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Tar Heel Blog ACC Staff Predictions: Week 2

A week of surprises has left us with a bit of separation to start the season

Syndication: The Greenville News Ken Ruinard / USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

Week One of college football in 2022 was an absolutely bonkers one, living up to all the hype it got as one of the most exciting opening slates in recent memory. Georgia made preseason #11 Oregon look like they weren’t even playing the same sport, West Virginia-Pittsburgh delivered on the promise of the return of one of CFB’s most unfortunately neglected rivalries, and closer to home, three contests featuring ACC teams were decided by opponents’ inability to convert point-after attempts, including, of course, the one we all watched Saturday.

You’ll remember that last week’s picks were mostly pretty unanimous, with just one game generating more than 2 picks of dissension among the staff: Duke hosting Temple. That game turned out to be one of the week’s most lopsided, with the Blue Devils hammering the Owls 30-0. On the other end of the spectrum, only 1 writer, Douglas, picked Syracuse to beat Louisville, which they did handily, 31-7. Throw in Matt being one of two writers to predict Rutgers squeaking it out over Boston College, and there you’ve got the two THB writers at the front of the pack to start the season, both with 9-3 records. Behind them are three writers who went 8-4, and then the four people getting most burned by chaos, including yours truly, sit at 7-5. The season’s just beginning, though, and these standings can change pretty radically, pretty quickly. Here’s what we’ve got this week:

This spread is even more boring than last week’s — we’ve got just 3 games with non-consensus, so let’s talk about those. UVA-Illinois is a weird game to predict because it’s tough to have confidence in either, between UVA’s lackluster performance against FCS opponent Richmond and Illinois losing to Big 10 laughingstock Indiana. Illinois has at least some goodwill remaining from its Week 0 dusting of Wyoming, so I suspect that’s a big part of most of us picking them — but Brennan Armstrong is definitively the better quarterback in the matchup, so I get Brandon and Evan’s choice there as well. Boston College — Virginia Tech is a game I wouldn’t have considered a hard one to pick before the season, but Boston College, despite having one of the conference’s best quarterbacks and a really well-regarded coach, seems to have lost its legs sometime last season and still hasn’t gotten right, going by their loss to Rutgers. That’s not quite as embarrassing as Virginia Tech losing to Old Dominion, but again, this looks like a competition between two teams who seem destined to lose, and it’s anybody’s guess which destiny is stronger. On the other hand, Tennessee at Pittsburgh is probably going to be one of the best games of the weekend, and definitely could go either way, with both programs looking pretty dangerous early on. A lot of us thought Pitt would struggle to replace an NFL first-round draft pick and a Biletnikoff Award winner with a new offensive coordinator, and while the offense looked less explosive against West Virginia, that defense is going to keep them in just about every game they play. Will it be enough against a ranked SEC opponent? We’ll see.

What do y’all think of these picks? Is our consensus dead wrong on anything? Who are you picking; who are you watching other than the Heels? Sound off below!