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Previewing the ACC: The Rest of September

Statement of Unintelligence
The First Half of September

September 15th

Self-evident: Furman at Clemson, FIU at Miami, Wofford at N.C. State, Ohio at Virginia Tech, and Army at Wake Forest.

Boston College at Georgia Tech: This is BC's third ACC game in as many weeks of the season, they'll be coming off an emotional game against their former coach, and they'll be playing their first road game. All of which screams loss, but I'm wavering - I just don't think Tech is going to be that good this year. But I think they'll take down the Eagles.

Duke at Northwestern: Last year Northwestern was a team playing for their taken-too-young coach. This year their just another year removed from that shock, and they're still Northwestern.

Florida State at Colorado: This in all honesty should be a self-evident game, but I'm a creature of '90's football, and can't help but feel this should be an exciting game. It won't, though. Get well soon, Buffaloes. We miss hippie football fans raging against Nebraskans.

West Virginia at Maryland: Last year's 45-24 feels ore resectable now than it did a year ago, after sitting through a bunch of routs of the Heels kind of recalibrated my tolerance for such things. The Terps should put up a better fight this year, but it won't be enough.

Virginia at North Carolina: Even at their low this decade, UNC has been able to battle Virginia to a standstill in Chapel Hill, unlike their fortunes in Charlottesville. But a standstill means the Cavs still win half their games here, and this is an unexperienced Heels team.

September 22nd

Self-evident: Army at Boston College and William & Mary at Virginia Tech.

Clemson at N.C. State: Between this and the BC game two weeks earlier, the Tom O'Brien gets a rough reintroduction to the ACC. State just doesn't have the talent to take out the Tigers in September.

Duke at Navy: Duke has lost to the midshipmen three years running, all at home, and only one of those games was even close. As humorous as it was to imagine the Blue Devils astride ACC football, even I have my limits.

Georgia Tech at Virginia: This is the easiest conference matchup for the Yellow Jackets in the first half of the season, and they don't win here, it'll be a long season. Guess what? The season ain't going to be that long.

Maryland at Wake Forest: Wake was one of the games a promising Terps team stumbled against down the stretch last year. The won't be caught unawares this time, but it'll be tough to rebound from WVU, and this Demon Deacon team isn't one to augh at.

Texas A&M at Miami: Admit it, if someone told you that an ACC team that barely scraped into a bowl with six wins last year was playing Texas A&M, you wouldn't give tht team achance. But put the name Miami up there, and suddenly folks think the Aggies are toast. It's not that I don't think the new coach can turn it around, but it's not an instantaneous thing.

North Carolina at South Florida: This is one of the few UNC games I was able to catch last year, as I was in Charlotte for a college buddy's wedding. And it was ugly. Coaches-lose-their-job ugly. And while I'd love for the Heels to have the talent to purge last year's loss from memory, it's just not going to happen.

September 29th

Self-evident: UMass at Boston College and Louisville at N.C. State.

Clemson at Georgia Tech: The Tech-Tiger game hss quietly become one of the consistenty exciting ACC games in the last decade, all the while completely flying under the radar. With one exception, the games have all been decided by less than touchdown this decade, and both teams seem perpetualy stuck in the seven to nine wins plateau. I think Clemson's the stonger team playing in the stronger division, and while there will be the traditional Tiger lapse, it won't happen this early.

Duke at Miami: I've been up on Duke this year, and I've been bearish on Miami. And Duke did come awfuly close to knocking off the Hurricanes last year in Wallace Wade. And yet even I don't think the Blue Devils have a chance in this game.

Alabama at Florida State: Bama's the Florida State of the SEC, expecting coaching changes to revive the fortunes of a once-strong power. Nick Saban will ultimately have greater success than Bowden's position-level shakeups, but it's too soon for that to be evident on the field.

Maryland at Rutgers: By this point in the season, we'll know whether Rutgers was a one year fluke or the beginnings of a solid football team. This wilw the first real test for Maryland, though. (You can't really call West Virginia a test when the Terps have no chance of passing.)

North Carolina at Virginia Tech: This woud be filed under self-evident if I didn't feel the need to comment on every Tar Heel game. So a comment: this will be the closest UNC's played football to a place where I reside since they played Arizona State. This game will go a good deal less well than the ASU one.

Pittsburgh at Virginia: I've have friends who are Pittsburgh fans, and this game would be a nice weekend trip. I shoud call those folks, maybe try to make a weekend of it. Oh, and the Cavs are going to get crushed.

Team Confer Overall
Clemson 3-0 5-0
Boston College 2-1 4-1
Florida State 0-1 3-1
Wake Forest 1-1 2-2
Maryland 0-1 2-3
N.C. State 0-2 2-3

Team Confer Overall
Virginia Tech 1-0 4-1
Miami 1-0 3-2
Georgia Tech 2-1 3-2
Duke 1-1 3-2
Virginia 2-2 2-3
North Carolina 0-2 2-3