Big East Picks: Friday Knights Lights
"I think that should be an every year game," Schiano said.
Of course he does. He also probably wouldn't mind developing annual series with the likes of Texas Southern, Howard, Morgan State, Norfolk State, Buffalo and Florida International - all schools that the Scarlet Knights have pummeled the past three seasons.
Since 2007 against the above powerhouses -- and Army -- Rutgers is 8-0. Against the rest of their schedule, the Scarlet Knights are only 12-12. I guess you could say the difference in Rutgers' success has been like (Scarlet) Knight and day.
Tonight the Scarlet Knights are seeking their sixth consecutive victory against Army. Rutgers has seal clubbed the Cadets in each of the past two seasons (30-3 in 2008 and 41-6 in 2007).
Say good night to the Black Knights as the Scarlet Knights cover the 10.
South Florida at Pittsburgh: These schools and their cities have a lot in common. They each share a stadium with another team that plays on Sundays. Each city also has a Major League Baseball team (Rays, Pirates) and an NHL franchise (Lightning, Penguins). The major difference is Pittsburgh has an NFL franchise with the Steelers, while Tampa has the, uh, winless Yucs. Pitt RB Dion Lewis needs only 82 yards to become the fourth Pitt freshman to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. If he was facing the Bucs, he probably would get his yards before the second quarter. Against USF, he won't reach the mark until sometime in the second half. The road team has won the last two meetings, but not this year as the Panthers cover the 6-1/2.
Louisville at Cincinnati: It turns out last week's game officials erred by allowing Louisville to attempt an extra point at UConn after scoring a touchdown on the game's final play. The Cardinals, who ironically were either a 12-1/2 to 13-point underdog, pulled within 38-25 on the TD. NCAA rule 8-3-2a states if no time remains, a PAT shall not be allowed unless it can tie or win the game. UL, though, was allowed to attempt an extra point and kicker Ryan Payne promptly missed - his second missed PAT of the afternoon. Payne, by the way, is the only barefoot kicker in the FBS. Now we know why. This game is for the Keg of Nails, so feel free to insert your own "keg of nails in Kragthorpe's coffin" joke. The Cards lose, but stay within the 18 points.
Akron at Syracuse: A victory will give Syracuse three wins and equal the Orange's victory total from last season. Quite an achievement, but let's hope athletic director Daryl Gross reacts differently than a former Major League Baseball owner after his club posted what he also thought was a "significant" victory. A few years ago near the end of the season an American League team won its 63rd game, guaranteeing the club wouldn't lose 100 games. The giddy owner promptly walked into the manager's office. "I always congratulate my manager when they win their 63rd game," said the owner as he shook the dumbfounded manager's hand. Ah, what the heck, congratulations and handshakes all around for the Orange, who match last year's win total by avenging last year's 42-28 loss to the Zips and also cover the 10 in the process.
UConn at West Virginia: How do the Huskies respond following the murder of teammate Jasper Howard? How will the Mountaineers fare if starting QB Jarrett Brown can't play? How do you pick this game? Flip a coin, I guess. Heads, I'll take WVU to cover the 7 against an emotional UConn club.
Last Week: 3-1 (straight up); 2-1-1 (against the spread)
Season: 34-7 (83.0 percent) (straight up); 12-18-1 (40.0 percent) (against the spread)