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NCAA College Football 2010-11 Week 14 Picks

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Fearless Rick's 2010-11 College Football Week 14 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | December 2-4, 2010

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, Dec. 2

Arizona State at Arizona (-6, 54 1/2), 8:00 pm - While this may look like a mismatch to many, the Sun Devils are actually not a bad football team despite their 5-6 record. Remember, they came within a whisker of knocking off Wisconsin back in September, losing that road game on a missed extra point, 20-19. They also lost at Oregon State by three, at USC by one and played Stanford to a standstill, losing 17-13.

Arizona State actually scores more points per game than Arizona (32.5-29.8), though the Wildcats have the edge on defense, 20.8-24.6. With QB Nick Foles still hobbling around on a bad knee, the Arizona offense may find the going a bit rough against their in-state rival.

These games are generally close. Arizona won last year's meeting by a 20-17 score. ATS Arizona State is 4-1-1 in their last six, while the Wildcats are 2-6 in their last 8, and have lost three straight straight up.

Prediction: Sun Devils 26 Wildcats 20


Friday, Dec. 3

Miami (OH) at Northern Illinois (-17, 54), MAC Championship, 7:00 pm - In one of the greatest turn-arounds of all time, the RedHawks went from 1-11 a year ago to 8-4 (7-1 conf.) and playing for the conference championship. They've shown incredible resolve, winning their last four games, including a dominating 23-3 performance over Temple.

In Northern Illinois, however, the RedHawks will be facing one of the best teams in the country, and, judging by previous losses to Florida, Missouri, Cincinnati and Ohio, Miami is in for a beating of major proportions. All of those Miami losses were by 21 points or more and the Huskies have been pounding MAC opponents by huge scores all season. They went 8-0, winning most games by 25 points or more. Their last two wins - both on the road - were 59-21 over Ball State and 71-3 over Eastern Michigan. They've got it all going at the right time.

Prediction: Huskies 45 RedHawks 17

Saturday, Dec. 4

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (-2, 54 1/2), 12:00 pm - The Panthers were supposed to win the Big East this season, as Cincinnati was expected to have a down year after the departure of head coach Brian Kelly. Well, the Bearcats are in a down year, at 4-7 (2-5 in conference), but Pitt just never got it going and a loss here would make them 6-6.

The major disappointment - after Dion Lewis - would be the play of QB Tino Sunseri, whose stats (2318 yards, 15TDs, 7 INTs) look good on the surface, but he's been arratic and unable to produce big plays, especially on key thrid downs.

We have two teams going in reverse here, with Cincinnati losers of four of their last five and Pitt winning just once in their last three games. Pitt needs a win and losses by West Virginia and Connecticut to win the Big East. That's unlikely to happen, but the Panthers, if not completely demoralized, should be able to come away with a win, but that's far from certain.

Prediction: Panthers 24 Bearcats 21


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Rutgers at West Virginia (-20, 44 1/2), 12:00 pm - West Virginia needs to win here and have South Florida top UConn later in the evening to capture the Big East title. The way Rutgers has played the past few weeks, it appears that the Mountaineers should easily hold up their end of the bargain and await the results of what should be a close game down in Florida.

Rutgers has lost five straight, the last two being particularly miserable. They were demolished at Cincinnati, 69-38, and lost to Louisville, 40-13 last week. 8-3 West Virginia has held their last three opponents - Cincy, Louisville and Pitt - to 10 points each and their losses were by a total of just 14 points. They may be eyeing a BCS bowl at the end of the day.

Prediction: Mountaineers 35 Scarlet Knights 7


SMU at UCF (-9, 54), Conference-USA Championship, 12:00 pm - Get ready for a wild one, with the winner taking the Conference-USA crown and a likely trip to the the Liberty Bowl. June Jones redefined the art of offense in Hawaii and now has SMU poised for a championship based on his run-and-shoot style offense, but it's Central Florida that holds the edge in scoring, clicking for 35.2 per game versus 28.3 for the Mustangs.

9-3 UCF was a model of consistency, winning 7 of their last 8, all against conference foes, winning most by huge margins. Outside of their 31-21 loss to Southern Miss, the closest any C-USA team has come to beating the Knights was Houston, in a 40-33 shootout. UCF also gets it done defensively. They've held eight opponents to 17 points or less, compared to SMU doing the same just three times.

While SMU will be locked and loaded, they'll have to prove they can break the ICF defense and keep up on the scoreboard. While the 7-5 Mustangs have shown more resolve recently, winning 3 of 4, they are unlikely to match UCF's scoring punch for the entire game.

Prediction: Knights 44 Mustangs 31

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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