Time to make some picks 

October, 14, 2009

I had a mediocre week during which I went .500 against the line, keeping me two over for the season versus the number. The good was picking Florida to handle LSU. The bad was picking Auburn to beat Arkansas. And the ugly was picking UCLA to beat Oregon. Here are this week's guesses:

Cincinnati Bearcats at South Florida Bulls (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Cincy QB Tony Pike -- who has been outstanding -- faces off against a potent USF pass rush under Joe Tresey, the defensive coordinator whom Bearcats coach Brian Kelly dumped after last season. This should be a lot of fun. USF ranks ninth in the nation in pass defense and 20th in sacks. But the Bulls have been very shaky on special teams, and Cincy has an even better pass rush. I'll go with a road win as the Bearcats force young B.J. Daniels into too many mistakes. The pick is Cincinnati 21, USF 17.

Pittsburgh Panthers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Pitt has put up a surprising number of points thanks to QB Bill Stull's steady play and the emergence of star freshman RB Dion Lewis. The Panthers also have an excellent D-line. The Scarlet Knights really haven't been tested in a month since Cincy drilled them at home. I don't think their offense will be able to do enough to win despite the home-field edge. The pick is Pittsburgh 28, Rutgers 17.

So, back in the summer, Bruce Feldman wrote that the trap game on Florida's schedule this season would be against Arkansas. That game has arrived. What does he think now? Same? To find out -- and for Red River Rivalry and USC-Notre Dame picks as well as some eye-opening stats about Ryan Broyles -- you must be an ESPN Insider. Insider