(7-4, 7-4 ATS)
South Florida Bulls
(7-4, 5-6 ATS)
One game separates the Connecticut Huskies from their first trip to the BCS in their school’s history, but if HC Randy Edsall and company want to go to either the Fiesta Bowl or the Orange Bowl, they need to take out the South Florida Bulls or get a heck of a lot of help on Saturday afternoon.
UConn could already have the Big East wrapped up at this point before it kicks off on Saturday, but it would require both the West Virginia Mountaineers (who are three TD favorites) and the Pittsburgh Panthers losing. Anything less than that, and this is a must win game for the Huskies to win the conference for the first time in team history. QB Zach Frazer has only thrown for five TD passes this year, and his 1,090 yards through the air aren’t really scaring anyone. Instead, RB Jordan Todman is being run into the ground, as he already has 269 carries and 17 receptions on the year. Todman has rumbled for 1,481 yards and 14 scores, and it is clear that he is the only hope that the Huskies have for getting to the BCS on offense. The little man from Massachusetts has rushed for at least 130 yards in four straight games and has rushed at least 27 times in all four. Edsall’s defense has only allowed 20.2 points per game this year and is one of the best units in the Big East. UConn has won and covered four straight since getting blanked on the road by the Louisville Cardinals 26-0 back on October 23rd.
South Florida could theoretically tie for the Big East title this year, but that’s not what it first and foremost on the mind of HC Skip Holtz and company. Holtz really wants to make the Bulls the second choice out of the Big East for a bowl game this year, and there’s a good chance that happens with a win on Saturday. If not, there’s a good chance that USF drops to No. 5 or No. 6 on the totem pole for bowl selections. The Bulls are coming off of one of their biggest victories in school history, a 23-20 OT ‘W’ over the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium last week, but they are still kicking themselves for losing at home to the Pitt Panthers, or this would have been the de facto Big East Championship Game. There really aren’t any flashes stars on this team. WR Dontavia Bogan has 600 yards on 39 catches, both of which are easily team highs, while RB Moise Plancher has just 684 yards on 147 carries. QB BJ Daniels has been a royal disappointment in his sophomore season, as he only has 1,496 yards and nine scores against 12 picks to go with four scores using his legs. Again, defense is the key for USF. If this team allows more than 20 points, it is in a boatload of trouble in this one.
This is never the prettiest game in the world, but the home team has won all six meetings since 2001 and has gone 4-1-1 ATS in that stretch as well. The Huskies will have their chance, but they’re going to blow it, causing the BCS to take the Mountaineers instead.
College Football Free Pick: South Florida Bulls -1