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ACC Football Week #13: Preview

The past 13 weeks have been chock full of twists and turns which might explain why it went flying by like LSU's BCS title hopes against Arkansas. This weekend is often characterized as Rivalry Weekend since all the major rivals get together to give their last game of the season some actual meaning. In the ACC there is one game that has plenty of meaning besides bragging rights and that is the battle for the state of Virginia. Everything else really does not matter except maybe for the Maryland-NCSU bowl eligibility sweepstakes.

#8 Virginia Tech at #16 Virginia

ACC Semifinal Game #2. Boston College won a classic game over Clemson which put the Eagles in the ACC title game and simultaneously put Tommy Bowden in a really, really uncomfortable place. This week the battle for Virginia will yield an opponent for BC next week in Jacksonville. VT is the favorite in this one but given the defensive prowess on both teams this will come down to which offense will get on track and that really boils down to which coach can figure out which of his two respective options at QB has the hot hand. Outside that I think UVa riding whatever deal with the devil Al Groh made at home will deliver yet another improbable win for the Cavaliers.

UVA 21 VT 20

Maryland at NC State

Not a rivalry game but the winner does get the last bowl slot for the ACC. Both teams are reeling from losses last week though the Pack probably still have their act together more than Maryland which is having internal issues between coach and QB.

NCSU 28 Maryland 20

#7 Georgia at Georgia Tech
Florida State at #12 Florida
#22 Clemson at South Carolina

Three traditional rivalry games of which once might be more of a contest than the other based on the paper analysis. Georgia is hotter than any team in the country and would basically like to get through this game unscathed without disrupting their present momentum while hoping Kentucky beats Tennessee. This is probably the last GA-GT game for Chan Gailey. Florida should have little trouble with Florida State though some weaknesses in the Gators defense might drive the score up on this one, that is assuming FSU shows up on offense and that is a pretty big assumption. As for Clemson, the question is whether they are going to shut it down having their dreams of an ACC title game berth squashed again. SCAR is desperate for a win to reach 7-5. A 6-6 finish and musical coaching chairs among the big programs might have Steve Spurrier thinking elsewhere.

Georgia 35 GT 13
Florida 40 FSU 24
Clemson 28 SCAR 20

Miami at #14 Boston College

When I said MD-NCSU was for the final bowl berth in the ACC that included a Miami loss in this game which should be fairly boring since BC is going to try and keep everyone healthy.

BC 30 Miami 10

Wake Forest at Vanderbilt

In some ways this might be a rivalry. Perhaps the "Small Private School From a Major Conference Who Competes Against the Big Boys With Tougher Restrictions" Rivalry. Vandy needs a win to get bowl eligible. Wake would simply love to win eight games which would have to be some kind of school mark to do so two straight seasons.

Wake Forest 24 Vandy 15

Duke at UNC

One coach with a new contract and one coach with a pink slip. If you bet on this game, the coach with the new contract is the best choice.

UNC 41 Duke 10

Record Last Week: 3-3
Record This Season 61-27