We are starting to get into the thick of conference play as week six will help shape much of the conference standings in 2013. As for our own standings, John Garcia Jr. and Mike McAllister continue to be neck and neck as we approach the midway point of the season.
Garcia Jr.: 40-8
Garcia Jr.: Virginia's defense was thought to be a strength coming into the season and hopefully, for their sake, they use this game as a confidence builder and a springboard to the second-half of their schedule. Cavs win 28-7.
McAllister: After a few losses where the Cavaliers have really struggled, especially on offense, they come home to work on getting things right against an overmatched Ball State team. Virginia 34 Ball State 10
Garcia Jr.: FSU's first big test is a young and athletic bunch from Maryland, but the near-scare from B.C. last week will actually serve a good purpose for the 'Noles, who use it as a reminder that the ACC is a talented conference. With the wake up call behind them, both units play well at home. The defense will be showcased here in a solid 31-21 win.
McAllister: Maryland has really surprised on the young season showing marked improvement from a year ago. Still, they have a monumental task of winning on the road against a supremely talented Florida State squad. Jameis Winston has a big game as the Seminoles pull away in the second half. Florida State 38 Maryland 24.
Garcia Jr.: Two disappointing teams square off looking for a bounce-back win and a springboard into the bulk of ACC play. UNC's offense is its strength and Va. Tech's defense is its strength, so something has got to give. I'll go with Tech pulling it out, because their offense -- though not very good at all -- has to be better than a UNC group that got run out of their own stadium by East Carolina last week, right? Hokies win, 24-21.
McAllister: Coming off a huge road win, Virginia Tech is looking to re-establish itself as an ACC power. They may possess the best defense in the country, and North Carolina has been disappointing early in 2013. The Hokies continue their resurgence with a solid victory. Virginia Tech 28 North Carolina 17
Garcia Jr.: Army has been in the news because of the good ole' government this week, but the game is actually happening now. The emotion that Army always shows will help them early, but a confident Eagle program controls the second-half en route to a 34-17 victory.
McAllister: Boston College gave Florida State some problems and made that a game despite the obvious talent differential on paper. This is a classic let down game against an inferior opponent. Army plays well early, and may even take a lead into halftime. But they just don't have the weapons on offense to put up enough points. The Eagles squeak one out. Boston College 27 Army 24
Garcia Jr.: The surprise of the conference against the overall disappointment will follow suit. The Pack will put up plenty of points in another dismantling for Wake and its young roster. N.C. State wins a roady, 38-14.
McAllister: Things have gotten really, really bad for Wake Forest as they continue to look lethargic. However, the Wolfpack are not a powerhouse and the Deacons are looking to get things back on track. In an ugly game, Wake Forest is able to do just enough to pull out the win. Wake Forest 24 N.C. State 23
Garcia Jr.: Perhaps the top game on the ACC slate this week should go down to the wire. These division rivals have played some classics in the past, and this one may shape up to be the best in recent memory. Miami's defense will eventually figure out the triple-option in a close one, out-scoring the Jackets, 28-21 in a fun one down in the 305.
McAllister: After a disappointing loss against Virginia tech, the Yellow Jackets are looking to bounce back with a huge road win at Miami. The Hurricanes are more talented and playing really good football right now. In a close one, Stephen Morris is the difference. Miami 34 Georgia Tech 31.
Garcia Jr.: The battle of orange will be closer than people think, as SU always plays up to its competition. Unfortunately for the Orange, Tajh Boyd and company are more prolific and most importantly more battle tested than West Virginia two years ago or even Louisville last season in similar SU against a good-spread-team-that-should-win program. Terrel Hunt will be tested and flustered more than he's ever been, as will Boyd, but the senior is much more prepared to pick up a tough road win than Hunt is to come up with a national upset. Clemson roars 31-24. Take the points gambling CuseNation.com members!
McAllister: On paper, this should be a Clemson blowout victory. But the Orange play well as home underdogs in recent years and the players are jacked up for this game. Expect to get the best from Scott Shafer's squad as Terrel Hunt performs well on a national stage. Despite a game effort and a raucous Carrier Dome crowd, Syracuse falls in a tight one. Clemson 38 Syracuse 34.