Credit to Sweetwater Brewing Co. for this week’s title — I totally ripped it off.
But what a week in the ACC last week! The Wolfpack held serve at home knocking down the Louisville! The U is back! And Virginia is 4-1!
It’s still a three-horse race in the Coastal, with more clarity coming Saturday afternoon. In the Atlantic, it’s a two-horse race (sorry, Wake) and NC State’s in it! Here’s what’s coming your way this weekend.
Game times are Saturday unless otherwise noted.
#2 Clemson (6-0, 4-0 ACC) @ Syracuse (3-3, 1-1 ACC)
Carrier Dome — Syracuse, NY — 7:00pm Friday (ESPN)
Spread: Clemson -22.5
Clemson shouldn’t have any trouble with Syracuse. The Orange scored their first ACC win of the year against the hapless Pittsburgh Panthers, but they simply don’t have the horses — especially on defense — to slow Clemson down. Clemson covers and marches on.
#20 NC State (5-1, 3-0 ACC) @ Pittsburgh (2-4, 0-2 ACC)
Heinz Field — Pittsburgh, PA — 12:00pm (ACC Network)
Spread: NC State -11.5
Pack fans — NC State controls its own destiny in the Atlantic. FSU is done. Louisville is done. Clemson is in front of them, at home. If you can find a way to upset Clemson (which almost happened last year) and not shit your collective pants against the BCs and Wakes of the world, you’re playing in Charlotte. In the meantime, take care of business.
It starts with Pittsburgh. I actually had this as a loss in my Atlantic preview — road game in a quiet atmosphere against a decent opponent. Totally saw State sleepwalking into this one. But Pitt is not a decent opponent. Their defense is dreadful and their QB is hurt. Pack should win comfortably — especially if Doeren is worth that extension.
Florida State (1-3, 1-2 ACC) @ Duke (4-2, 1-2 ACC)
Wallace Wade Stadium — Durham, NC — 12:00pm (ESPN2)
Spread: FSU -7
Duke was a nice story to start the season, but back-to-back losses to Miami and Virginia have been a reality check. Florida State has been a huge disappointment, but I think they take out their frustrations from that close loss to Miami last week and beat up on Duke. FSU by two scores at least.
Boston College (2-4, 0-3 ACC) @ Louisville (4-2, 1-2 ACC)
Papa John’s Stadium — Louisville, KY — 12:20pm (ACC Network)
Spread: Louisville -21.5
Steve Addazio lost again, so now he’s back to insinuating the fans are stupid for not seeing the “progress” BC is making. It’s always funny when a glorified gym teacher insults someone else’s intelligence. I can’t wait until his ass is fired.
Despite all of this “progress,” Lamar Jackson is still a horrible matchup. The Ville’s D isn’t very good, but BC can’t score. Jackson’s speed alone will be the difference here and I’m sure he’ll have a huge day statistically.
Georgia Tech (3-1, 2-0 ACC) @ #11 Miami (4-0, 2-0 ACC)
Hard Rock Stadium — Miami Gardens, FL — 3:30pm (ABC)
Spread: Miami -6
Here’s your game of the week — two of the three big dogs in the Coastal. Georgia Tech should be a Top 25 team right now if it wasn’t for finding a way to lose that double OT game to Tennessee. Miami, on the other hand, has been as good as advertised. This should be one hell of a game.
I’ve been saying GT is a sleeper in the Coastal all year. I think they pull off the upset here because that triple option is such a pain in the ass to scheme for. Plus, the Coastal is always a mess so it would make sense for the team that’s starting to establish itself to falter.
Virginia (4-1, 1-0 ACC) @ North Carolina (1-5, 0-3 ACC)
Kenan Stadium — Chapel Hill, NC — 3:30pm (ACC Network)
Spread: Virginia -3.5
If you had Virginia at 4-1 to start 2017, kudos to you. No one did. But they should be after Saturday’s trip to Chapel Hill.
ESPN’s “Matchup Predictor” has UNC’s chances of winning at 62.4%, but I don’t know what it’s smoking. The Heels are just a bad football team — probably the worst in the league, though you could make an argument for BC and Pitt, too. Virginia should be bad, but Bronco Mendenhall has accelerated the turnaround in C-ville. It’ll probably be close, but UVA wins and gets one step closer to bowl eligibility.