Around the ACC

When John Swofford was first crafting plans for his new and improved ACC, I am sure it was weekends like this that he envisioned. Virginia at Duke. Maine at Boston College. Houston at Miami. You couldn't make these games up.

The only real game of the week is Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech. This should be a competitive one and a Georgia Tech victory would help Notre Dame in a number of ways. Not to toot my own horn, but this prognosticator went 8-0 last week, including the nonsensical NC State over Boston College prediction.

Virginia at Duke – Saturday 12:00 PM ET

Neither team has been able to score much this season and this game should be the football equivalent of an episode of "Help me Help you". On a related note, UVA fans' confusion over how Al Groh still has a job matches my bewilderment over how Ted Danson keeps getting TV shows.

Freshman Jameel Sewell will get the start at quarterback for Virginia. The only apparent advantage he has over Virginia's other two terrible quarterbacks is that he has the athleticism to scramble when plays inevitably break down. Duke desperately needs a win this week because the Blue Devils follow this game with a streak of several games in which losses are virtually guaranteed. I predict Duke plays with more fire and emotion than the Cavaliers and earns their first victory of the season at home.

My Prediction: Duke: 13 Virginia: 10

Maine at Boston College – Saturday 1:00 PM ET

Nothing can be said of this contest that the pundits have not already analyzed to death. Maine is coming off hard fought wins against William & Mary and Shaw and look to carry this momentum into the game against BC at Chestnut Hill. Out of conference battles such as this are what makes BC football what it is today: a true national treasure. I do not pretend to know how this one will turn out on Saturday, but I do know this. The nation will be watching.

My Prediction: Boston College: 28 Maine: 7

Liberty at Wake Forest – Saturday 3:30 PM ET

Wake Forest is the surprise of the ACC thus far and unless something unexpected occurs, should be headed for a bowl. Congratulations are in order for Jim Grobe and his team who have suffered through many painful defeats in the past few seasons and have dealt with injuries to some key players this season.

This week's game against Liberty should serve as a nice warm up to the big game against Clemson next week. Surprisingly, Wake has owned Clemson in recent years and that game could go a long way in deciding the ACC Atlantic division.

My Prediction: Wake Forest: 35 Liberty: 10

(24) Georgia Tech at (11) Virginia Tech – Saturday 3:30 PM ET

This is actually a very interesting game and I will try to utilize real analysis here instead of my meager attempts at humor and sarcasm. Georgia Tech enters this game having won their last three games and are looking to avenge last season's 51-7 beat-down in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech will not be at full strength for this game as two key contributors, starting DE Chris Ellis and WR Josh Morgan, have been suspended for this game by coach Frank Beamer.

Virginia Tech's defense has piled up incredible statistics against terribly weak opponents. On the other hand, Notre Dame fans know that Georgia Tech's defense is extremely tough. I expect new starting quarterback Sean Glennon to struggle against Jon Tenuta's defense, as the Hokie sophomore will be facing his first legitimate opponent. Unfortunately for Georgia Tech, I am not sure fifth-year senior Reggie Ball will play any better.

I would pick Georgia Tech here if this game was in Atlanta or Georgia Tech had a functional quarterback to get the ball to Calvin Johnson. Unfortunately, I expect that a key Ball turnover and continued special teams mastery by the Hokies will lead to a close Virginia Tech victory.

My Prediction: Virginia Tech: 24 Georgia Tech: 21

Houston at Miami – Saturday 6:00 PM ET

The most interesting aspect of this game will be how many anti-Croker banners will be flying above the stadium on Saturday night. Apparently a group of Miami boosters has purchased these advertisements in a continued attempt to pressure the University to fire the embattled coach. While I applaud their passion and creativity, I think they could find more productive outlets for their frustrations.

Houston enters this game undefeated and is coming off a nice win against Oklahoma St. On a side note, T. Boone Pickens just got the memo that $160 million cannot actually purchase a victory. Senior quarterback Kevin Kolb is capping off a productive career at Houston with a very impressive start to his senior season. Kolb is completing almost 70 percent of his passes and has already thrown 12 touchdowns. I do not think the Cougars can win at the Orange Bowl, but I do predict a surprisingly competitive game.

My Prediction: Miami: 24 Houston: 20

Louisiana Tech at (18) Clemson – Saturday 7:00 PM ET

Louisiana Tech has been killed by Nebraska and Texas A&M, the two legitimate teams they have played thus far. Since neither of these teams is as good as Clemson, the rational expectation would be a woodshed beating in Death Valley on Saturday night. Unlike many of the decisions I make on a daily basis, I see no point in going against reason on this one.

My Prediction: Clemson: 45 Louisiana Tech: 10

Last Week: 8-0 Season: 16-2


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