Big East predictions: Week 13

Because of Thanksgiving, we are moving our usual Thursday coverage up one day. So you get your picks early.

I got cute last week with my picks, and it backfired on me as I went 2-2. Tuna did, too, missing Syracuse and Rutgers.

AA season record: 43-17.


Syracuse at Temple, 11 a.m., ESPN2/WatchESPN. So what does Montel Harris do for an encore? It is going to be hard for Harris to run for another 351 yards against Syracuse, which has made strides in run defense. Clinton Granger played well at quarterback for the Owls as well, but that game against Army last week was just a reprieve. Temple has lost four straight Big East games by an average score of 43-14. Syracuse has won four of its past five games and could get another huge game from receiver Alec Lemon against a very shaky Temple secondary. Syracuse 37, Temple 21.

Matt's pick: Syracuse 28, Temple 13.

USF at Cincinnati, ESPN/WatchESPN, 7 p.m. When the Big East released its schedule, this one looked like it would have Big East race ramifications. Now it is just another game. The Bearcats are bowl eligible but out of the BCS hunt; USF is simply down and out. It is hard to say just how much success USF will have on offense with Matt Floyd, given what we saw last week against Miami, one of the worst defenses in the nation. The Bearcats could take advantage of a weak USF secondary and open up its pass game a little more. Cincinnati 30, USF 10.

Matt's pick: Cincinnati 35, USF 7.


UConn at No. 20 Louisville, noon, Big East Network/ESPN3. Both teams enter this game off a bye -- UConn beat Pitt the last time out, and Louisville lost to Syracuse. The Cardinals must win to keep their Big East and BCS hopes alive and are going to have to play better defense after their performance against the Orange. That may not be too difficult in this game, considering UConn barely plays any offense and has not scored a fourth-quarter point in six straight games. Louisville 31, UConn 14.

Matt's pick: Louisville 28, UConn 6

No. 18 Rutgers at Pitt, noon, ESPN2/WatchESPN. Believe it or not, Pitt is a slight favorite. It must be the home-field advantage. Hey, stop laughing out there. Pitt comes into this game off a bye following a loss to UConn, while Rutgers had a very strong win over Cincinnati. Rutgers needs to win to clinch at least a share of its first Big East title. The last time the Scarlet Knights were in that situation, they lost to UConn last year. I don't think history repeats itself. Rutgers is too strong on defense to lose this game. Rutgers 24, Pitt 13.

Matt's pick: Rutgers 20, Pitt 14.