Big East Predictions

Josh RosenbergCorrespondent IAugust 28, 2008

WARNING: Before you read this article the following people should be prepared to be shocked and taken aback.   West Virginia and South Florida fans, you might not want to consider reading this because it basically defies all that you've heard predicted this year and some of you will go into a state of denial after reading this and even more so when it happens.

West Virginia and South Florida won't and I mean WON'T be the top two teams in the Big East. In fact South Florida is going to pull a Rutgers and West Virginia is going to pull a Louisville.

Now Mountaineers and Bulls faithful, before you start writing your “You are an idiot” and "You are doing crack!" messages let me explain why I think this.

South Florida pulls a Rutgers:

It's the preseason after USF had upsetting wins and had their breakout year.  Rutgersin 2006 had a South Florida-esque year.  USF is ranked in the pre season top 25 unanimously.  Rutgerswas in pre 2007.  They return Junior quarterback Matt Grothe.  In 2007 Rutgersreturned Junior QB Mike Teel.  They also return running back Mike Ford.  Rutgers returned Ray Rice in 2007. USF lost corner back Mike Jenkins.  Rutgerslost a cornerback too after 06.  They return all their wide receivers.  USF returns six starters on defense while Rutgersdid the same thing in 2007.  USF lost All Big East MLB Ben Moffit.  Rutgerslost all Big East MLB Devraun Thompson after the 2006 season, and both were not drafted into the NFL.  USF also returns sack leader defensive lineman George Selvie.  Rutgers returned defensive lineman Eric Foster in 2007.  These two teams both suffered losses after they were ranked in the top 10 to a non ranked team.  This means South Florida will go 7-5.

West Virginia pulls a Louisville:

West Virginia is most definitely like the 2007 Louisville football team.  They return their senior quarterback Pat White, a Heisman candidate, but don’t return their starting running back, who left early left early to go to the NFL.  In 2007 Louisvillereturned senior quarterback Brian Brohm who was a Heisman candidate too, but lost running back Michael Bush to the NFL.  West Virginia has a new head coach, Bill Stewart after Rich Rodriguez bolted for Michigan.  Steve Kragthorpe took over as head coach of Louisville in 2007 after Bobby Petrino bolted for the Atlanta Falcons.  West Virginialost their top wide receiver Darius Reynaud.  Louisville lost top wide receiver Harry Douglas after the 2006 season.  Linebacker Reed Williams is supposed to be the star of the West Virginia defense this year.  Linebacker Malik Jackson was the star of Louisville defense in the 2007 preseason.  West Virginia returns only four starters on defense this year.  Louisville returned five in 2007.  All in all, this should mean that West Virginia will go 6-6 this year.

Now some of you might have read my article Why South Florida Won’t Be Better Than West Virginia This Year.  This article seems like it disagrees with what I wrote their but I will explain to you why it doesn’t.  That article shows the two teams side by side.  If they went head to head, I said that the West Virginia offense is definitely better.  The defense of South Florida will be better than West Virginia’s defense but Pat White Should be able to put up enough points and lead them to a comeback victory by 3.  That was exactly what Louisville did last year to Rutgers.  This is the regular season finale for both teams, and many predict that it will be for the Big East title.  This is just like how last year Rutgers played Louisville in the regular season finale which many thought would be for the Big East title.  It turned out to be a battle of Heisman used-to-be’s and teams that were both supposed to be BCS bowl contenders and one wouldn’t even make a bowl game.  Brian Brohm orchestrated a come from behind win and Louisville beat Rutgers 41-38.  They didn’t even make a bowl last year.  With the addition of the St. Petersburg Bowl, this year West Virginia will make one even when they go 6-6.

USF and WVU slipping will move up all the other teams in the Big East.  So with that out of the way, let me give you my Big East predictions even though it is the day that college football is starting already.  Sorry that they are late.

1.                  Rutgers            BCS Bowl

2.                  Pittsburgh         Gator Bowl

3.                  Cincinnati          Meineke Car Care Bowl

4.                  UConn               PapaJohn’ Bowl

5.                  South Florida     St. Petersburg Bowl

6.                  West Virginia     International Bowl

7.                  Louisville          NO Bowl!

8.                  Syracuse           No Bowl!