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Big East Week 2 picks

9/4/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
After such a disastrous first week of predictions -- Pittsburgh winning? Rutgers in a shootout? Louisville scoring? -- I figured someone at ESPN would tap me on the shoulder and say, "That's enough." But apparently they want me to keep going, so I'll try my best to do better.

Oklahoma 35, Cincinnati 21: The Bearcats have enough offensive firepower and a strong enough defense to stick around for about three quarters. But I see Oklahoma's depth and size advantage wearing them down in the end.

West Virginia 31, East Carolina 24: The Mountaineers will be happy simply to escape Greenville with a victory, unlike Virginia Tech. They won't find nearly as many open passing lanes for Pat White this week, so Noel Devine will have to give them more in the running game after his mediocre Week 1 showing.

Connecticut 24, Temple 21: The Owls have been waiting for this game for 355 days, ever since Bruce Francis' touchdown-that-wasn't-a-touchdown cost them the upset in East Hartford. I'm tempted to pick Temple here at home on the revenge factor alone. But I think UConn will squeak by again, assuming Tyler Lorenzen rediscovers his mojo.

South Florida 34, Central Florida 14: The Bulls looked incredibly focused in their opener against Tennessee-Martin, while Central Florida posted an unimpressive 17-0 win over South Carolina State. South Florida easily makes it 4-for-4 in the I-4 War.

Pittsburgh 28, Buffalo 17: If Pittsburgh can pull this off, it can get right back into the MAC East Division race and hope Bowling Green loses somewhere along the way. But seriously, folks, this is a dangerous game for the reeling Panthers. Buffalo probably has its best team ever and trounced UTEP 42-17 last week. Pitt's offense better snap to life in a hurry.

Louisville 2, Tennessee Tech 0: I kid the Cardinals' offense. Of the many disheartening things about Louisville's Week 1 performance, the unimaginative play calling has to rank pretty high. This would be a good week to open things up. Make the real score something like 37-10.

Syracuse 17, Akron 16: Break out the champagne. Yes, I'm predicting (barely) the Orange will win a game for only the third time in their last 15 tries. If you can't beat a bottom-rung MAC team in your home opener ... well, let's not go there yet.

Last week's results: 5-3