Last week was fun! Boston College made us all look silly by showing life they hadn’t had all season and coming back to beat N.C. State, but I think I speak for not just the Tar Heel Blog writers but all UNC fans when I say that’s the kind of silly we wouldn’t mind being every single week. Other than that, though, the bad teams in the ACC stayed bad, the good teams stayed decent, and we still have no idea what the deal is with Syracuse and Louisville.
In the standings, a few misplaced picks from Al have moved him back from a tie for first into a slim hold onto third place with a couple of games where he could lose the podium entirely, picking with the minority on both. Yours truly would seem most likely to take his place, just one game behind and having the other team picked in both of those key matchups. Saturday will be interesting indeed...
I’ll note before displaying the picks charts that we are, of course, one game short of what we expected to have, since UVA has rightly cancelled their game against Coastal Carolina. Our thoughts are with the families, loved ones, and community of the victims of Monday’s shooting.
Duke-Pittsburgh is almost certainly the most interesting game on the ACC slate this weekend; Duke’s a limited team that plays good football and Pitt’s a good team that plays limited football. Pitt’s a touchdown favorite at home, but that feels like it should be closer to me; while the staff might be biased due to their relative performances against UNC, Pitt’s only impressive football recently has been thrashing UVA, and that’s hardly worth bragging about. And I must say I appreciate McKay picking against that school in Lynchburg that lost to UConn last week, even if Virginia Tech is the worst team in the conference.
On the next slide, NC State and Louisville is a pretty tough one to figure out, as State’s offense seems to have started clicking with M.J. Morris at the helm and they’ve been finding ways to beat every other team in the middle tier of the ACC, but after losing to Boston College last week, the bounce-back after losing Devin Leary might have faded. Louisville, meanwhile, has been alternately terrifying and terrible the past several weeks, with quarterback Malik Cunningham in and out of the lineup as he’s dealt with several injuries. We’ve got what I consider a healthy anti-State bias here at THB, so having just two writers pick the Wolfpack against a team that doesn’t know who’ll be starting at quarterback is pretty on-brand. And finally, we get to Wake Forest-Syracuse, who are probably the ACC’s two hardest teams to understand at the moment — Cuse had a red-hot start and has utterly collapsed since Garrett Shrader started dealing with an upper-body injury, though he says he’s all the way better now. Wake Forest was the hottest team in the ACC before Sam Hartman inexplicably started turning the ball over at a higher rate than he ever has in his career and losing his team very winnable games. One of those slides has to end here, and most of us are betting on Wake — and can you blame us, with how many times has UNC been a get-right game for struggling offenses?
Who are you watching this weekend? Got any picks you strongly disagree with? Let us know in the comments!