ACC action begins in earnest Saturday with Pitt at State, Miami making the new ACC's longest road trip (1,412 miles) to Syracuse, Georgia Tech heading to Maryland without Robert Carter in the lineup, Duke heading to Notre Dame, Clemson trekking up to B.C., and Virginia flying down to Tally to take on FSU.
All of them are interesting. Pitt and State is Pitt's weak schedule but solid team vs. a rising N.C. State team. Miami pits a young and improving team against perhaps the nation's best. Georgia Tech and Maryland have been playing at the same level more or less. Something has to give. B.C. is going to run into a rugged Clemson defense, and Virginia finds out if the Tennessee game was an aberration or if the truth is that this UVa team just can't take a punch.
We think State will lose, narrowly, Syracuse should crush Miami, and we'll take Tech over Maryland. B.C. is likely to be viscously abused by Clemson.
Virginia and Florida State...in a perfect world, it's a titanic defensive struggle. This world? We'll go with the 'Noles here. Virginia just seems to be reeling. All in all, FSU is playing really well. We just can't see it for Virginia.
Even though we expect State to lose, it should be a really compelling game. We never imagined the Pack would be this far along this fast. Mark Gottfried has done a great job to date.
B.C. is about to get more pain from Clemson, a team which has really committed to tough defense. It's been an awful season for the Eagles. Nothing will improve this weekend, other than the chances of getting a good seat.
On a more local note, former Blue Devil Michael Gbinije is excited about starting ACC play.
By the way, congratulations to the Clemson Tigers for a scintillating victory over the Ohio State University Buckeyes.