So, with the upcoming North Carolina - Wake Forest matchup only interesting if something disasterous happens, it's a good thing the rest of the ACC schedule is determined to pick up the slack. Every other game except the Virginia Tech - Miami snoozefest in the next three days will answer a crucial question about the ACC. Namely:
Where does Boston College stand after the Williams departure? Yes, they got punched in the face at Clemson, but the Tigers were the better team before the expulsions. Where BC falls will be determined in good part by their play against the Seminoles, a middle of the pack team that plays an eeriely similar game to the Eagles. Boston College wins this one at home, and their back to competing for a Top 3 slot. Lose, and the season gets longer.
Has Maryland been crippled by its slow start? The Terps are better than their 1-4 record indicates - that one win is against Clemson, and they took Virginia Tech to OT. But they also have a loss to Miami and a maddening inconsistency. They need a win over Georgia Tech to remain in the pack fighting to end above .500, and they can do it. Or they could get blown out by a team looking to work off an embarassing loss to UNC. It depends on the team that shows up.
Is Virginia better than the bottom? Well, I think so. There are others who disagree. The Cavaliers' only ACC losses are to respectable foes UNC and Boston College, but their wins are Maryland, Wake and State. They'll need to add to that pedigree, but in the meantime they can't make the Terrapin mistake of dropping the easier games, even on the road.
(And how sad is it that Virginia is playing the Wolfpack twice in the first six games. I know the days of the balanced ACC schedule are long gone, but can we at least keep the rematches a little further apart?)
Has Duke solved their problems? It seems to be universally accepted that they have, but the Miami-Wake-State trifecta (I've got to come up with a catchier name for that) makes everyone look good. Duke wants the number two slot? Then they better beat the team with the best claim on that position, Clemson. They matchup well - Duke's perimeter defense is still impressive, after all - but I still give the edge to the Tigers.
So there you have it, four questions to last you through Thursday. Then we can all focus on Arizona.