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Thursday, November 6, 2008
Big East Week 11 picks


Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Thank God for West Virginia.

No, I'm not trying to write a John Denver song. I'm thankful that the Mountaineers have won the last two weeks, because they are the only team I've picked correctly in that span. I am 0-6 in games not involving West Virginia.

Sheesh. The Big East is hard to handicap, but that's flat-out awful. But I've been hitting the weight room, watching more film and working on my fundamentals (read: eating, napping and going to the movies). It's 3-0 or bust this week.

West Virginia 30, Cincinnati 23: No way I'm abandoning the 'Eers after they kept me from putting up a goose egg the past two weeks. Plus, West Virginia is on a little roll now and has the game at home. Cincinnati's offense will test the Mountaineers back five and will likely break the defense's second-half shutout streak. But in the end, Pat White will do what he does best: win big games.

Pittsburgh 24, Louisville 21: I'd feel better picking the Panthers if they were on the road, as shaky as they have looked at Heinz Field this season. But after Curtis Brinkley and Syracuse plowed through Louisville's defense on the ground, LeSean McCoy must be twiddling his fingers together like Mr. Burns and thinking, "Excellent." Getting Bill Stull back at quarterback should boost the offense. Pitt wins in a squeaker, because that's the only way it knows how to win.

Rutgers 23, Syracuse 14: This game is suddenly far more interesting than it looked a couple of weeks ago, when most thought it would be a battle for somebody's second win. Syracuse is coming off a confidence-boosting upset of Louisville and has a legitimate running game. Rutgers has won two in a row and remains alive for a bowl bid. I say the Scarlet Knights continue their momentum even after the bye week. Unless quarterback Mike Teel's Pittsburgh performance was a one-week wonder, as a certain Syracuse coach might put it, he and Kenny Britt should pick on a suspect Orange secondary.

Last week: 1-3

Season results: 31-20 (60.8 percent)