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Cincy, I Think Its Your Turn To Lead The Conference

Sadly, I will once again be MIA this weekend. This time its an extended vaca to Miami for a friend's wedding from Friday through Monday, so I guess its not all that bad after all. So I'll give you my picks for the weekend including my thoughts on SU-Pitt today and let you mull it all over for a couple days before its proven completely wrong. You'll then get to stare at this horribly inaccurate information until Tuesday, embarrassed that you could associate yourself with anyone so uninformed and sad.

Cincinnati (6-2, 1-2) at #20 South Florida (6-2, 1-2)
Ha-yuge game as far as the Big East is concerned. To think that one of these teams is going to be 1-3 in the conference is crazy. Cincy hasn't played in about 3 months (at least it feels like it) so its tough to gauge how they're feeling. Can't be too different than South Florida, who went from BCS wet dreams to Bowl nightmares in an instant. I think South Florida prevails, and I hope so for their sake. Rutgers is about to come on strong and Louisville isn't that far behind the loser of this game. Bad part about the conference being so good is that there's little room for error.
Prediction: USF 24, Cincy 17

Rutgers (5-3, 2-2) at. #16 UConn (7-1, 3-0)
Even now, I did a double-take when I saw those records and the ranking. Even after all I've seen my brain still can't compute it. And when my brain realizes that it's shocked RUTGERS isn't the ranked team, it begins to melt.

This matchup kinda reminds me of the Patriots and the Colts in the 80's and early 90's. Remember when Pats vs. Colts used to mean horrible games with final scores of 9-7 or 6-3? You used to think there would never be a time when that game would actually be meaningful. And yet here we are.

I'm not sold on UConn, even if they beat USF. I think Rutgers mission this year was to be the spoiler and they'll continue to do that this weekend. Chin up, Edsall, you've already clinched your extension and raise, it's all gravy from here.
Prediction: Rutgers 28, UConn 14

Syracuse (2-6, 1-2) at Pittsburgh (3-5, 1-2)
Is everyone 1-2 in this conference? What the hell...

Of all the programs battling for the basement of the Big East, these two should be among the least likely. Perhaps that's why the losing coach of this game may find their butts on an extremely hot plate come Monday. If you think Syracuse hasn't lived up to expectations, you don't know Dave Wannstedt.

Granted, Pittsburgh isn't that far off from being 5-3, with an Oregon-esque fumble at the one last week against Louisville and a failed fourth down conversion against Navy in double overtime. But Herm Edwards has a saying, and I think you know it. Injuries have plagued the Panthers this season but it can't mask the fact that they are likely heading towards their third straight losing season under Wanny, this after a Fiesta Bowl appearance.

For Syracuse, its the Doug Hogue show, or at least he's going to have the spotlight. Making his first start we'll get to see how much of Syracuse's running troubles have truly been the offensive line or if Curtis Brinkley just wasn't getting it done (my guess is the former, but we shall see). For Andrew Robinson and his receivers, its a chance to build on the success of their last game, something they've been unable to do.

Crowds in Pittsburgh have been Carrier Dome-esque (yes I know, second "esque" use of the day) so don't expect too much of a home field advantage. Pittsburgh may have been down the last few years but they've beaten the Orange two straight years. I don't think it will be as easy as they'd like but I think that streak may get extended another year.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 23, Syracuse 21

(Of course, I'm doing this so that Syracuse wins and my poor prediction remains there for all to see, causing me great shame but being oh so worth it)

Have a grand weekend, folks. I leave you with some of Pittsburgh's Greatest Football moments. Let's make some more this weekend.