With the “let’s prove how good we are nationally” part of the season in the rear view mirror (thankfully), the ACC schedule really starts to heat up in week six with several important conference games. It’s about time. Nothing gets my blood flowing quite like Maryland Georgia Tech at noon in Atlanta.
There are a couple of upset alert games this week, with Florida State visiting Wake Forest and Boston College going to Clemson. Alright, maybe only one upset game (damn you, Spaz).
Sadly, with a bye week Duke can’t go for four straight wins in four straight weeks. The quest will have to wait until next Saturday when Florida State comes to Wallace Wade.
On to the picks…
Louisville @ UNC (12 p.m., ESPN2)
Line: UNC by 14
Louisville is not a good football team, and that’s putting it lightly. This is the type of game Carolina should dominate coming off a road win in a, wait for it, rivalry game. Biggest question is will UNC allow the Cardinals to keep it close by turning it over like it did in the Rutgers game. In my view, that’s Louisville’s only hope.
Maryland @ Georgia Tech (12 p.m., ESPNU)
Line: Georgia Tech by 14
Pick: Georgia Tech
Maryland has the second worst rush defense in the ACC (90th nationally) and has looked downright awful at times following the season-opening jersey victory over Miami. Playing Georgia Tech with a bad rush defense usually doesn’t mean good things will happen. Ask NC State, who is 87th against the run. The good thing for the Terps is that with the noon start in Atlanta on ESPNU, not many people will see the beatdown.
Florida State @ Wake Forest (12:30 p.m., ACCN)
Line: Florida State by 10.5
Pick: Wake Forest
Will E.J. Manuel play or won’t he? That’s the biggest question surrounding this game, but maybe it shouldn’t be. Wake Forest is dramatically better than a year ago and playing at home should give Tanner Price and the Deacons a chance to keep this one close. I like FSU to win, but I see this as a one touchdown game.
Boston College @ Clemson (3 p.m., RSN)
Line: Clemson by 21
Three touchdown spreads scare the heck out of me, but I really think Boston College is that bad. Chances are I will regret this pick. Come on Dabo, fire ’em up.
Central Michigan @ NC State (3:30 p.m., ESPN3)
Line: NC State by 10.5
Pick: NC State
The running game returns for an encore a week after racking up nearly 200 yards against Georgia Tech and the NC State defense is just
not bad good enough to give the Wolfpack a two-touchdown win. I struggle to believe any part of that last sentence, but I’m still going with the Wolfpack. Who’s ready for black jerseys?
Miami @ Virginia Tech (3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN)
Line: Virginia Tech by 7.5
Pick: Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech will be looking to rebound Saturday after being embarrassed by Clemson last week. Expect David Wilson to have a big day against the ACC’s worst rush defense (Miami checks in at a shocking 105th nationally). Also, Miami lost arguably it’s best defensive player in tackle Marcus Forston this week to a knee injury. That won’t help the cause for the Canes.
ACC Futurama Picks
Pittsburgh @ Rutgers (3:30 p.m., ESPNU)
Line: Pitt by 7
Ray Graham may be one of the top two or three players in the ACC, and technically, he’s not even in the ACC.
Syracuse @ Tulane (8 p.m.)
Line: Syracuse by 10
No way I’m picking Syracuse to cover on the road in that wild atmosphere.
Season Record: 36-16