Does anybody want to win the ACC?
Four weeks into the college football season and this conference is wide open as the favorites in each division heading into the year — Clemson and North Carolina — are a combined 2-3 in conference play. That ain’t it.
I’ll pick a few of the big ones and some of the others in the article and, for some added fun, I’d like to hear who you think will emerge from each side since pretty much everybody still has a shot at it — though Florida State and Virginia have the deepest holes to climb out of.
At this point, I’ll go with Wake Forest and maybe Virginia Tech to break through this slog. I want to think Clemson’s talent will push it back to the top, but it’s just hard to trust any of these teams at this point.
Anyways, let’s get back to the regularly scheduled program.
Last week, we went to the well to get back above .500 and it paid off — despite me losing the LSU pick (Spoiler alert: they’ll make another appearance this week as well). We ended up 6-4, which puts us at 23-22 on the year.
Another week, another shoutout goes to Ukedadnole who continues to pace the commenters, going 7-3 in his picks last week, and hopefully keeping the Irish choice hidden from his Badger wife.
All lines come from Tallysight.com.
- No. 8 Arkansas (+17.5) at No. 2 Georgia (Noon ET, ESPN)
Do you think ESPN thought Texas A&M was going to win last week or what? This game kicking off at noon is an interesting choice, but College Gameday always gets a little extra juice when the game kicks off right after Corso’s pick. Sam Pittman’s Razorbacks put the work on a top-ten Texas A&M last week in Jerry World and now gets rewarded with a trip to Athens. Georgia has been the most dominant team in college football so far so picking against them feels stupid, but I really liked what I saw from Arkansas’s offensive line last week. That type of power travels and hopefully it travels well enough to cover.
Prediction: Arkansas +17.5
- Louisville (+6.5) at No. 24 Wake Forest (12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
Here’s another game that ESPN probably wants to put in a different time slot or at least an actual channel as Louisville and Wake Forest battle for first place in the Atlantic. Florida State fans are familiar with both teams as they’re the reason the Noles are 0-2 in ACC play. Both teams raced out to big first half leads. The Demon Deacons were actually able to extend theirs in the second half against FSU while Louisville nearly let it slip away. Talking with some of you in the comments, I’ve come around on Wake being for real so let’s rock with them.
Prediction: Wake Forest -6.5
- No. 7 Cincinnati (-1.5) at No. 9 Notre Dame (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
This could very well end up being the game of the day, though it really is an excellent slate of games. Cincinnati heading to South Bend as a favorite in a top-ten matchup is certainly surprising, but I think it’s because Vegas doesn’t really know what to make of this Notre Dame team. They’ve had two nail-biters with two teams that have proven to not be very good and then ran away from two teams that are thought to be better. My question though, are they? Wisconsin has been awful in their two big games this year and Purdue is Purdue. The Irish could be without their starting quarterback Jack Coan as well so let’s get weird.
Prediction: Cincinnati -1.5
- No. 12 Ole Miss (+14.5) at No. 1 Alabama (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
Lane Kiffin versus his former boss Nick Saban is sure to be the storyline in this one and rightfully so. Kiffin got the bump from coaching at Bama to kick start his return to the HC role. He took it to FAU and now has Ole Miss off and running. The Alabama Crimson Tide, to no one’s surprise, are the pinnacle of college football once again. They’ll get this game at home, which is a big advantage, but something about this game says not to sleep on the Rebels.
Prediction: Ole Miss +14.5
- No. 3 Oregon (-7.5) at Stanford (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
The 3:30 timeslot this week is loaded so try to get some extra TV’s in your living room as you settle in for Florida State. This one probably won’t carry the same fanfare as the others in this window because Stanford isn’t ranked, but they did just get Clay Helton fired. Now, the Cardinal get to host the No. 3 team in the land for a pretty early west coast kickoff. This conference is known for getting weird after dark so I’ll take the favorites in this one since the sun is still up.
Prediction: Oregon -7.5
- Syracuse (+5.5) at Florida State (3:30 p.m. ET, ACCN)
Yeah, I wrote that correctly. Despite being 0-4, Mike Norvell’s Florida State team is more than a 5-point favorite against Syracuse. I’m sure this game is one many of us had circled as an auto-win on the schedule in the preseason, but it appears far from it now. The Orange have a strong rushing attack, which could give FSU problems, but that’s about it. So I’m going to go with the Noles to break their losing streak and get a tally in the win column for the first time this year.
Prediction: Florida State -5.5
- No. 10 Florida (-7.5) at Kentucky (6:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
I know I’m the SEC guy in the room, but even I can’t believe how much love Florida is getting for almost beating Alabama at home. Yes, they had a chance to tie at the end, but it never really felt like they had a chance to actually win the game. Last week, I professed my support for this Kentucky team that I think is flying under the radar a bit. This week, they show people how good they really are (hopefully).
Prediction: Kentucky +7.5
- No. 21 Baylor (+3.5) at No. 19 Oklahoma State (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Last week, I doubted the Cowboys and rightfully got called out on it in the comments. I thought Kansas State could still have the juice to beat them without their starting QB and, quite frankly, that was stupid. This week, Oklahoma State will host a Baylor team that has really started to put it together the last few weeks and knocked off Iowa State last week. This has the makings of a fun Big-12 game to me that probably comes down to a field goal so let’s take the free field goal ahead of time.
Prediction: Baylor +3.5
- Boston College (+14.5) at No. 25 Clemson (7:30 p.m. ET, ACCN)
I’m shocked by this line. Boston College looks like a team on the rise while Clemson is struggling to get first downs. They’ve managed next to no offense this year even when they play Georgia Tech and a depleted NC State team. This spread is too big for me even if Clemson wins the game.
Prediction: Boston College +14.5
- No. 22 Auburn (+3.5) at LSU (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)
As those of you who frequent this article each week know, I’m an LSU grad and my wife is an Auburn grad so as far as I’m concerned this game is the worst one on the schedule each and every season. Win and I can’t be happy. Lose and hear about it all year long. I wish it no longer existed, but here we are. This season, both teams are woefully unimpressive. Mississippi State gifted LSU every chance in the world last week and the Tigers still only won by a score. Meanwhile, Auburn needed a QB change to get by Georgia State. I love TJ Finley and his potential revenge against LSU makes for a great angle — if he starts, but there’s something special about Saturday night in Tiger Stadium and this is the first real big night game there since Joe Burrow’s senior night. Simply put, Geaux Tigers.
Prediction: LSU -3.5