Well, we were definitely wrong about last week, huh? Two games that we all agreed would go one way were decided in the other direction, and a couple of the games we thought would be tightly contested ended up as blowouts. That’s college football for you, I guess. It does seem like we know more about some ACC teams that we previously weren’t sure about — Florida State looks like they’re actually pretty good, Boston College and Phil Jurkovec seem to have lost the magic that Jeff Hafley seemed to have brought them a couple years ago, Pittsburgh may have lost to Tennessee but look like a legitimate top-25 team. With any luck, we’ll keep getting better at these pick’ems as the season goes along.
With UNC off this week, let’s see how our staff thinks the rest of the ACC is going to fare:
A couple of folks have started separating themselves from the rest: Douglas and Matt had extraordinary Week 2’s and vaulted into a clear first place, while Tanya’s just a game behind them, and the rest of us are a bit behind. It’s still anybody’s game, though, of course; the season is long. There are five games in this week’s slate that are generating any dissension, which is more than we’ve had so far — hilariously, this is including one of the ACC-FCS matchups. Old Dominion’s already taken down Virginia Tech, after all, and after UVA’s hapless showing against Illinois, it’s not the hottest take in the world from Max and Michael to think they could go 2/2 on beating ACC teams in their state. Louisville had an impressive comeback win against UCF, going against our consensus last week, and I guess Douglas knows better than to get burned again. Florida State has looked pretty impressive, though — that’ll be one to watch. Syracuse-Purdue is also going to be interesting. Syracuse has flown ahead of any expectations that anybody outside The Dome had for them, with a Week 1 demolition of Louisville that only looks better now followed by a destruction of UConn in a year where taking care of business against non-P5 opposition seems to be significant. Purdue is a pretty good squad, so this will be a game that really tests Cuse’s bona fides as a threat in the ACC Atlantic.
A similar thing can be said for the Wolfpack, who looked a lot more like their preseason billing this week against Charleston Southern than they did against ECU, but will face a real test from a solid Texas Tech team, and if they play anything like they did against the Pirates, they could end up paying dearly. And finally, like Week 2, we’ve got a ranked matchup to finish the slate, with Miami heading down to College Station to take on Texas A&M, who managed to just stay in the AP Top 25 despite their embarrassing home loss to App State. Michael kindly used his spot to ensure that we don’t forget this video (cringe warning). Predictably, this is our most divisive game of the week. While more of us seem to think the Aggies are frauds and Miami’s legit enough to take them on the road, we’ve got a few writers who still think the Aggies could be for real the rest of the season despite the loss... or they’re convinced that Miami will fold against the first real competition it faces just like they have for most of the past decade. We’ll see.
What do y’all think of our picks this week? Any chance we’ll embarrass ourselves on a consensus pick this week? Which games are you watching? Let us know in the comments!