There are quite a few good games to watch in the ACC this week. The most intriguing matchup has to be between Miami and future ACC member Notre Dame on Saturday night, a rebirth of the Catholics vs. Convicts rivalry if you will. All 12 members of the ACC are playing on Saturday, and as an added bonus future members Syracuse and Pittsburgh play tonight.
I was burned last week by the no show performances by Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, as well as by turnover prone North Carolina State. My record in week 5 was 5-3, bringing my record for the year to 40-8 (.833 winning percentage).
Let’s move on and get to the week 6 picks!
Bonus Pick: Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse
The Panthers and the Orange will be joining the ACC next year and this game will be a good preview of what each will bring to the conference. Pitt is 2-2 and on a two game winning streak, while Syracuse is 1-3 and are playing a must win game at home. If the Orange are to have any chance at postseason play then they must this one. I think that Ryan Nassib & Co. are the more desperate of the two and that is why they will come out on top. Pick: Cuse over Pitt
Boston College vs. Army
Neither the Eagles nor the Black Knights are particularly good this season, but Army appears to be the worse of the two. Army is 0-4 and it is due to their defense, which is terrible. BC has Chase Rettig, who has been a good surprise early this season. Rettig is good and I think he will be able to pick apart the Knights’ defense. Pick: BC over Army
Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina
I have picked the Hokies to win each of the first five weeks and they have burned me twice. The offense can’t get on track and the defense is surprisingly inconsistent. UNC’s up-tempo offense could give Tech’s defense some trouble. The only way that Virginia Tech can win this game is if they have gotten things together on offense and I just don’t know if they have. Pick: UNC over VT
Virginia vs. Duke
The Blue Devils are relevant again. It’s about time it has only been 17 years since the last time Duke played in a bowl. Duke has been solid up to this point and Virginia has been anything but. The Cavaliers are going through a quarterback change this week as Phillip Simms will be the starter “if healthy” over Michael Rocco. I don’t think that is the answer to UVa’s woes this season but it could work out, just not this week. Pick: Duke over UVa
Wake Forest vs. Maryland
The Demon Deacons are coming off a home loss to Duke and Maryland is coming off a bye. Wake Forest is a desperate team and they need a win to get back on track. I think that will happen this week as Maryland simply isn’t a good team; Stefon Diggs can’t do it all. Pick: WF over Maryland
Georgia Tech vs. Clemson
I don’t know what to expect from the Yellow Jackets from week to week. They can be the team that destroys Virginia or the one that loses to Middle Tennessee. That inconsistency coupled with the fact that this is a revenge game for Clemson could mean trouble for Tech. Clemson is a very good team with an average to poor defense while Tech is an average team with a potentially great offense. I think this will be a shootout but Clemson will win it late. Pick Clemson over GT
Miami vs. Notre Dame
As specified earlier, this is the latest version of the rivalry that used to be known as the game between the Catholics and the Convicts. Miami is coming off a big win over NC State at home, but the Hurricanes still have one of the worst defenses in the country. The offense can score to stay in this game, but if the defense can’t force some turnovers from the Irish then this game has the potential to become ugly. The best team Miami has played this season is Kansas State and the Wildcats were able to put up 52 points on them while only giving up 10 points to the Hurricanes offense. The Fighting Irish have the better offense and the better defense in this one as well as the home field advantage. I just don’t see how the Hurricanes can pull the upset in this one. Pick: ND over Miami
Florida State vs. North Carolina State
The Seminoles have moved up to 3rd in the country and totally deserve that ranking; however they will face a stiff test in the Wolfpack. State’s defense hasn’t been good this season, but the offense has been good enough to at least attempt to outscore their opponents. NC State should have beaten Miami last week but they couldn’t get out of their own way. They turned the ball over six times and still only lost by a touchdown. FSU is a much better team than Miami on both offense and defense, which is why I just don’t see a way that the Pack can pull the upset. NC State would have to play a flawless game to beat the Seminoles and I just don’t see it happening. Pick: FSU over NC State