Other Previews: Mountain West Football Preview 2012 | ACC Football Preview 2012 | Big 12 Football Preview 2012 | Notre Dame Football Preview 2012 | Conference USA Football Preview 2012 | WAC Football Preview 2012 | PAC 12 Football Preview | Sun Belt Football Preview | Big Ten Football Preview | SEC Football Preview | MAC Football Preview
Back for another college football season. Last year was flat out magical as I profited 176.69 units on a 1-5 unit scale for ncaaf picks. Over $17,669 for $100/unit bettors on these sports picks. I consider college football to be my very best sport and I look to make it another year of producing big profits as I have profited every year in my career. As you all know every one of my college plays are backed by a full in depth analysis. If you are new to this article and are interested in my style check out....
2011 Big East Play Of The Year: Rutgers +3 vs. Cincinnati. Rutgers dominated the game from the start winning 20-3. See my full write up of that play (right here).
2012 Big East College Football Preview
This is the year the Big East looks awfully interesting as we do a Big East preview of all 8 teams. With teams leaving and one of the few teams that will be joining the Big East coming in. This should be a very interesting year.
Top 5 Big East Non-Conference Games
1.) Florida State @ South Florida (9/29)
2.) South Florida @ Miami (11/17)
3.) Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech (9/29)
4.) Rutgers at Arkansas (11/22)
5.) Virginia Tech at Pitt
Let's start with my college bowl predictions for each team with their previews on offense and defense and predicted finishes.
Louisville +250: Lousiness has to be the favorite after finishing in a three-way tie in the Big East a year ago despite using a majority of underclassmen. The program is looking to take a giant step forward in head coach, Charlie Strong’s 3rd season with those same players that will be a year older.
Strong has been able to win plenty of recruiting battles in his old state of Florida which should lead to a perennial competitive team in the Big East. His defense in particular will be stout with more and more players being sprinkled in. The offense was a weakness the last few years but that could change now behind a budding star in QB Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater threw for 2,129 yards, 14 TD, and 12 interceptions with a 132.4 QB rating, but what impressed me the most was his 64.5% completion rate. I expect that to only get better and it is up to him to lead the team to a possible BCS post season game, because the defense will be good enough.
What to keep your eyes on, offense: The 2012 team desperately wants to run the ball better than they did a year ago, ranked 93rd nationally. Before they do that it’s evident they need to decide on a go to guy. Which guy will rise Dominique Brown (3.8ypc), freshmen Corvin Lamb, Senorise Perry (12 carries last year), or Jeremy Wright (4.6ypc). The passing game will improve under Bridgewater, but the running game will also be a huge key behind 4 returning offensive linemen and Sophomore RT Jamon Brown who could be the key to a unit that was 110th nationally in sacks allowed.
What to keep your eyes on, defense: There is a cast of all-star veterans in the secondary in, S Hakeem Smith, and CB Adrian Bushell with other young surprises that could make this unit the most improved in 2012. Smith is the defenses best player but he’s been more effective in the run defense that was so good last year making 84 tackles along with 3 forced fumbles. Louisville was 9th in yards per carry allowed. They were 1 of 4 Big East teams in the top 11 in the nation in that category. Predicted Finish:9-3
South Florida +300: Another season full of high expectations for South Florida is nothing but a surprise. This team started 4-0 last year and then finished 1-7 to miss the post season. In 2012 they’ll be looking to avoid that type of a season and if there is good news, it is that they have a bunch of players returning that remember just how they finished last year.
What to keep your eyes on, offense: Will QB B.J. Daniels finally break through and become a complete QB? He threw for 2,604 yards, 13 TD and just 7 interceptions but completed only 58.9% of his passes for a QB rating of 126.7. Daniels has plenty of talent to throw to and he’s now in his 4th year in the system. He’s got quickness and athleticism in Andre Davis, Sterling Griffin and Victor Marc and plenty of other young guns that can develop
What to keep your eyes on, defense: Not that they needed a new coordinator on defense, but Chris Cosh brings plenty of experience with him from Kansas State. He will run an aggressive fast to the ball type 4-3 defense. Basically expect nothing different from this team that returns most of their starters and likely won’t start any underclassman. Predicted Finish: 8-4
Cincinnati +350 I’m a little shocked at the Bearcats odds to win the Big East considering just how much talent they lost on both sides of the ball. 6 of their 8 1st/2nd team All-Big –East remain and one of them is a punter. With the loss of Zach Collaros and RB Isaiah Pead the offense will be a huge question mark. On defense this team should be quite different especially against the run with the loss of talent up the middle.
What to keep your eyes on, offense: With an inexperienced QB the need to run the ball becomes all that much more important. Sophmore Jameel Poteat will be the key. He’s a blue-chip signee from 2011 that may lack experience, but has the most potential than anyone else on the roster.
What to keep your eyes on, defense: As mention previously it is the new men in the middle that was the glue of this defense that was in the top 10 in yards allowed per rush. The keys will be DT’s Cameron Beard and Jordan Stepp who are very talented just not as talented as Wolfe and Hughes whom they replaced. Linebacker Solomon Tentman is a bit of a wild card with plenty of talent but a history of injuries. The secondary has plenty of speed and athleticism but if the defense can’t stop the run in a run happy conference it won’t matter. Predicted Finish: 6-6
Pittsburgh +600: The Panthers biggest issue has been coaching. They have had 4 different head coaches over the last 18 months. Paul Chryst comes over from Wisconsin to provide some stability at the position. His biggest challenge will be shaping the offensive line that allowed 64 sacks in 2011 and only returns two starters. Pittsburgh has a good pool of talent for him to work with, but they lack play makers even in the Big East.
What to keep your eyes on, offense: Chryst comes over from a Wisconsin offense that had a run first mentality. That's good news for Ray Graham who will be returning from injury, but will he be at full strength? The offense is likely to rely on sophomore Isaac Bennet as well considering the physical philosophy it will employ.
What to keep your eyes on, defense: The Panthers were 3rd in the nation last year in sacks, but they'll move to a new 4-3 scheme but they'll be relying on two players who sat out all of 2011 in sophomores Bryan Murphy and T.J. Clemmings. With stout DT Aaron Donald drawing plenty of double teams it's no doubt that one of the sophomores could have a field day in getting to the QB. Predicted Finish: 7-5
Rutgers +800: The biggest news of the off season was the loss of their 11 year head coach Greg Schiano who left to be the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Long time assistant Kyle Flood will take over and the beat will go on. The defense should be just as good with the addition of five-star recruit DE Darius Hamilton. However, with the departure of WR Mohamed Sanu to the NFL the offense remains to be a project.
What to keep your eyes on, offense: The Scarlet Knights must run the ball in 2012. After ranking 117th nationally in yards per carry they kicked it up a notch down the stretch with two promising sophomores in Jawan Jamison and Savon Huggins. Jamison really had some huge games and rushed for a combined 897 yards. Most impressive was his 34 carries for 200 yards against Cincinnati at the end of the season.
What to keep your eyes on, defense: The one concern I have about this defense is who is going to create the pressure on capable passing offenses. We know this team can stop the run as they were in the top 10 nationally last year, but when it comes to stopping opposing QB's that could be another story. The quartet of players going for the two end spots have a combined 5 sacks. If Rutgers is going to be a sack machine it seems like they'll have to do their fair share of blitzing. Predicted Finish:8-4
Temple +2000: This program has gone from nothing to something in a short period time, now joining the Big East Conference. They've gone to bowl games in 2 of the last three years and are coming off a 9-4 season. However, the Owls lost a lot of talent from last year's team that won the New Mexico Bowl.
What to keep your eyes on, offense: Temple's two best players are on this side of the ball which is a little surprising but RB Matt Brown will have to play a bigger role than years past and QB Chris Coyer will have to continue what he did down the stretch last year which was 30-50, 463 yards 6TD and 0 interceptions for a 177.4 QB rating while playing in 4 of the teams last 5 games. Coyer will look to run a bunch and it will be interesting how that holds up in the Big East which is led by dominant defenses.
What to keep your eyes on, defense: Adrian Robinson is gone and now they need senior John Youboty to finally rise to his potential. The defense is led by Senior SS Justin Gildea. At just 5-11 and 190 pounds he has been a play maker with 51 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3 sacks, and 3 interceptions a year ago. There are huge question marks if he and this defense can withstand an entire season in the Big East. Predicted Finish: 4-8
Syracuse +2500: Syracuse had a breakout season in 2010 that many thought would bleed in 2012, but they went 0-5 down the stretch after a 5-2 start. The Orange have significant holes to fill on both sides of the ball. The offense has lost 1,000 yard rushers in back to back season and the defense that has a ton of talent at linebacker will be hit-or-miss up front and in the secondary.
What to keep your eyes on, offense: Led by senior QB Ryan Nassib and WR Alec Lemon they have a potential to be strong in key spots including LT with Justin Pugh as their most talented player. I think this team will lack consistency against good defenses, but don't be surprised to see Ashton Broyld who is technically a QB recruit but is such a good athlete he will be called in to action to take advantage of his dual threat skills.
What to keep your eyes on, defense: This team sure won't be shy of blitzing considering the style of defensive coordinator Scott Shafer and their talent at linebacker, but I can't say it will always be a good idea against QB's that can beat the blitz. Fortunately for the Orange there are not a ton of talented QB's in the Big East. It will be obvious early that it's no easy task to replace first-round NFL Draft pick Chandler Jones. Predicted Finish: 6-6
Connecticut +3000: Paul Pasqualoni will get a second chance after steering the defending Big East champs to a bowl-less 5-7 record in 2011. Nothing went right a year ago on offense ranking 117th in sacks allowed and 108th in total offense. The biggest issues was the lack of any type of consistency at quarterback, the most important position on the field. Nothing has changed they still have 5 contenders for the job and I may even take a trip to Storrs, CT to put my name in the hat for the job. Kidding aside the D has no such worries and boasts an impressive group of returning players. Each level of the defense has an All Big East performer and plenty others that have that potential.
What to keep your eyes on, offense: This is an obvious one. Until the Huskies can decide on a QB and let him get experience they will fail. They cannot continue to rely on a defense to pick them up every week. There is one bright spot in Lyle McCombs who returns from a 4.2 ypc season where he rushed for 1,151 yards and 7 TD's.
What to keep your eyes on, defense: Two stars returning from an injury filled Junior year in DE Jesse Joseph and CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson. The pair should share a ton of motivation to leave their mark on the program and move onto playing on Sundays. Predicted Finish: 6-6
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