It’s time for bowl predictions for the final 3 ACC bowl games, which will feature Clemson, Virginia Tech, and future member Pittsburgh. So far, the Confidential is 3-1, correctly predicting the results on all but the Wake Forest game.
On January 3rd, the Sugar Bowl will feature Virginia Tech (11-2) and Michigan (10-2). This game will be a battle between the explosive running attack of the Wolverines and the stingy rushing defense of Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech was able to bottle up Georgia Tech earlier in the year. However, Michigan was able to move the ball against a good Nebraska defense. Neither team had an extraordinarily difficult schedule. The Hokies will be playing without their kicker, which might make a difference if this comes down to a low-scoring game. Giving the Hokies defense this much time to prepare is the difference. Prediction: Virginia Tech 21-Michigan 16.
On January 4th, the Orange Bowl will put ACC Champion Clemson (10-3) against Big East Champion West Virginia (9-3). Both of these teams had disappointing seasons for conference champions. West Virginia certainly wishes it could redo a few of its games, especially the blowout loss to 5-7 Syracuse. Clemson had that perplexing blowout loss to North Carolina State. In losing to these teams, both foes showed that they can be shutdown completely. At the same time, Clemson showed that it could beat tough teams, as demonstrated by wins over Auburn, Florida State, and Virginia Tech. West Virginia played LSU tough for a spell, but really lacks that quality win. Prediction: Clemson 35 – West Virginia 27.
Last, but certainly least, future ACC member Pittsburgh takes its 6-6 record into Birmingham to face 7-5 SMU in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Pittsburgh has been in a state of coaching flux. SMU was able to keep June Jones from wandering away. Maybe Pitt can win this one to stick it to former coach Todd Graham, but the Confidential just does not see it. Prediction: SMU 24- Pittsburgh 20.
Feel free to share your agreement or disagreement. Just do so before the game ends…