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ACC Football Week #5: Preview

For the record when I wrote the above title I got as far as "ACC Basketbal" before realizing he tmistake. What does that say about the state of football in the ACC when thoughts turn to basketball before the calendar says October? I think the more appropriate question to ask of the ACC at this point is how much danger is there of the conference being irrelevant in the national football picture? I suppose some will argue the ACC is already there and the one automatic BCS is the only hope the league has of making a decent showing anywhere. In my opinion that argument is probably close to being spot on and only Boston College and Clemson have the best shot at making the ACC look halfway decent. No offense to Virginia Tech but losing the way you did at Baton Rouge tags you as damaged goods. Without further ado, here is the week of picks from you neighborhood Tar Heel Fan.

Duke at Miami

Happiness is having Duke at home following a big win and having all your players this time around. Also, Duke is apparently running want ads in the school paper looking for a kicker. So even if Duke scores a TD they are probably better off going for 2.

Miami 40 Duke 6

UMass at #12 Boston College

Matt Ryan pads his Heisman stats.

Boston College 45 UMass 10

#13 Clemson at Georgia Tech

Given the Jackets 0-2 ACC mark this game is a must win for the home team. Given that Clemson needs to keep pace with Boston College in the Atlantic this is a must win for them. I would argue that there is greater importance for Clemson simply because they are fighting to prove themselves as legitimate team and many have called them the best team in the ACC so far. I say talk to me in November about the Tigers since we heard that last season. Georgia Tech is playing for some pride at this point and also in an effort to keep their season from spiraling completely out of control. If you stipulate they will beat UNC, Duke and Army that is only five wins. They also have road games to Maryland and Miami plus home games with Virginia Tech and Georgia. Should the Jackets lose to Clemson, win the three "gimmies" on their schedule they would need to pluck a win from a group of games they could conceivably lose except Maryland has huge QB issues. That is an awfully tight rope to walk, the kind of rope that gets uses as a noose for the head coach come December.

Clemson 28 Georgia Tech 13

Louisville at NC State

It is easy to dump on the Wolfpack here and say they have as much chance as you would finding a bottle of water during the third quarter of the game last weekend versus Clemson. However, Louisville sucks on defense. Scratch that, sucks does not even describe how bad the Cardinals defense is and given the degree to which (1) NC State gave Matt Ryan problems and (2) the fact Louisville lost to Syracuse I think that puts NCSU in the game...for a half anyway.

Louisville 44 NC State 30

Maryland at #10 Rutgers

Yeah, Maryland's AD is an obvious sadist for lining up this kind of schedule for the Terps. Of course there is a good chance the game with Rutgers was schedule years ago when Rutgers was a perpetual doormat. If that is the case it did not turn out so well for Maryland.

Rutgers 30 Maryland 17

#22 Alabama at Florida State

Satan pays a visit to Tallahassee. I know this an old joke, maybe a little tired but I watched Alabama-Georgia last week and every time Nick Saban appeared on my television the screen began to melt. Okay, maybe not but he does make your skin crawl a bit when you see him to the point Bobby Bowden might think he is looking at the Angel of Death when they meet after the game. As far as FSU is concerned that may not be too far from the truth.

Alabama 33 FSU 20

Pittsburgh at Virginia

Virginia should win this game.
Virginia should win this game.
Virginia should win this game.

UVa fans should repeat this continuously until kickoff because this is exactly the kind of game UVa should win but end up losing 23-3 because they forget how to score points. Pitt is awful, pure and simple and the least UVa could do is represent against a Big East team.

Virginia 28 Pitt 20

UNC at Virginia Tech

The state of the Hokie offense gives UNC a small chance unless the UNC defense elevates the Hokie offense to a new level. Otherwise the VT defense trumps all. And it should be noted I am watching South Florida play West Virginia as I write this. The Bulls are a good team, a little turnover prone(as is WVU) but I feel a little better about getting slapped around last weekend. Check with me tomorrow and see how I feel about VT having done the same thing.

Virginia Tech 24 UNC 13