(Saturday, 11 am, ESPN)
Pittsburgh seems to be finding their stride of late, but winning in Storrs, Connecticut is never easy. This matchup features two of the best running backs in the Big East Conference in Pitt's LeSean McCoy and UConn's Donald Brown. I like UConn to upset the ever-underachieving Panthers here on the shoulders of their defense and Brown's running.
J.Pike's Pick: UConn 27, Pitt 24
Army (3-8) vs Navy (7-4)
@ Philadelphia, PA
(Saturday, 11 am, CBS)
Sure, Navy has won six games in a row by a commanding average score of 40-12; and the records look to be lopsided yet again in 2008. But since Stan Brock called out his team early this season, the Cadets have been playing a lot better. This game also happens to feature the bottom two ranked passing attacks in Division 1A. The two teams combined average a paltry 109.2 yards per game through the air; both have played a full game in the 2008 season without completing a pass; and both teams have attempted fewer than five passes in a game four times. Don't be surprised if you don't see a single pass thrown today. What that means is that this game will come down to who wants it more. Army has been blown out six years in a row, and even though it looks on paper like they'll get blown out again, I think this is the year they break the streak.
J.Pike's Pick: Army 20, Navy 17
Washington (0-11) at #24 California (7-4)
(Saturday, 2 pm, FSN)
Cal shouldn't have any problems putting the capper on Washington's winless season.
J.Pike's Pick: California 42, Washington 12
#6 USC (10-1), at UCLA (4-7)
(Saturday, 3:30 pm, ABC)
I really wish people would quit blaming the Bruins awful season on Karl Dorrell. For one thing, he's not the coach anymore, and secondly, at least he made it to a bowl game with this team last year. UCLA isn't bad because Karl Dorrell "couldn't recruit", they are bad because they ran a perfectly good coach out of town to hire that dirtbag Rick Neuheisel. Have fun going 4-8 for the next three years, Bruins.
J.Pike's Pick: USC 36, UCLA 6
#21 Missouri (9-3) vs #3 Oklahoma (11-1)
@ St. Louis, MO
(Saturday, 7 pm, ABC)
I'd like to point out that I didn't include this game in the writeup for the conference championship games because I don't recognize this as a conference championship game. It's hard for me to understand how the winner of this game can be considered the Big XII Champ when there is team sitting at home that beat both of these teams during the regular season, and has an equal or better record than both of them. So call me a hater if you must, but I'm considering this just another regular season Big XII matchup and handing the de-facto Big XII title to Texas, no matter what the outcome here is.
J.Pike's Pick: I hope it snows.
#11 Cincinnati (10-2) at Hawaii (7-5)
(Saturday, 10:30 pm, ESPN 2)
Big East champion Cincinnati has a BCS bowl berth locked up and a Heisman hopeful at quarterback, but they are no lock to win on the island. The Warriors had a rough start to the season but they have finally settled on a quarterback. Junior Greg Alexander has started the last five games and played well, leading the team to a 4-1 record over that stretch. But Cincinnati has secret weapon Tony Pike in the shotgun. Pike will be able to lead a late Bearcat touchdown drive to win the game if necessary.
J.Pike's Pick: Cincinnati 27, Hawaii 25