Week 4 ACC Preview
Welcome to Week #4. Check out our latest poll, and remember to get your week’s entry in for our fantasy football contest. It is free… with prizes. And you can join anytime. Here are this week’s games:
Maryland (2-1) @ Syracuse (2-0), 12:00 pm. The Orange rebounded nicely from the opening week near-disaster against Villanova to play a complete game against Central Michigan. Meanwhile, Maryland rallied to make it quite a game with offensive juggernaut West Virginia. Syracuse’s offense will look slow and plodding compared to the Mountaineers. Meanwhile, it is not clear that Syracuse can stop a mobile QB like CJ Brown. Syracuse really needs this win.
Iowa (2-1) @ Pittsburgh (3-0), 12:00 pm. A great matchup between two hardnosed teams. Iowa has been underwhelming all year, calling into question whether Kirk Ferentz has gone stale to the point of moldy. Meanwhile, Pitt has had only one bad half and is looking as strong as they have been in many years. Given the aforementioned trouble that Syracuse may have with Maryland, it would be nice for Pitt to represent the ACC well in this game.
Georgia Tech (3-0) @ Virginia Tech (2-1), 12:00 pm. Had the Hokies lost to Ohio State and beaten East Carolina, we would find the 2-1 record “as expected.” However, having beaten the Buckeyes in the Horseshoe, the loss at home to East Carolina was an upset. Georgia Tech has the better record, but has merely eked by against inferior competition. This game will either make the Hokies healthy moving forward or give Georgia Tech a nice leg up on its Coastal competition.
Tulane (1-2) @ Duke (3-0), 12:30 pm. It is a shame that Duke’s schedule is so devoid of OOC challenges. Kansas is the premiere opponent. Sigh. Tulane is now an AAC member, but it is not ready for the high-octane Duke offense. The ACC has avoided the Big 10’s embarrassing opening by beating the teams that they are supposed to beat.
Maine (1-1) @ Boston College (2-1), 1:00 pm. How nice for the Eagles that they get to follow-up the USC beatdown by playing FCS Maine? Boston College needs to take care of business early and keep Maine from believing in itself. They have given other major programs headaches in the past.
Louisville (2-1) @ Florida International (1-2), 3:30 pm. FIU has a nice home slate this year, with Pitt and Louisville visiting on consecutive weekends. Louisville stumbled in its ACC road opener, but will look to right the ship against Pitt that scared the heck out of Pitt for part of last Saturday. The Cardinals may not return to the top 25 with a win, but it is a stepping stone.
Virginia (2-1) @ #21 BYU (3-0), 3:30 pm. Other than Clemson and Florida State, and perhaps Syracuse, it is difficult to find an ACC team with a more difficult schedule than Virginia. And yet they are 2-1. BYU is a tough team to beat on the road and the Cougars will be looking for revenge. Also, this is a good chance for BYU to show that it deserves P5 status for scheduling purposes. The Cavs will need some luck.
Army (1-1) @ Wake Forest (1-2), 3:30 pm. The Demon Deacons have two road losses against G5 conference members. Army is not a pushover, but this may be Wake Forest’s best chance for a win for the remainder of the season. For the kids and the new coaching staff, let’s hope that they get it.
North Carolina (2-0) @ East Carolina (2-1), 3:30 pm. Fresh off a good game against South Carolina and an upset win over Virginia Tech, East Carolina will not be at all intimidated by North Carolina. We keep waiting for UNC to take the next step. An OOC win here would be a good start. If not? One begins to wonder whether ECU-Duke would be a great bowl matchup for North Carolina football supremacy.
Presbyterian (2-1) @ North Carolina State (3-0), 6:00 pm. Yes, North Carolina State is 3-0. True, they have not really beaten anyone of note. True, they have looked questionable in a few of those victories. But the beatdown against USF was a very good sign that last year was an anomaly. All of the sudden, it is difficult to envision how the Atlantic will shake out.
Miami (2-1) @ #24 Nebraska (3-0), 8:00 pm. 10 and 30 years ago, this would be a game that would captivate the nation. This week? We can only wonder whether these programs will every revisit their glory days. Nebraska’s path is tough in the Big 10, and recruiting has not gotten any easier. Similarly, Miami has to share the spoils of the Florida recruiting scene with other Florida schools and the rest of the country. In what might be the rubber match between the ACC and Big 10, this one will be a huge litmus test for both teams. Someone heads into Sunday feeling very good about “being back.”
ACC GAME OF THE WEEK: #22 Clemson (1-1) @ #1 Florida State (2-0), 8:00 pm. Last year’s game was electrifying. Until a much better Clemson team ultimately got beaten down by eventual champion Florida State. Both teams have lost a ton, and Florida State gets to play a half without Jameis Winston. So this one is likely to be a nailbiter. If Clemson loses, there will be no playoff. If Florida State loses, they are still alive… but no longer controlling their own destiny. Think the stakes are high enough??? Enjoy!
What do you think?