If you told me before the season that Wake Forest and Duke would both be 4-0, while Florida State would be 0-2, I would have thought you were crazy.
But that’s where we are right now — in a world where Wake and Duke are undefeated, FSU is winless and Bobby Petrino is the only one who hasn’t been placed on administrative leave at Louisville yet. Crazy times indeed.
Week 5 boasts some pretty significant conference games, headlined by a huge one down in TECH COUNTRY that could help determine who the lead dog is in this league. Here’s this week’s slate of ACC action.
(No buying or selling this week because I’m standing pat on my portfolio right now).
#14 Miami @ Duke
Wallace Wade Stadium — Durham, NC — Friday, 7:00pm (ESPN)
Spread: Miami -6.5
Nothing like starting the week off with a bang! Duke is feeling pretty good after bringing the Victory Bell back to Durham. They welcome the much-hyped Miami Hurricanes to the friendly confines of Wallace Wade Stadium. The Canes screwed around with Toledo last weekend — and were trailing at the half — before outscoring the Rockets 42-14 in the last 21 minutes of the game.
This is the first real test of the year for Miami, who have missed two games because of Hurricane Irma. If they’re truly a legit ACC title contender, they find a way to win this game. If they don’t, it’s the same old Miami. But the Devils could be ranked!
North Carolina @ Georgia Tech
Bobby Dodd Stadium — Atlanta, GA — 12:00pm (ESPN2)
Spread: Georgia Tech -9.5
Things are pretty ugly in Chapel Hill right now, and Georgia Tech isn’t the matchup that will turn things around. Defensively, UNC is horrific against the pass. Shouldn’t be a problem with GT, right? Problem is, they aren’t much better against the run. The Yellow Jackets didn’t have much of a problem dispatching Pitt last week, and Pitt has very similar defensive stats to Carolina (Pitt’s rush D is a little worse). I think GT keeps rolling, keeping their Coastal upset hopes alive.
Rice @ Pittsburgh
Heinz Field — Pittsburgh, PA — 12:00pm (ACC Network)
Spread: Pittsburgh -20.5
Speaking of Pitt, lord knows they need a breather after the hell they’ve been through the last few weeks. They got one in a terrible Rice team. Panthers win comfortably.
Syracuse @ NC State
Carter-Finley Stadium — Raleigh, NC — 12:20pm (ACC Network)
Spread: NC State -12
Let’s face it. NC State losing this game would be the most NC State thing ever. Which is why it isn’t going to happen this year because this team is different! Syracuse really isn’t a good football team. They just run a gimmick offense that can be hard to scheme against. Fortunately, the NC State defense stood tall in Tallahassee and I think will be very disruptive to Eric Dungy and Co.
Come on Pack! Stay focused and don’t blow it like you always do. If State can avoid the WTF upset here, I think it indicates this team has turned a corner. Grab your popcorn and head over to PackPride.com if they don’t.
Central Michigan @ Boston College
Alumni Stadium — Chestnut Hill, MA — 1:00pm (ACC Network)
Spread: Boston College -7.5
BC played Clemson tough on the road last week before breaking down in the fourth quarter. Coaching savant Steve Addazio’s strategy of “score one touchdown and then punt as much as possible” wasn’t a recipe for success against the No. 2 team in the country. Now the Head Dude has his back against the wall in a must-win game against the Chippewas. There’s no path to the Quick Lane Bowl without taking this one.
Central Michigan beat Kansas earlier this year, but come on. Kansas shouldn’t be considered a Power 5 team. If Addazio blows this one, the calls for his head will be deafening.
Florida State @ Wake Forest
BB&T Field — Winston-Salem, NC — 3:30pm (ABC)
Spread: FSU -7.5
Other than the biggun we’ll talk about in a minute, this is the game I’m most interested in. I think Wake has a legitimate chance to make FSU 0-3. They got out of Boone with a W, which was a scary game. Now they get the Seminoles on their home turf. Hopefully for the Deacs, FSU plays resigned and defeated rather than pissed off about last week’s loss. I think Vegas is being a little unkind to Wake and this one will be close.
Murray State @ #17 Louisville
Papa John’s Stadium — Louisville, KY — 3:30pm (ACC Network)
Spread: Louisville -48.5
This one will be over quicker than an after-hours encounter with Rick Pitino in an Italian restaurant.
#2 Clemson @ #12 Virginia Tech
Lane Stadium — Blacksburg, VA — 8:00pm (ABC)
Spread: Clemson -7.5
Man, big ole game here. Not only division and conference championship implications, but CFP implications too. No one has been higher on Clemson than me so far this year … until last week. BC has not been very good defensively, but the Tigers really struggled to do much of anything against the Eagles D until the fourth quarter. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment to BC overachieving or just an indictment on Clemson.
I actually like the Hokies in this one. Justin Fuente’s offensive creativity was the missing piece to a lot of those good but not great Frank Beamer teams since VT joined the ACC. It’s been awhile since Lane Stadium has hosted a game this huge, so I think TECH COUNTRY scores the upset.
Cover Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics