Cincinnati-South Florida: Thursday Night Losses Keep Coming for Ranked Teams

Jason FunkContributor IOctober 31, 2008

Thursday night in college football has been an absolute slaughterhouse for ranked teams. On six different occurrences a ranked team has fallen to an unranked opponent on Thursday night this season. The only team seemingly immune to this Thursday night "plague" is Wake Forest, who has twice won on Thursday night as a ranked team.

Cincinnati defeated the No. 23-ranked South Florida Bulls on Thursday night, making USF a Thursday night victim for a second time this season.

The Bearcats came into the game with a 5-2 record and looking for a home upset, as well as trying to knock off a contender in a weak Big East conference. Quarterback Tony Pike stepped up to the challenge. Throwing 20-28 for 281 yards and two TDs, he dominated opposing quarterback Matt Grothe.

Grothe, who had a phenomenal season last year and received some Heisman talk, cracked under the pressure versus the Bearcats. Grothe threw for only 174 yards on 13-31 passing while throwing three picks, as opposed to Pike's one interception.

With that performance, USF is out of the Big East picture barring a miracle with a 1-3 conference mark.

Cincinnati, on the other hand, helped their cause by beating the Bulls, who in some preseason publications were picked to win the Big East. The Bearcats are sitting in the third slot in the Big East behind West Virginia (2-0 in Big East play) and Connecticut (2-1 in Big East play).

Next Saturday, Cincinnati will travel to Morgantown to take on the Mountaineers. The winner of that game could very well come out on top in the conference.

Cincinnati solidified itself as a legitimate contender by dominating the Bulls. The rushing tandem of John Goebel and Jacob Ramsey is running well. They teamed up for 121 yards on 32 carries and a TD.

Pike is a big threat as a passer that opposing defenses will have to watch out for. The defense also looked spectacular, allowing just 10 points to a USF team that was averaging 33.5 points/game prior to the game.

In a wide-open Big East, Cincinnati has a great chance to snatch the championship, only needing a little help.