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Fearless prediction: No. 23 West Virginia at South Florida

Thursday
No. 23 West Virginia at South Florida (+1.5), 8 p.m.

Henry’s pick: A Mountaineers win, coupled with Cincinnati beating Connecticut, will all but guarantee West Virginia the Big East’s automatic BCS bowl berth. On paper, this shouldn’t be a difficult game for West Virginia. South Florida has lost six of seven. West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has completed 70 percent or more of his passes and has five touchdowns and no interceptions over his last three games. West Virgina 34, South Florida 13

Rose’s pick: This is an absolute must-win for West Virginia. Here’s how the Big East race looks: Louisville is done at 5-2 and can clinch a BCS bid with a Cincinnati loss on Saturday (Louisville lost to Cincinnati earlier in the season but beat West Virginia). West Virginia needs to beat South Florida and then have Cincinnati beat Connecticut, which would have all three teams at 5-2. A three-way tie favors West Virginia for the automatic BCS bid because the Mountaineers are the only team ranked in the BCS standings. With so much at stake, expect West Virginia to do its part. Plus, South Florida might be without quarterback B.J. Daniels, who has a shoulder injury. The Bulls need a win to get to 6-6 and become eligible for a bowl. Stat to watch: West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is closing in on 4,000 passing yards this season (3,741 yards, 25 touchdowns and 5 interceptions thus far). West Virginia 33, South Florida 16
 

Tags: West Virginia , South Florida , Cincinnati , Louisville , Big East , BCS , Geno Smith

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