Thursday, November 8, 2007

Around the Conference Week 10

As the Big East gets ready to bow down to the Huskie overlords...remember way back to last year when the everyone was making fun of the ACC (not that this hasn't happened again this year) and their "champions" Wake Forest. The commentators had to make excuses such as the team being gritty or senior laden and hard fighting. But everyone that watched them knew that they were just a good football team that got some really good breaks in an average football conference and not by any means a great team. Welcome to the discussion UConn 2007. A single WVU loss in the next two weeks would basically wrap up a BCS birth before the November 24th game in Morgantown. On to the rest of the Big East this week.

Rutgers vs. Army--Friday night lights in West Point, NY as Rutgers has made a Notre Dame like jaunt through the service academies this year. All they were missing was Air Force, the Coast Guard, and the merchant marines. Rutgers has fallen to 5-4 after getting blown out in the first quarter against WVU and then losing to UConn by 19 last week. Rutgers had 511 total yards in that game and ran 51 plays in the first half compared to 19 for UConn and still trailed 25-16 at the break. Army is 3-6 with wins over Rhode Island, Temple, and Tulane. The Black Knights are 117th in total offense and 115th in scoring offense. Defensively Army ranks 81st in total defense with the rushing defense being the main culprit giving up 213 yards per game on the ground. Ray Rice may run the ball 50 times in the first half.

UConn vs. Cincy--The last chance for the Huskies to lose before Morgantown is this weekend. UConn has Cincy, Syracuse, and WVU in the way of a BCS bowl game after three straight wins over Louisville, USF, and Rutgers. How many people would have bet that at the beginning of the year? Last week against Rutgers the Huskies rushed for 256 yards with Donald Brown leading the way. However, the Huskies have relied on two aspects of the game all year; turnover margin and defense. UConn has the 4th best turnover margin in the country at +1.44 per game. Defensively the Huskies are 4th in the nation in scoring defense allowing only 13.7 points per game. Cincy has been up and down the last few weeks. The Bearcats beat Rutgers then lost to Louisville and Pitt before beating USF last week. Cincy is actually better in the turnover department than UConn and is a +1.67 which is good for 3rd best in the nation. The Scoring defense allows 17.9 points per game. Offensively the Bearcats are a little better than UConn, but these teams are extremely close in both talent and style of play. However, UConn has gotten some breaks where Cincy hasn't, at least thus far.

Syracuse vs. USF--USF is in the predictable setting (this year at least for Big East teams) of having a season on the brink and Syracuse on the schedule. So far WVU, Louisville, and Rutgers have all played this game with only Louisville failing. USF is officially in a tailspin at this point in the season with 3 straight losses in conference. In those three games the Bulls have given up 90 points after holding all opponents under 24 for the first 6 games of the season. Syracuse is still bad. 114th in total offense. 108th in total defense. 2 wins.

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