Who in the Big East needs some luck of the Irish?

March, 17, 2009
3/17/09
12:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

I've never really understood the phrase "luck of the Irish." The Irish people I know aren't especially lucky, and the one time I found a four-leaf clover as a kid, nothing magical happened.

I'm also not a big believer in luck in college football. I firmly believe you create your own luck by taking advantage of opportunities or minimizing mistakes.

Still, there are several players and/or teams that could use a fortunate bounce here or timely break there in 2009. Since it is St. Paddy's Day after all, let's call it the luck of the Irish (but not Notre Dame; that's a sensitive topic for most Big East fans).

Cincinnati's quarterbacks: It seemed like gremlins, not leprechauns, were after the Bearcats' signal callers in 2008. Three of them got hurt, and Ben Mauk had his appeal for an extra year denied. Cincinnati is due for a year of health from Tony Pike at the position.

Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville: Kragthorpe thought he was inheriting a pot of gold when he took the Louisville job in 2007. Instead, it's been more like a bowl of soggy Lucky Charms. You can argue over just how much he's responsible for the downgrade of the program, but there's no debating that he could use some luck this year with an undermanned team and a disgruntled fan base. Some luck in the health department for receiver Scott Long could help a lot, too.

Matt Grothe, South Florida: Again, you make your own luck, and clearly Grothe has been guilty of forcing passes into places he shouldn't have ventured. But if you watched closely last year, you saw that Grothe had several passes tipped or batted in the air for interceptions. He could benefit from some luck there, as well as some help in the running game for a change.

Syracuse: The Orange haven't been victims of bad luck lately as much as they have suffered from a lack of talent and coaching. Still, the team needs a few breaks this year to get the Doug Marrone era off to a good start, especially with a schedule that sees them opening with Minnesota, Penn State and Northwestern.

Adam Gunn, Pittsburgh: The senior linebacker broke his neck in the first half of the season opener on a freak helmet-to-helmet collision with teammate Scott McKillop. Now that's bad luck. After being granted a sixth year of eligibility, Gunn deserves a much better fate in 2009.

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