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NCAA College Football 2010-11 Week 7 Picks

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Fearless Rick's 2010-11 College Football Week 7 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | October 13-16, 2010

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Wednesday, Oct. 13

UCF (-5 1/2, 44) at Marshall, 8:00 pm - The Thundering Herd of Marshall has been more like the Tiptoeing Turtles thus far, going 1-4. The defining moment of their season was the painful 24-21 loss to West Virginia. Since then, there's been no spark on offense and absolutely no effort on defense.

Central Florida usually fields a strong team and this one is no exception. The Knights could easily win Conference-USA, and they put the league on notice last week with a 42-7 blowout of UAB. Losses to NC State (28-21) and Kansas State (17-13) were good efforts, so these guys appear ready to roll, and they will.

Prediction: Knights 38 Thundering Herd 17

Thursday, Oct. 14

South Florida at West Virginia (-10 1/2, 43), 7:30 pm - South Florida lost at home last week to Syracuse, so one has to wonder, are the Orangemen actually back from their 30-year slumber or is this just a so-so bunch of Bulls? Looks a lot like the latter, as their 38-14 loss at Florida attests.

The Mountaineers should be the best team in the Big East, their only loss coming at LSU, when the Tigers dropped them, 20-14. With Noel Devine in the backfield, one would expect plenty of offense, but the defense has really been a pleasant surprise. They're actually ranked 7th in both points allowed and yards allowed at 13.6 and 254.6 per game, respectively. Unless the short week or staying on campus for two straight games is somehow a problem, they should handle the Bulls easily.

Prediction: Mountaineers 34 Bulls 13

Friday, Oct. 15

Cincinnati at Louisville (no line), 8:00 pm - On the surface, this doesn't look like much of a game, but this is the Big East, and it's the first conference game for both squads, so, it ranks as very important. The 3-2 Cardinals might actually be the surprise of the conference, as their two losses - 23-16 to Kentucky and 35-28 at Oregon State - have to be viewed as quality losses. They're also coming off a 56-0 trouncing of Memphis in which Bilal Powell rushed for 204 yards and QB Adam Froman tossed four first-half TDs.

The Bearcats have three losses, at Fresno State and NC State, and they came within a whisker of upsetting Oklahoma, losing 31-29. They too had a big win last weekend, pounding Miami (OH), 45-3. That's why there's no line on this game, and it will probably end up being something along the lines of Louisville -3 and an O/U of 60+. Should be an entertaining game to watch, and if anyone has a clue, please call.

In last year's meeting, Louisville was hammered at Cincy, 41-10, but the Bearcats lost a lot of players to graduation, along with coach Brian Kelly. This one's a coin toss; I'm taking Cincinnati.

Prediction: Bearcats 38 Cardinals 35

Saturday, Oct. 16

Pittsburgh at Syracuse (-1, 44), 12:00 pm - Plenty of intrigue as these traditional rivals recall the halcyon days when they were both national contenders. Pitt has encountered offensive issues as QB Tino Sunseri hasn't been exactly consistent, with 5 TD passes and 3 INTs and last year's sensations rookie RB, Dion Lewis hasn't yet broken out.

Orange QB Ryan Nassib has been a welcome sight to long-suffering SU football fans, throwing for 10 TDs and just 2 INTs and the defense (14.8 ppg, 284.6 ypg) has been exceptional. The Orange get the Panthers in the Carrier Dome, also a big plus and even the Vegas guys see some promise, making them the slightest of favorites. "Cuse has a shot for a special season and the importance of this game cannot be downplayed. It's huge for a program that may be on the verge of revitalization.

Prediction: Orange 29 Panthers 20

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Missouri at Texas A&M (-3 1/2, 55), 3:30 pm - The Mizzou are unbeaten, but nobody seems convinced. Even at 5-0 and with a defense allowing just 11.2 points per outing (3rd nationally), they're still considered nothing better than an also-ran in the Big 12. After beating Colorado 26-0 to open conference play on a winning note, they have to take this tilt with the Aggies seriously, even though the two teams are in opposite divisions and A&M has already suffered a pair of losses.

Those two losses were the last two games for the Aggies, losing at Oklahoma State, 38-35 and Arkansas, last week, 24-17. A&M has a tendency to light it up on occasion, but they can also give it away. QB Jerrod Johnson has thrown 13 TDs, but also 9 picks. The alert Missouri secondary will probably snatch a couple of errant throws, and if Blaine Gabbert and the offense can convert turnovers into scores, the Tigers may gain some confidence. Should be a good, close one.

Prediction: Tigers 24 Aggies 21

Illinois at Michigan State (-7, 51), 12:00 pm - The Spartans are the surprise of the Big Ten, but they'd better not sleep on Ron Zook's Illini, who played the Buckeyes to a standstill (24-13) two weeks ago and then went out and absolutely pummeled Penn State, 33-13. They have to travel for the second straight week, but a win here puts them in good shape, conference-wise.

Kirk Cousins has been one of college's most efficient QBs, throwing for over 1400 yards in six games. That's not surprising, considering the talent he has at wideout, including B.J. Cunningham and Keshawn Martin, plus a supporting staff of fleet-footed receivers and a capable group of running backs. The Spartans have done everything right and need this game to remain unbeaten and in line for a Rose Bowl spot or better, though the Illini are unlikely to give in easily. Liking the Spartans to win a squeaker while not ruling out the Illinois upset.

Prediction: Spartans 30 Fighting Illini 28

NC State (-7, 66 1/2) at East Carolina, 12:00 pm - Check out that O/U line and you should have an idea of what this one is all about: outscoring the other guy and putting up points on every possession. NC State scores at a 37.5 per game clip, while the Pirates run it up by 37.6.

The problem, for East Carolina, is playing teams outside Conference USA, where they are unbeaten at 3-0. They lost at V-Tech by 22 points and North Carolina hung a 42-17 score on them. Since the Wolfpack arguably has a better offense than either of those teams, but maybe not quite the defense, expect the score to be higher on both ends, though at the final gun, this one will not be close.

Prediction: Wolfpack 56 Pirates 34

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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