huskies 10.

Pittsburgh at South Florida

Dan Tortora: The Panthers are coming off a big win over the Scarlet Knights, handing them their only loss in the Big East thus far. The Bulls, on the other hand, have struggled all season to navigate through the conference. It will not get any easier without leaders like quarterback B.J. Daniels and running back Lindsey Lamar. Pittsburgh goes for another, 28-17.

Mike McAllister: South Florida is injured and ready for the season to be over. Pittsburgh is fighting for bowl eligibility. The Panthers end the Bulls miserable season with a drubbing at home. Tino Sunseri continues his solid play and Ray Graham goes off on a porous South Florida run defense. Pittsburgh 31 South Florida 14

John Garcia Jr: Both teams are facing disappointing records, but Pitt has bowl eligibility to play for. The Panthers spoiled Syracuse’s bowl hopes last season with a Senior Day salvage, but this time the favor gets returned even with B.J. Daniels on the shelf. USF 31 Pitt 21


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