It’s the final week in the BCL “Bearcat Pick ‘Em,” and either Craig Black or Keith Stichtenoth is going to win a free year’s membership to Bearcat Lair. Craig holds a half point lead over Keith going into this game. Howard Kaplan and Brian Lambert can play the role of spoiler if they can win the point for this final regular season game against UConn. Three of our experts are going with the underdog Huskies in this game.
Here are this week’s predictions:
Brian Lambert (Kowboy)
I face a dilemma. Do I pull for Louisville, giving the Bearcats a share of the Big East Championship and a likely trip to the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, or do I pull for Rutgers, giving the Bearcats a second place Big East finish and a possible bowl trip to Orlando, my hometown? Rings are nice, but we already have three and my credit card is about maxed out from flights, rental cars and hotels. A 20 mile trip to the Citrus Bowl would be welcomed. Pat Lambert could finish his college career in the same stadium where he finished his high school career. I am caught between a rock and hard place. Of course, my dilemma depends on the Bearcats beating the Huskies, and we will. Go #13!
Cincinnati 29 UConn 14 (Cincinnati +15)
*Brian is Bearcat safety Patrick Lambert’s father.
Keith Stichtenoth (Fitzwalter)
The onset of December finds the Bearcats mushing to the Yukon Territory in a matchup where the loser gets to be Tulane’s “Big Brother” in the Big East’s new Conference Orientation Program for Other University Teams (or COPOUT). Past Huskie tussles have shown Saturdays in the Yukon to be cold, gray, windy and forbidding. Even though visitors make the understandable assumption that a visit to Pasqualoni’s should include biting excitedly into a great-a big-a steaming-a pizza pie, the concession stands sell only whale blubber, salmon squishees and seal jerky. Yukon’s nondescript blue and white uniforms go well with unfortunate extremities that have been overexposed in the frigid elements. Even when arriving with something to play for, the depressing nature of the windswept venue and numbing irrelevance of the opponent hypnotize you into thinking that neither the outcome nor anything else really matters (although they do have a really cool postgame Northern Lights display). Otherwise, the best that can be said is that this trek to the Land of the Eskimo is an obligatory toll to be paid on the way to a well deserved bowl game at a more favorable latitude.
Yukon 17 Cincinnati 13 (Connecticut +4)
Howard Kaplan (Hercules)
I watched UConn dismantle Louisville last week, and they looked very strong doing so. UConn is motivated, well coached, and playing at home. Most important, they are playing their best football of the season right now. Meanwhile, the sputtering Bearcats struggle to play a solid game from start to finish, particularly on offense. I’m sure we’ll re-group for our bowl game, but today I fear the Huskies will get the W.
Connecticut 27 Cincinnati 17 (Connecticut +10)
Craig Black (Cincy Bearcat)
What a long and emotional week it has been. The disappointment of not being added to the ACC + the rumors surrounding Coach Jones + the 10th week in a row with a game = a flat, uninspired Bearcat team. With both teams have something to play for, UC a Big East title, UConn bowl eligibility and Senior day, it doesn't look too good for our beloved Bearcats this week.
Connecticut 20 Cincinnati 10 (Connecticut +10)