"A hot take is a journalism term derisively used to describe a piece of deliberately provocative commentary that is based almost entirely on shallow moralizing in response to a news story, usually written on tight deadlines with little research or reporting, and even less thought." - Wikipedia
Over the past two weeks, we've seen every hot take possible regarding the Miami program. After Al Golden was fired, some analysts and hosts gleefully declared that coaches should avoid the Miami job. After Miami's WIN over Duke, people were falling over each other to declare their outrage. There were unprecedented calls for the ACC to change the result of the game. There were ludicrous articles written about how Miami should do the right thing and forfeit after the fact. The ACC handled the situation poorly and suspended the officials, while only mentioning the final play, giving clearance to all of the hot takes against Miami. In reality, out of all the people with strong opinions, very few actually watched the entire game. Last night we learned from UM AD Blake James that the conference privately admitted that mistakes were made on many calls that hurt the Hurricanes, but that story isn't the narrative people want to hear so it's likely only Canes fans will hear about it. The negative national reaction to the incredible game-winning touchdown was unique to Miami and has galvanized both the team and the fan base. Time to beat Virginia and build on this momentum.
MIAMI -7 vs Virginia - 3pm
The next two sentences are inexplicable and depressing. Mike London is in his 6th year as the head coach of Virginia. He is 4-1 against the Hurricanes and 9-30 combined against every other ACC opponent. It's baffling to think that London is Miami's nemesis, but given recent history the Canes cannot overlook Virginia. Beating Miami has likely saved London's job in the past and he'll be looking for one last reprieve on Saturday afternoon at Sun Life Stadium. The Cavs have lost 13 consecutive road games, with the last win coming in 2012.
Brad Kaaya is listed as questionable at the moment. I'm optimistic he'll start tomorrow. Malik Rosier played well against Duke and is capable of leading the Canes to another victory, but Kaaya's ability as a passer would create issues for Virginia's defense. The Cavs are near the bottom of the ACC in nearly every pass defense statistic and only have one interception this season. With the recent emergence of Stacy Coley and the consistent play of Herb Waters and Rashawn Scott, Kaaya should have no trouble passing for 2-3 touchdowns tomorrow afternoon if he's able to play.
UVA will rely heavily on the running game and RB Taquan Mizzell. The Cavs have rushed for over 200 yards in back to back games. Miami's run defense has struggled for most of the season, but did a decent job last week against Duke. The Canes played with more energy on defense and attacked the Blue Devils early. If Miami can bring that same attitude to the field tomorrow, I think the Canes defense can hold up against Virginia. Look for Larry Scott to earn his second win as the Canes head coach as his team scores a late touchdown to seal the deal in the fourth quarter.
I had success last Saturday without writing previews for each pick. I'll try that again this week, with one exception. North Carolina is going to blow out Duke. UNC is better to being with, but the Tar Heels are playing at home and will be motivated to prove they've been overlooked nationally. Coach Cutcliffe has spent all week complaining and whining about the loss to Miami. Duke's players have been distracted by the media and the aftermath of "The Return." Look for UNC to go up by two scores early and pull away in the second half. The Canes will then need to beat North Carolina next week and hope the Heels lose again against either Virginia Tech or NCST.
I've bucked the trend this week, going 4-2 on weeknight picks so far with Temple left to play tonight. Saturdays have been my strength all year. Enjoy your college football weekend.
ARKANSAS +11 at Ole Miss - 330pm
OREGON -4 vs California - 1030pm
LSU +7 at Alabama - 8pm
NORTH CAROLINA -7.5 vs Duke - 12pm