I think we can all agree the next few days are better than Christmas.
Think about it…
If your married and a dad like me Christmas has turned into the joy of giving. When it comes to gifts for me, all I have to look forward to are ties and those “As Seen on TV” gadgets. It’s fun and I’m blessed and thankful for every single thing I get, but, needless to say, the excitement has left.
But, by the grace of God, He has delivered unto us the blessings of college football.
I can without a doubt say this weekend will bring me more joy than any gift I will unwrap in December.
And I know I’m not alone in my feelings.
Under the beer tree this weekend in ACC Football action alone is the showdown between the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the Tennessee Volunteers tonight in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta, Georgia followed by the Auburn Tigers battling the Clemson Tigers in the same venue tomorrow night.
I’m giddy with excitement just thinking about these two games.
I can’t even begin to think about controlling my emotions thinking about my North Carolina Tar Heels facing the little ole Elon Phoenix on Saturday.
Then the big wrap up to the whole opening weekend with the traditional holiday feast and literally the turkey meal as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets travel to Blacksburg, Virginia, to face the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Seriously, I’m a little light headed thinking about it…
So let’s quickly take a look at ACC Football Week 1 while I still have my senses.
If you can believe we are just hours away from this bad boy kicking off. The ACC needs something positive to hang it’s hat on to start the season in a big way and they should get their wish. These two teams are mirror images of each other at almost every position. Look for the Wolfpack to make a few extra big plays on defense to secure the win and cover 31-27.
Elon at North Carolina (NL) – Saturday, 12:30 PM (ACC Network – Maybe it is Elon)
Seriously, Elon has a football team? No offense, but I thought Elon was a hair dressers school until I got to Mercer University for my undergrad back in the early 90s. The Tar Heels couldn’t have picked a better opponent for new Head Coach Larry Fedora to begin his cleaning up and revival in Chapel Hill. UNC rolls 51-11 (cause the no name team getting hammered always ends up with a safety somehow).
William & Mary at Maryland (NL) – Saturday, 3 PM (ACC Network, Local Affiliates)
I can’t tell you why, but I have a feeling this game will go undecided until late in the fourth. For all that is good and holy in the ACC, I hope I am wrong. But something tells me the Terps are going to act like William and Mary brought Jimmy, Jack, Johnny and Larry along with them. Maryland holds on for the 24-21 win.
Richmond Spiders at the Virginia Cavaliers (NL) – Saturday, 3 PM (ACC Network, Local Affiliates)
Virginia is a sleeper team in the ACC this season and needs to come out quick and strong against a Richmond team that is decent for its level of football. The Cavaliers have a way of looking awful and losing to folks they should not and finding a way to look like a NFL team against teams they should lose too. Virginia doesn’t falter and wins 44-20.
Miami Hurricanes at Boston College Eagles (+2) – Saturday, 3 PM (ABC, Maybe-ESPN Mapping Gods)
Probably the two least talked about team in all of major BCS football. Probably for good reason. I’m a nut and I love ACC Football and I don’t know if I can watch this game. Maybe if The Rock and Matt Ryan came back for a game. Either way, Boston College is at home and will cover, but Miami wins, 21-20.
Murray State Racers at the Florida State Seminoles (NL) – Saturday, 6 PM (ACC Network, Local Affiliates)
Ok… I’m going officially on record with this one… Prepare yourself… FSU should have this game put away in the first quarter, but history tells us they will not. If this game is tied at the half, I will buy a ticket and personally streak the field or create some kind of disturbance to put the game on hold. The ACC, nor the ‘Noles, can afford another one of their half awake starts to a season against a team they should destroy. Florida State will keep the world safe from more of me than should ever be seen and win, 58-10.
Liberty Eagles at the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (NL) – Saturday, 6:30 PM (Local Affiliates)
Does anyone really care? It will a great fun environment if you are a fan and in Winston Salem, North Carolina. I urge you to go. It will be the best time every. Bring something to keep you occupied during the game. Wake wins, 38-6.
Florida International Panthers at the Duke Blue Devils (-3.5) – Saturday, 7 PM (Local Affiliates)
Duke has to find away to win this game. It will not be an easy task. I’m a Tar Heel so I’ll meet in the middle. Duke wins, but does not cover 24-23.
Game two of the highly anticipated SEC vs. ACC match up at the Georgia Dome. Another huge game the ACC needs desperately to begin the season. I’m extremely nervous about this game and I would love to be the grip holding Head Coach Dabo Swinney‘s wires for his head set. The emotion will be exhausting. Clemson will jump on Auburn early, only to give up the lead at some point before stretching out a victory, 40-31.
The big wrap up to the weekend of college football that features two of the projected top teams in the conference at night. Pinch me… The Yellow Jackets will not disappoint running their Wing-T and this game will be a epic one for the ages. I totally expect Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson to come out in a pro-set and pass the first 10 plays of the game. That’s how nuts I think this game will be. The Yellow Jackets win in a push, 27-20.
So there is my gift to you in our Christmas weekend of August and September.
Enjoy this time…
Cause you know those socks have already been purchased and are awaiting you on December 25.
M. Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years experience in sports broadcasting, journalism and college athletics and currently covers ACC Football for Rant Sports.
Follow him @woodysmalls