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Thursday, December 3, 2009
Non-AQ picks, Week 14

By Graham Watson

Not many picks this week since most teams have completed their seasons, but there is the Mid-American Conference championship game and the Conference USA championship game, which both should be great matchups. Also, there are two WAC games that have bowl implications. A busy weekend as we head to bowl season.

Central Michigan 33, Ohio 28: Ohio had a tough road to get to the MAC championship game and that’s going to catch up with the Bobcats against a potent Central Michigan team that hasn’t had any trouble with any of the MAC foes it’s faced this year. This is quarterback Dan LeFevour’s final MAC game and he’ll want to make it count. Ohio's a little banged up, including quarterback Theo Scott, who has been tremendous in the past couple of games.

Houston 41, East Carolina 38: This is a tough test for Houston. East Carolina played in this game last season, has a ton of seniors and is playing at home. However, the Cougars have played in tough road games before and excelled. They get up for these types of games. East Carolina hasn’t seen a team as offensively potent as Houston, but the Cougars don’t play much defense, which will likely make this one a shootout.

Illinois 34, Fresno State 24: Fresno State has lost to the two automatic qualifying teams it has played this season, but this game is about more than bragging rights. The Bulldogs need to win this game to be one of the most attractive teams in the at-large pool should Hawaii win its game. Fresno State is definitely fighting the other teams in its conference as well as the rest of the country for a bowl berth.

Wisconsin 28, Hawaii 12: Hawaii has been on a tremendous run to put itself back in bowl contention. It needs one more win to earn its automatic bid to the Hawaii Bowl to face former coach June Jones and SMU. But it won’t be easy. Wisconsin hasn’t lost a nonconference game this season, but it also doesn’t need this win to secure a bowl. Hawaii will have to play its best, but could catch the Badgers napping.