First, let's go back to something I said yesterday: Pitt could win the Big East. A couple people called me out on that and said I was out of my mind...or something like that. Well, guess what? I'm not. Pitt has consistently been an underachiever. Anyone ready to argue that? Pitt has also been one of the top recruiting programs in the Big East year in and year out (according to Scouts.com). Matter of fact, they had one of the top recruiting classes in the country last year. But that hasn't translated into wins for the Panthers. 5-6 is unacceptable and I don't look for them to be that bad this year. A break here and there, they could go undefeated in the Big East. And, well, they could be a force for years to come. I don't think Wannstedt is a good enough coach to make that happen...but, it's possible.
Anyway, back to my picks. Number 3 is pretty obvious...it's that defensive juggernaut known as USF. For South Florida, it comes down to speed on both sides of the ball. The receivers will be awesome...but they really lack some consistency at quarterback. Pat Julmiste can't throw the ball with any accuracy...look for him to be replaced early is he doesn't show improvement. USF will run a spread offense to free up the running game (sound familiar?). But the loss of Andre Hall could gum things up for a bit while they break in some new legs.
Defensively, you know how awesome the Bulls were last year...look for more of the same. By far this should be the quickest defense in the Big East. Stephen Nicholas, Ben Moffitt, and Pat St. Louis will make one of the best linebacking corps in the nation. It's going to be very, very tough to get anything by the Bulls...
The Bulls could make a run for an undefeated season...out of conference, they're toughest play Central Florida, UNC and Kansas. UCF could possibly give them a test...maybe UNC. In conference, they're going to be a tough out. Definitely going to another bowl game this year...which isn't bad for a team that didn't even exist a couple years ago. Overall, I see 9-3; 5-2 in conference with losses to WVU and UL.