Some big happenings here at the weekly Big East football preview. Behind Door #1*, we have Notre Dame. The Irish are not a Big East football member, but they steal Big East bowl tie-ins on occasion and some readers (yes, we have them) requested ND trash talk fodder. My suggestion to said requestors to acquire new in-laws was rebuffed.
*Of course, it's manned (literally) by a pasty, homely ND cheerleader
Behind Door #2, we have a Big East face-planting of epic proportions. Let's examine last week's carnage:
- The Wannstache did Wannstache things
- Denard Robinson happened to a shell-shocked UConn team
- Cincinnati nearly gave up as many second half sacks as total sacks from 2009
- UL couldn't stop Kentucky in the first quarter and then couldn't fight their way back into the game
Where does that leave us for Week 2? Not surprisingly, the cavalcade of cupcakes continues. In place of writing about the games, let's play the Cupcake Mix N Match Challenge!! Match the cupcake university to its nickname. Answers are at the bottom of the article.
1. Indiana St a. Colonels
2. Texas Southern b. Golden Panthers
3. New Hampshire c. Sycamores
4. Eastern Kentucky d. Tigers
5. Florida International e. Wildcats
After the jump and after the cupcake course is digested, we are left with 4 games worthy of quasi-analysis.
West Virginia (-12) @ Marshall 6 pm ESPN
Prediction: West Virginia 30 Marshall 13
The Mountaineers invade Joan Edwards Stadium for the now annual intrastate rivalry. Marshall has established a pattern of starting strong and fading late in this series. Expect that to continue tonight. Emotion and the crowd will help keep the Herd in the game early, but the superior talent of West Virginia will prevail in the second half with Noel Devine rushing for two scores. This isn't the Marshall of Randy Moss / Chad Pennington / Byron Leftwich.
Saturday's Fun Games
South Florida (+16) @ Florida 11:20 WMLW
Prediction: Florida 24 South Florida 13
Florida looked like dog crap last week against Miami (OH). The Gators amassed a stunning 26 yards through three quarters before busting it open in the fourth. The Gators defense was not slumping, picking off four passes, returning one for a TD. USF played Stony Brook, robbing anyone of a chance to glean anything of importance from their opener. The Bulls will put a bit of a scare into the Gators early on, but the Florida defense will dominate and come away with the win.
Michigan (+3.5) @ Notre Dame 2:30 NBC
Prediction: Michigan 31 Notre Dame 23
Thank you Penn St, Alabama, Miami and Ohio St for scheduling huge games this week. Otherwise, the innocent public would have been subjected to 5 days of merciless hype for this game pitting unranked teams. Michigan looked good last week, really good. Denard Robinson appears to be the real deal, but he faces a tough test heading to South Bend. The Irish defense looked better than the Weis vintage defenses of yore, holding Purdue to 12 points. The issue for the Irish is that Purdue just isn't that good. Robert Marve is going to belly-flop this year, just like he did as a Hurricane. ND's offense wasn't all that impressive with just three plays over 20 yards and a knack for settling for field goals. As was the case last week, Michigan's glaring secondary weakness won't be sufficiently exploited by the Irish QB Dayne Crist and the Wolverines will pull out the win.
Syracuse (+13) @ Washington 6:00 FSN
Prediction: Washington 34 Syracuse 20
This would have been a highly anticipated game in the 90s. Then, Grg Robinson and Ty Willingham happened and both storied programs took a dive. The Orange were solid in Week 1, picking up a road win at Akron. Unfortunately, they have to travel across the country to face an angry pack of Huskies, led by Jake Locker. The Cuse will struggle and this one could get ugly in the second half.
Indiana St @ Cincinnati 11:00 FSN
Texas Southern @ UConn 11:00 ESPN3
New Hampshire @ Pitt 12:00 ESPN3
Eastern Kentucky @ Louisville 2:30 ESPN3
Saturday's Zoloft Special
Rutgers (-17.5) @ Florida International 7:00 ESPN3
Prediction: Rutgers 38 FIU 14
So begins the FIU Death March. After hosting Rutgers, FIU goes on the road to collect some checks at Texas A&M, at Maryland and at Pittsburgh in consecutive weeks. This game qualifies as the most depressing game of the week because it is played here. Nothing like playing at the absolute nadir of college football existence. Rutgers slept through their win against Norfolk St last week and may do so again this week. Regardless, Rutgers will come away with the win and no one will watch.
Last week's results: 2-1 straight up, 2-1 ATS
Nickname answers: 1c 2d 3e 4a 5b