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Tar Heel Blog Staff ACC Predictions: Week 4

The top of the race has tightened up a bit as we start to get to the meat of conference play

NCAA Football: Liberty at Wake Forest James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Even though UNC was off last week, that didn’t stop the rest of the college football world from providing us with an interesting weekend. Of note for UNC fans,App State had one of the craziest finishes we’ve seen in a while, and in their Hail Mary win against Troy, maintained their reputation this season as a force — and thus maintains UNC’s win in Boone as a quality one. Other games we might have been keeping an eye on include Miami and Texas A&M in one of the worst ranked matchups I’ve ever seen, and N.C. State’s defense stifling one of the best passing attacks in the country. The ACC is wide open this year, and I’m really intrigued to see how these teams play each other. We’re rounding into the real start of the conference schedule, starting this week with 3 conference games rather than the 2 we’ve seen the past 3 weeks.

That means we’re going to start having fewer games to predict in our Nostradamus game, though those games might be a little murkier and allow for more variance. Last week was a lot better than Week 2 for our consensus picks, and the gamblers among us came up empty: Louisville put up a valiant effort against Florida State but came up short and Old Dominion came close to sweeping ACC’s Virginia schools but the Cavs pulled it out in the end. Syracuse did end up beating Purdue, giving 3 of us an extra win, but Texas Tech couldn’t beat State, putting its three backers in a hole. And finally, the polarizing Miami-TAMU game ended up in TAMU’s favor, handing a loss to about half of us. All that is to say that the standings haven’t shaken up too much, but the top end is a little tighter going into Week 4. Douglas, Matt, and Tanya are all tied at the top, with Al, Max, and McKay all tied two wins behind them.

Week 4 might look like it doesn’t present a ton of room for movement, but when you look a little closer, only 5 out of this week’s 11 games are universally agreed on. Douglas has Virginia bouncing back against Syracuse, maybe also believing that Cuse deflates after the high of an overtime upset; Matt believes in Duke over Kansas in a battle of upstart programs from basketball schools; McKay and I think Wake Forest can take advantage of a weak Clemson team; Brandon and Matt, our resident doomers/hedgers, have picked Notre Dame to beat our Heels; Matt and Max think Virginia Tech can carry the momentum of their last two weeks into beating WVU. And honestly, I don’t think any of those except for maybe the first are unreasonable opinions to have. If any of those upsets take shape, the standings could look pretty interesting a week from now — maybe we’ll even have an individual leader.

What ACC games are you looking forward to this weekend, other than UNC’s? Do you have thoughts on our picks? Let us know in the comments!