Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
I didn't do as well as the Big East did when the competition increased. I went 5-3 last week, though I did correctly predict Cincinnati to win as an underdog and called the Syracuse game as a thriller -- just with the wrong outcome. Enough justifying. Let's get to this week's picks.
Florida State 35, South Florida 20: You'd have to have a lot of gumption to pick the Bulls on the road, starting a new quarterback, against a Seminoles team that looked so impressive last week at BYU. Talent for talent, this isn't that big of a mismatch. But given South Florida's incredibly weak schedule to this point and B.J. Daniels' inexperience, I think this is the only reasonable outcome.
Pittsburgh 24, NC State 14: I know Russell Wilson is good, but he's not good enough to lead an average-at-best offense to a breakout game against Pitt's defense. This will be a down-and-dirty, physical game, which suits Pitt just fine.
Rutgers 19, Maryland 16: Two struggling teams looking for answers. This one won't win any beauty contests. I've just got to believe that Rutgers, with or without Tom Savage, is good enough to beat the Terrapins, who might not win an FCS conference at this point.
Utah 28, Louisville 16: Fun fact: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and Louisville's Steve Kragthorpe each grew up around the BYU program when their dads were coaches there at the same time. Not so fun fact for the Cardinals: The Utes are mad after seeing their 16-game winning streak snapped last week, and they'll be whipped into a frenzy for this home game.
Cincinnati 48, Fresno State 27: Running back Ryan Mathews will cause problems for the Cincinnati defense. But I didn't see a lot of great defense from Fresno State last week when it played Boise State. That's not good news for the Bulldogs against Tony Pike and the Bearcats' buzz saw of an offense.
Syracuse 35, Maine 14: Lo and behold, we have spotted that rarest of species: A Syracuse winning streak!
Connecticut 38, Rhode Island 10: This should give the Huskies a good chance to work on their passing game.
Last week: 5-3
Season results: 18-4 (.818)