The "No One Asked Me" Big East Preseason Predictions

UPDATE: I changed the UConn/Michigan game to a win for the Huskies after reading this post from EDSBS. Team chaos + embattled coach + first game + fans demanding a statement win = trouble.

In advance of the official Big East media predictions being announced today in Newport, I thought I'd add my totally unofficial and completely unsolicited picks to the pile. (These are my own predictions and not those of the site, although I think our consensus picks would not be too far off from these.)

Rather than just take stabs in the dark, I actually tried to predict each game and then added it all up at the end. Of course this could go hilariously wrong since we know nothing about injuries, or new players, or the usual shitty weather that happens everywhere except Tampa in November and December. But why not take a shot at a full-on season prediction, right? I don't mind being wrong. It's happened before. A lot.

Here we go. Comments ranging from insightful to pithy are included.

1. Pittsburgh (10-2, 7-0) - I know, it's Wannstache and he's proven time and time again that he knows how to screw up a good thing. The thing is, though, they have easily the most talent in the league, they get their biggest (maybe only) challenger at home, and there are too many built-in advantages this year for him to bring them down. They won't be national title contenders because of a grueling non-conference schedule - they host Miami and travel to Notre Dame and Utah - but they should be applauded for having the guts to schedule that stiff competition. Especially compared to some people in this league *coughcoughRutgers*.

2. West Virginia (10-2, 6-1) - The Backyard Brawl should settle the conference. Actually I think the Mountaineers will hang around the fringes of the national title conversation longer than the Panthers will because they have an easier schedule, and they should go most of the season with only one loss. But ultimately they'll fall a little short. And their offense is a giant question mark, other than Noel Devine. And Bill Stewart is still their coach.

3. Cincinnati (9-3, 5-2) - I'm wondering about how this program will turn out in the long term, but I don't expect a serious dropoff out of them yet. Unlike this guy. Probably another year of having to win games 45-31, but ask our fans or UConn fans about Zach Collaros if you don't think he's any good.

4. USF (7-5, 4-3) - It was really easy to peg our own schedule. Four of the five toughest games are on the road, and while I flirted with a Bulls upset of Pittsburgh as a kind of signature win for Holtz's first year, I just couldn't pull the trigger. Less talent than we've been used to seeing, but it should be better coached, so I went with the same record as last year. We will have our rightful status as "trendy team in the Big East" back within two years. You're on notice, UConn.

5. Rutgers (7-5, 3-4) - Whatever. Just killing time until Paterno retires. At least that's what I keep telling myself since it seems like Schiano is content to win 8-9 games a year indefinitely. Also he showed up to the Big East media days in a goddamn helicopter.

6. Connecticut (7-5, 2-5) - I must be missing something with the Huskies. Everyone swears they're going to be really good (Scott Carter actually picked them to win the league) and it's Edsall's best team yet and blah blah blah. But every year I just see a team that's coached up well but still lives on the edge every week because they don't have enough sheer talent to get it done any other way. I just can't get behind a team that depends on winning close games, because I'm not sure that counts as a skill. If I'm way, way off on one of my picks, though, it's probably going to be this one.

7. Syracuse (5-7, 1-6) - Better, more competitive team, but it probably won't show up in the results. This prediction could also go south if Doug Marrone runs off so many players that they end up going the Texas State Fighting Armadillos route. Popski, send it in!

8. Louisville (4-8, 0-7) - I actually fear this team in the long term. Charlie Strong won't have any trouble getting talent in and we know the community will support the program if they get it going again. Fortunately, they have a long, long way to go. Although I do think they'll knock off Kentucky to start the year, which is a big priority for the Cards.

Bowl Projections: Pittsburgh - BCS; West Virginia - Champs; Cincinnati - Meineke; USF - Papajohns.com/Liberty; Rutgers - Yankee (this is the lead-pipe lock of bowl season); UConn - Beef 'O' Brady's

I show my work after the jump. I substituted the name of one (non-conference) team for a more accurate description, which you should be able to figure out fairly easily.

Cincinnati
W - Fresno State
W - Indiana State
W - NC State
L - Oklahoma
W - Miami-OH
W - Louisville
W - USF
W - Syracuse
L - West Virginia
W - Rutgers
W - Connecticut
L - Pittsburgh

Connecticut

W - Michigan

W - Texas Southern

W - Temple

W - Buffalo

W - Vanderbilt

L - Rutgers

W - Louisville

L - West Virginia

L - Pittsburgh

W - Syracuse

L - Cincinnati

L - USF

 

Louisville

W - Kentucky

W - Eastern Kentucky

L - Oregon State

W - Arkansas State

W - Memphis

L - Cincinnati

L - Connecticut

L - Pittsburgh

L - Syracuse

L - USF

L - West Virginia

L - Rutgers

 

Pittsburgh

L - Utah

W - New Hampshire

W - Miami

W - SCUMBAGS

L - Notre Dame

W - Syracuse

W - Rutgers

W - Louisville

W - Connecticut

W - USF

W - West Virginia

W - Cincinnati

 

Rutgers

W - Norfolk State

W - SCUMBAGS

L - North Carolina

W - Tulane

W - Connecticut

W - Army

L - Pittsburgh

L - USF

W - Syracuse

L - Cincinnati

W - Louisville

L - West Virginia

 

South Florida

W - Stony Brook

L - Florida

W - Western Kentucky

W - Florida Atlantic

W - Syracuse

L - West Virginia

L - Cincinnati

W - Rutgers

W - Louisville

L - Pittsburgh

L - Miami

W - Connecticut

 

Syracuse

W - Akron

L - Washington

W - Maine

W - Colgate

L - USF

L - Pittsburgh

L - West Virginia

L - Cincinnati

W - Louisville

L - Rutgers

L - Connecticut

W - Boston College

 

West Virginia

W - Coastal Carolina

W - Marshall

W - Maryland

L - LSU

W - UNLV

W - USF

W - Syracuse

W - Connecticut

W - Cincinnati

W - Louisville

L - Pittsburgh

W - Rutgers

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