It’s the Saturday we’ve all been waiting for!
Two pivotal games that could very will determine who will play in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte (provided the winners don’t shit the bed after this weekend). Overall, it’s kind of a weird weekend in the conference. Five teams are on byes, resulting in only five games involving ACC teams. But 40% of those games have national and conference title implications, so that’s a pretty good quality ratio.
I don’t have a big preamble this week — let’s get to it! All games are on Saturday, FYI.
Syracuse at Florida State
Doak Campbell Stadium — Tallahassee, FL — 12:20pm (ACC Network)
Spread: FSU -5.5
What a dumpster fire Jimbo Fisher has presided over this season. My Eagles kicked the absolute crap out of FSU last Friday night. It appears that the Noles have mailed it in. I get the adversity of losing your starting quarterback, but how do you explain the complete meltdown on defense?
I’m taking Syracuse in this game, simply because they’re trending up and Florida State is trending down. This could be one of the worst collapses I’ve seen in college football, considering FSU was a preseason #3 and consensus CFP pick. Wow.
Georgia Tech @ Virginia
Scott Stadium — Charlottesville, VA — 3:00pm (ACC Network)
Spread: Georgia Tech -10
Virginia was a nice story halfway through the season. However, the Hoos are starting to plummet back to Earth. Last weeks 31-14 loss to a bad Pitt team isn’t going to help the ole confidence. Now you’ve got Paul Johnson’s triple option rolling into town. If UVA drops this one, you start to wonder if bowl eligibility is off the table. The only winnable game left on the schedule is probably Louisville (Miami and Virginia Tech are the other two games).
GT may only have won more winnable game, too — Duke. VT awaits next week and then No. 1 Georgia. Regardless, I like the Jackets in this one.
Wake Forest @ #3 Notre Dame
Notre Dame Stadium — South Bend, IN — 3:30pm (NBC)
Spread: Notre Dame -14
Wake is having a nice year. But as much as it pains me to say it, Notre Dame is for real. Josh Adams is an absolute monster and may end up with the Heisman. And the Irish defense has been very effective — it hasn’t given up more than 20 points all season. I think Wake hangs around because they’re tough and well-coached, but the game is never in doubt. ND probably covers.
#4 Clemson @ #20 NC State
Carter-Finley Stadium — Raleigh, NC — 3:30pm (ABC)
Spread: Clemson -7.5
Despite last week’s loss to Notre Dame, this is still one of the biggest games NC State has hosted that I can remember. Don’t forget my pep talk last week Pack fans — ACC Championship glory is still within grasp! All you have to do is take out Clemson and not stumble against improved BC/Wake teams and a crappy UNC team. Easy enough, right?
Well, in order to accomplish Phase 1, State needs Nyheim Hines back. It looks like he’ll be good to go. Clemson looked really good against Georgia Tech, but I’m going full RALEIGH CITY here and calling the Pack upset. Carter Finley is going to be rocking for this one and it will make all the difference.
#13 Virginia Tech @ #10 Miami
Hard Rock Stadium — Miami Gardens, FL — 8:00pm (ABC)
Spread: Virginia Tech -2.5
Is the U back? Vegas doesn’t seem to think so — lower ranked VT is favored on the road! But this will be a hell of a game, no doubt. John Swofford assumed this would be the battle in the Coastal Miami would win to get to Florida State in the ACCCG. Stick a fork in FSU, but we finally get a big time matchup between these two former Big East rivals.
I’ve been on the Hokie bandwagon all year. No, they weren’t in the same class as Clemson. But Miami has been flirting with losses the last four weeks. I think they finally trip up this week, putting VT in the driver’s seat in the Coastal.
Photo Credit Miami Athletics