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ACC Games for September 11th

Here's another batch of quick musing on today's games. I'm still on the fence about making this a weekly thing. As always, games against FCS teams are not worthy of our attention. This goes double for Clemson, playing their second consecutive patsy. Do give us call when you're ready to join the big boy teams, will you? While we're at it, I'm not going to devote any thought to BC and Kent State either. We'll come back to the Eagles in two weeks.

Duke at Wake Forest: Duke seems to be the trendy pick for this one, with everyone still excited over the Cutcliffe era (now averaging 4.5 wins a season!) that last year nabbed two conference road wins, to up their total for the decade to... three. Wake meanwhile has spent he last three years reverting to the mean after their ACC Championship season, and the expectations are pretty low this year. Both teams have pretty one-dimensional offenses (Wake with the run, Duke the passing game) and mediocre defenses. But Wake has more experience than the still young Blue Devils, and had an easier time with their patsy last week. Throw in the slight home field advantage, and the Demon Deacons take it.

Florida State at Oklahoma: I am one of the biggest skeptics of this year's FSU team; defenses cannot improve that much in one season, no matter what coaching change is made. That being said, this Oklahoma team struggled mightily against Utah State last week, and is basically the same team that dropped a close one to Miami last season. Their defense is suspect to a strong arm, and that's the one area where FSU under Christian Ponder excels. I'm going to have to suffer through another week of Seminole triumphalism.

Georgia Tech at Kansas: This is the same Kansas that lost to North Dakota State by the soccer score of 6 to 3 last week. Tech does have the scheduling touch, picking BCS conference teams that never seem to get their act together – Mississippi St., Vanderbilt, and Notre Dame when they began their fall in '07. The Yellow Jackets should light this team up.

Miami at Ohio State: It's rather sad how long ago the 2003 Fiesta Bowl seems, now. The current players were all in middle school, and the Hurricanes have been through the wildness of a losing season and a new coach. This team doesn't even feel like the type that could produce the championship contenders of the turn of the century. Ohio State, on the other hand, feels exactly the same. A heavily hyped team that will probably collapse in the championship game, but not before. I'll need to see proof Jacory Harris has shaken off his inconsistencies  and that the Miami defense has improved before I'm willing to pick the Hurricanes.

N.C. State at Central Florida: I was sure I was going to pick the Golden Knights in this one, but the fact of the matter is, this isn't the type of game the Wolfpack loses, even under Amato. I'm not yet sold on the strength of State's offense, and won't be until I see them play some real teams, but they should be able to handle this game just fine.

Virginia at Southern Cal: I have full faith in Lane Kiffin's ability to run USC into the ground, buy not his quickly and not against the Cavs.