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ACC Football Week #3: Preview

So what exactly has we learned through two weeks of the season? Outside the fact the ACC is running a fairly dreadful streak of losses against good teams from other conferences not really much else. One interesting point is for all the whining people have done about the state of the ACC, the league has actually doubled the number of teams it has in the polls . The season began with two teams, FSU and Virginia Tech. Now Clemson, Georgia Tech and Boston College have broken in while FSU has dropped out.

As for how the ACC is beginning to shake out it appears that at least three teams have emerged to begin and separate themselves from the rest of the conference. The main reason being all three of these teams are playing good football on both sides of the scrimmage line. Boston College, Georgia Tech and Clemson have played the best football in the conference thus far. I cannot say that really surprises me though I was thinking, like most people, we would see Virginia Tech in this group but their offense was severely overvalued in the preseason. The drubbing at LSU exposed just how bad the offensive situation is in Blacksburg and defense/special teams is pretty much the only hope the Hokies have. On the opposite end of the spectrum, BC, GT and Clemson have their act together early on in all the facets of the game despite the fact two of those schools are breaking in new QBs.

Beyond that I would surmise it is a but convoluted. Along with the wild inconsistencies found with VT, Miami and Florida State both have enough talent to be strong teams in the ACC but quarterback problems will continue to plague them. FSU just does not have the same fire as years past and has not for awhile. The ten point win over UAB is alarming as is the fact Miami went to Oklahoma and had their collective rear ends nailed to the stadium wall. Both of these squads have moved from the category of exceptional teams to the ordinary.

Wake Forest had a rough go in two early games and rightfully so considering the opponents. Wake still has plenty of chops and had Riley Skinner been healthy a week ago, the Demon Deacs probably take that game versus Nebraska. Wake will be heard from before the season is out. Maryland and North Carolina are in a similar position. Both have played well but in the case of Maryland it has been with limited offensive production. UNC has seen all sort of problems on defense, more so in the ECU game than versus JMU. Virginia and NC State have been unpleasant to watch so far. State still is contending with turnover problems and lack an offense which can put points on the board. The defense from the Wolfpack has been surprisingly good as BC will attest. And Duke is Duke which is all I can say about them without scaring the children. Here is how I would rank the ACC right now.

1. Georgia Tech
2. Boston College
3. Clemson
4. Wake Forest
5. Virginia Tech
6. Maryland
7. Miami
8 Florida State
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. NC State
12.(tie) A potted plant
Heading into the weekend cupcakes fill the schedule of about the half the teams in the conference. There are two conference match-ups to speak of including a huge battle between BC and GT. UNC renews hostilities with Virginia, for the 111th time to be exact. Maryland and Florida State face very tough out-of-conferences games against West Virginia and Colorado respectively. Duke will try and fail to win a game at Northwestern. The rest should be cake walks.

THF Predictions

#4 West Virginia 41 Maryland 23
UNC 24 UVa 20
#20 Clemson 35 Furman 21
#18 Virginia Tech 28 Ohio 3
Wake Forest 40 Army 10
Miami 33 FIU 13(TKO)
NC State 24 Wofford 21
#15 Georgia Tech 33 Boston College 30
Northwestern 26 Duke 13
Florida State 32 Colorado 27

Record Last Week: 10-0
Record for the Season: 17-3