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Previewing the ACC: October

What, I have to stop previewing the season just becuase it's already started? Screw that - most of this was written on a miserable cross country plane ride last week anyway. And I'm the guy who thought Duke would start the season with a two game winning streak so it's not like I could be more wrong, is it?

October 6th

Self-evident: Bowling Green at Boston College and Virginia at Middle Tennessee State. Wait, Virginia's traveling to Middle Tennessee State? I wasn't even aware MTSU had a home stadium.

Virginia Tech at Clemson: The Hokies are probably the better team, but I'm a spiteful man, and VT's bound to lose focus somewhere down the line. Cnsidering this is the only real test in a span of six weeks, it's the best spot to pick an upset.

Wake Forest at Duke: For my sins of picking the Blue Devils to win three of their first four, I now have to explain why they'll lose the rest of the way out. Isn't "They're Duke" a valid explanation?

N.C. State at Florida State: Chuck Amato always seemed to win more Wolfpack-Seminole matchups than his teams really warranted. Don't expect that to change.

Georgia Tech at Maryland: When I originally decided to favor the Jackets in this game, it was a vague decision between two bowl-bound but unthreatening ACC teams. After Saturday's performance, it seems obvious, but I do think the Terps wil gain steam as the season rolls on.

Miami at UNC: I suppose this game could play out like the last matchup in Chapel Hill did. I know I'd like it to, and Butch Davis should still know the Hurricanes pretty well... What the hell, you talked me into it. It's not a preseason ACC Picking unless I'm wildly optimistic about at least one Tar Heel matchup.

October 13th

Self-evident: Virginia Tech at Duke.

Boston College at Notre Dame: Yeah, I thought the irish would be better this year. After Week One that doesn't look to be the case. So I'll fill the space with a bar story. A friend of mine is a Valparaiso grad, and apparently the have a party for Reformation Sunday. (I'd never heard of such a holiday either, but luckily Wikipedia knows all.) Well, one year while she was in school, the student body president had the most brilliant idea for publicizing the party. He drove up to Notre Dame and nailed an invitation to the chape door.

Florida State at Wake Forest: Surprisingly, given FSU's poor showing, the Demon Deacons were the only member of the Eight Little Dwarves of the ACC to get their first Seminole win last year - Duke and Georgia Tech remain winless, while the rest of the conference had already knocked the erstwhile champs off. You never win the the game right after popping your FSU-beating cherry, and I'm not convinced Wake ca bu that trend.

Georgia Tech at Miami: Both of these teams could end up stronger than I had anticipated. Tech's 2-1 against the Hurricanes since the latter joined the ACC, and the two teams are pretty evenly matched, so by my logic, Miami's due.

South Carolina at North Carolina: Every time I try to type "Steve Spurrier" my fingers just produce a random sring of expletives. I expect to have more of the same come gametime. At least it's not 1989.

Virginia at Connecticut: Have I mentioned I'm not particularly bullish on the Cavaliers?

October 20th

Self-evident: Central Michigan at Clemson, Army at Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest at Navy. Four more tems have byes; is anybody playing real game this week?

Miami at Florida State: What can I say? I picked one Florida school to rebound better than the other. I may hav picked wrong.

Virginia at Maryland: I just picked them to lose to UConn, who I wrongly beieved would fall to Duke. Al Groh's fired by this point.

N.C. State at East Carolina Here's what I said in the preseason about this game last year:

East Carolina at N.C. State: Remember when playing East Carolina was a little risky, because they'd be incredibly amped coming in, and there would be absolutely no upside to beating them? And legislatures were stepping in and forcing East Carolina on to schedules, since the state government really had nothing better to do than this? Good times.  I miss the Steve Logan era, even if Miami and North Carolina State fans most certainly don't.

Guess what? That era's back. Too bad it returned in a year where UNC made the Pirate's schedule as well.

October 27th

Self-evident: Duke at Florida State

Boston College at Virginia Tech: The Hokies are going to b extrememly difficult to beat at home this year, with a combination of talent and emotional resonance stemming bck to April. And this is the sort of situation where an unexperienced head coach doesn't help.

Clemson at Maryland: It's about time for Clemson's inexplicable late season lapse, isn't it? And the combination of a road game with a talented but underachieving opponent -at least in my twisted mind - makes this the like pot for this to happen.

North Carolina at Wake Forest: The Heels actually matched up pretty well against the Deacons, all things considered. But you had to consider a lot of ugly things - Wake's unexpected ACC title, some of the more horribe defensive performances UNC put up against other teams, and the coaching flux going on at the time - and a year later isn't enough time for UNC to return to its traditional dominance of the overgrown high school in Winston-Salem.

Virginia at N.C. State: How has Boston College's former coach fared against the Wahoos? Pretty damn well. There's no reason for that to change just because the color of his shirt did.