Thursday, August 28th
Jacksonville St at Georgia Tech
Who? Good opening game to see if anyone on the GT offense knows what they are doing in Paul Johnson's offense.
GT 38 JSU 10
Charleston Southern at Miami
Miami has suspended multiple players heading into this one, including the starting QB Robert Marve. Not that it should matter, Miami will still outclass the Bucaneers. However this cannot possibly be the kind of garbage Randy Shannon wanted to put up with to start the season. Looks like things are back to normal at The U.
Miami 33 CSU 6
NC State at SCAR
NCSU should really think about renegotiating the marketing deal they have with Rex Hospital to include some free medical care for their athletes since the inclination for injury in Raleigh continues to run fairly high. The Pack will face SCAR without Jamelle Eugene and starting a RS freshman at QB in Russell Wilson. SCAR is said to be boasting a superior defense but lack the Spurrier trademark explosive offense. That basically means this will be a grind it out game which may or may not be exceptionally painful to watch. NCSU is still rebuilding and this will be illustrated in rough fashion in Columbia.
SCAR 28 NCSU 7
#23 Wake Forest at Baylor
Anyone remember the name Kirby Freeman? Yeah, he was the part time starter at Miami last season and finished up his coursework, decided he wanted to play more football, found out he could transfer without penalty as a grad student and ended up at Baylor. No word on if he plans to go the Ben Mauk route and apply for a sixth season. Wake Forest heads to Waco as the 23rd ranked team in the nation which still takes some getting used to, this idea that WF is consistently decent in football. Baylor has two wins over top 25 teams since 1996 which is to say history and the fact Wake is a better team, is working against the Bear.
Wake 24 Baylor 17
#17 Virginia Tech vs ECU in Charlotte
This is apparently a hot pick for the upset. I am not buying it despite the fact the Hokies have no offense to speak of and when I say that I am not going for the cute hyperbole, I really mean they have very little in the way of known commodities on the offensive side of the ball. The receiving corps has been depleted, there is a new RB and Sean Glennon was not a QB when he had playmakers so draw your own conclusions on what that will mean. But in Blacksburg you still have defense and that really annoying special teams play that somehow pulls TDs out of the team's rear end. ECU will be good this season and they just slapped more cash down to keep Skip Holtz happy because I get the feeling if the Pirates have another 8-9 win season Holtz will be on various short lists across the country. Where this game is concerned, take the Hokies, if for no other reason than I really do not enjoy watching ECU win...unless they are beating NCSU in basketball.
VT 20 ECU 17
#3 USC at UVa
Yeah, any bets on whether or not UVa scores in this game?
USC 41 UVa3
Delaware at Maryland
Loser will be forced to drop their claim to the DelMarVa Pennisula.
Maryland 27 Delaware 13
James Madison at Duke
The David Cutcliffe era begins and his mere presence on the sideline and the awesomeness he brings from having coached the Manning brothers will resurrect the Duke program and return it to the 1994. Or Duke will still be Duke only slightly less crappy.
Duke 21 JMU 20
Boston College at Kent State
Supposedly everyone at BC is having fun now with football since Tom O'Brien left. Winning is fun as is ascending to #2 in the poll only to wet your pants versus FSU on a Saturday night and then ending up in some bowl because everyone knows your fans do not travel. So the non-stop fun at BC continues with a trip to Kent State who should not be regarded lightly, unless of course the players are having too much fun adjusting to life without Matt Ryan.
BC 24 KSU 20
McNeese State at UNC
Butch Davis: Year Two. This ought to be a springboard game from which UNC gets their feet wet and then can focus on Rutgers in 12 days. They should also be careful not to overlook a team that is good in their own right but at the same time this is all about getting the first game under their belt.
UNC 38 MSU 10
#24 Alabama vs #9 Clemson in Atlanta
This is the kind of game people had in mind when the schedules were expanded to 12 games. Clemson has something to prove in that (1) they can beat a middle of the pack SEC team and (2) that the ACC is not as weak as media punditry supposes. There is also a great deal of regional pride riding for the Tigers who put up with SEC trash talking far more often than the rest of the ACC does. I think what happens in this game could strike the tone for how the ACC and Clemson are perceived through the rest of the year. Here is hoping Clemson can represent.
Clemson 24 Alabama 22
Record Last Season: 72-33