Via ESPN’s Big East Blog
We don’t deal with gambling much in this space. There are plenty of places where you can find that kind of information, for entertainment or other purposes.
But one Las Vegas concept I love is the over/under, especially when it comes to team wins. It gives you an idea of what the expectation is for each team and what can be considered a successful or unsuccessful season.
Just for fun — and I repeat, for entertainment purposes only — I thought I’d set what I consider to be the appropriate over/under regular-season wins for each Big East team in 2010.
The Panthers have won nine regular-season games two years in a row and are the preseason favorites to win the Big East, according to the media anyway. But, boy, that schedule is tough with games at Utah, at Notre Dame and against Miami in the regular season. Pitt could be really good and still go 9-3 this year. If you take the over, you’re probably agreeing that the Panthers win the league.
West Virginia: 9.5
This is an easy over/under to set. After all, the Mountaineers won nine games in the regular-season a year ago and have publicly talked about needing to get back to the double-digit win plateau this year.
The Bearcats have sailed past this number the past three years, but they also have tricky games looming at Fresno State, at NC State, versus Oklahoma and in conference at UConn and at West Virginia under first-year coach Butch Jones.
This seems like the magic number for UConn, which has gone 7-5 in the regular season the past two years. The Huskies’ highest FBS win total was nine in 2007. This looks like their best team yet, though.
The Scarlet Knights are the biggest boom-or-bust team in the Big East this year, given their young talent. The nonconference schedule virtually guarantees four wins. From there it’s a matter of whether Rutgers can go at least 4-3 in the league or beat North Carolina at home.
South Florida 6.5
This number sounds low until you realize that the Bulls play at Florida and at Miami this year, two games in which they will be heavy underdogs. If you chalk up losses there, it’s then a matter of whether you believe South Florida can improve upon last year’s 3-4 mark in the conference.
The Orange haven’t reached the five-win mark since going 6-6 in 2004. Maine and Colgate should be easy wins, and they’ll be favored in the opener at Akron. Can they beat either Washington or Akron or win two games in the Big East for the first time since that 2004 campaign?
The Cardinals went 4-8 last year, so if they go over that this season then Charlie Strong will have brought improvement. Eastern Kentucky, Arkansas State and Memphis offer solid opportunities for victories. The opener at Kentucky could be a toss-up. Louisville will likely be underdogs in each Big East game it plays this season.
What do you think of these over/unders? Which are too high and which are too low? And more importantly, which side do you pick for each team? Send me your responses, and we’ll discuss.<