Weekend Viewing Guide

If last weekend was separation Saturday, this weekend is showdown Saturday. The races in both divisions will not be decided this weekend, but both could become much clearer by Saturday night. There is also a national championship angle. The Hokies are #4 in the nation and have a huge test at #19 Georgia Tech. With the top teams facing big games, the Hokies have a chance to creep up a few notches.

With one exception, the five games on tap this weekend are great viewing for the football fan. Eight teams square off in four critical league games, all of which have significant implications for their season. The one outlier, Miami at UCF, has some interesting local angles. This is only the second time the two teams have played. It is only the fourth time UCF has played one of the big three Florida programs. It is the first time any of them have come to Orlando.

The big game, of course, is Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech. The Hokies are right in the thick of the national title hunt. They are #4 in the country and could move up if they win some of the teams ahead of them lose. With Texas playing Oklahoma, a win could put the Hokies in the three spot, which would give them control of their destiny as far as the BCS title game.

Wake Forest @ Clemson: This one has enormous implications for the Atlantic division. Clemson is in the hunt with just two conference losses. They also have a big win over BC, another contender. Wake Forest has just one loss and controls their destiny. They also have a win over NC State, another contender. The winner of this game will likely emerge as one of the teams most likely to make the trip to Tampa.

TV: ESPN360 & Game Plan

Pick: Clemson is tough at home and has had an extra week to prepare. Wake is playing well, but they will have trouble with that defense and crowd. Clemson wins a close one.

N. Carolina State @ Boston College: For both teams, this game is pivotal. Tom O'Brien is under pressure after two straight losses. If the Wolfpack wants to take the next step as a program, they have to win this game. Boston College is coming off a bad loss and needs this one to stay in the divisional race. Plus, we have the whole O'Brien back to BC nonsense.

TV: ABC & Game Plan

Pick: The weather could be rough and that will limit both offenses. The deciding factor will be the play of the BC defense. Indications are they will bring their A-Game. BC by ten.

Virginia @ Maryland: This is a game featuring two coaches teetering on the edge of demise. A Groh has bought a little time with two wins in a row. Ralph Friedgen has a deeper well of good will to draw upon, but the fans are getting restless. Throw in the fact this is a border ward of sorts and this game promises to be a wild one. Both teams need a win and both teams have problems on defense.

TV: ESPNU

Pick: It looks like Virginia is turning a corner and Maryland is headed nowhere. Virginia beats the Terps for the third time in a row.

Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech: The Hokies have won all of their big games at home this year. The question is whether they can take their show on the road and beat a quality opponent. Georgia Tech has that option offense running like a top now, but they have yet to face a defense like this one. This promises to be a game of great contrasts in styles and great game for fans of the running game.

TV: ESPN2

Pick: Hokies by Ten

Miami @ Central Florida: Ordinarily, this is not a game to even think about as Miami is good and UCF is a middle of the pack, non-BCS team. This is, however, the biggest home game in the school's history. It will be a packed house and Miami better not overlook this one. UCF has not lost at home this year and the home crowd will be particularly worked up for Miami.

TV: None

Pick: This will be closer than expected, but Miami pulls away late to win comfortably.


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