Big East picks, Week 5

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Just four games this week, so my margin for error is small. I'm picking right at about an 80 percent rate, but I missed the two most important games last week -- South Florida's upset of Florida State and NC State's win over Pitt. I'm hoping for better things this week.


  • West Virginia 38, Colorado 16: The Buffaloes shut out Wyoming in their last game. West Virginia is no Wyoming. This will be more like the Toledo blowout for Colorado, which showed no ability to stop big passing plays. The Mountaineers have spent nearly two weeks steaming over their loss to Auburn, and I expect Jarrett Brown to be a little more careful with the ball while still creating huge gains downfield. Noel Devine should outrush Colorado by himself. The Buffs simply don't have enough.


  • Pittsburgh 28, Louisville 21: Pitt was burned last week by Russell Wilson's scrambling ability. Justin Burke is more athletic than he looks, but he's nowhere near as fast as Wilson. The Cardinals should be able to make some hay in the passing game, as bad as Pitt's secondary has been. However, the Panthers' defensive line should get pressure on Burke, and Dion Lewis and the running game should find success against a defense that couldn't contain Utah's backup tailback last week. Bill Stull will have plenty of time against a Louisville pass rush that's last in the Big East in sacks. This one will be close, but Pitt pulls it out late.


  • South Florida 24, Syracuse 21: Talk about your trap games. A week after the biggest win in school history and the game before No. 10 Cincinnati comes to Tampa, the Bulls have to go to much-improved Syracuse. If South Florida thinks the Orange are the same pushover they were the past several years, they'll get stung. That's why I think this will be a tight game that might come down to the wire. The Bulls' defense should be strong enough to contain Greg Paulus, who hasn't yet seen this kind of relentless pressure. South Florida survives to go to 5-0.

  • Cincinnati 52, Miami 10: The RedHawks have been brutally bad in defending the pass, so how in the world are they going to slow down Cincinnati's juggernaut offense? They won't. There's no reason to even put the Victory Bell on the bus. The Bearcats win this one going away and get to rest their starters for the majority of the second half.

Last week: 5-2

Season results: 23-6 (79.3 percent)