Half of the championship lineup is set with Clemson taking the Atlantic Division crown. All eyes turn to the Coastal to see who will make the run at dethroning the Tigers and their championship dreams.
Honestly, looking at that entire division not a single team sticks out as having the level of talent or coaching to hang with the Tigers for a full 60min. So can we go ahead and just crown Clemson the ACC Champ and let them march into the College Football Playoffs as a Top-2 seed?
While that would save everyone a lot of headache of going through the motions and seeing another team dismantled at the hands of “Dabo & Company” that just wouldn’t be right. Upsets can, and do, happen.
Either Duke or South Carolina could find a way to top them and send them into the ACC Championship Game with a blemished record. Or some lowly Coastal team could pull the upset. You just never know.
Let’s jump into a couple previews of this weekend’s action in ACC football.
#3 Notre Dame vs #12 Syracuse (2:30pm ET Kickoff on NBC)
Syracuse head coach Dino Babers will be taking his 12th-ranked Orange to South Bend, IN to take a stab at one of the toughest teams in the country. The Irish are a top-ranked defensive squad that doesn’t allow their opposition to put a lot of points on the board (currently 15th at 18.7 pts/game).
Babers knows his veteran QB will have his hands full but he’s up for the challenge.
“When I look at them, I really don’t see any chinks in their armor anywhere. They’re a very, very complete unit. They’re very deserving of the ranking that they have. And the only thing I can say about my quarterback is I’m glad that he’s a senior and he’s got some experience, because he’s going to need all the pictures that he’s seen to go against this Notre Dame defense.”
And with all the adversity this senior class has had to endure during their time at Syracuse, coach Babers knows they have formed into a tight-knit unit that doesn’t shy away from adversity.
“They’ve gone through two head coaches, a bunch of coordinators, a bunch of guys leaving and not staying, a bunch of selfishness that became unselfishness, a bunch of individuals that became a family.”
They’ll be ready to face the Irish on Saturday. This will be a close game but unfortunately for Syracuse we just don’t see them pulling off the win when the final whistle blows.
Florida State vs #20 Boston College (3:30pm ET Kickoff on ESPN2)
A couple programs heading in very different directions.
Boston College is enjoying much deserved success as they currently sit at #3 in the Atlantic division and are poised for a decent bowl game when the season is over.
The Noles, on the other hand, are in a pair of must-win games against ranked opponents to close out the season just to keep their bowl streak alive.
It’s no secret the fanbase is calling for FSU head coach Willie Taggart’s head after this disappointing season. He’s just as disappointed at the results on the scoreboard after, what he says, are productive practices during the week.
“That’s probably the most frustrating part of it, that we practice really well. Our guys are going hard. We’re just not getting the results that we want on the football field on Saturday. And we’ve got to find a way to get those results.”
Can the Noles right the ship in time to pull off wins against Boston College and Florida and limp into the bowl season?
It’s one game at a time now at this point.
We think FSU has just enjoy gas left in the tank to stagger out of this game with a close, come from behind, victory to make the Florida game all the more meaningful next weekend.
That being said, we finally had a good weekend of picks as we only dropped a single game. Let’s hope for more of that magic this weekend.
Saturday, November 17th
Last Week’s Picks: 7-1
Year-to-Date Record: 65-27 (70.65%)
Here’s to hoping for a great slate of games and we’ll check back in next week and hopefully not cringe at the results.
If you’ve signed up for our weekly ESPN College Pick ‘Em challenge then don’t forget to get your picks locked in. Top entry at the end of the season will get a nominal cash prize!