As per usual, I know who you’re rooting for in one game, but here’s who you should be rooting for in every ACC game this week. Let’s get to the list
Miami (3-0 overall, 0-0 in ACC) at Georgia Tech (3-1, 1-1), Saturday, 12 Noon, ESPN2
Miami travels to Atlanta to face GT in their opening ACC game of the year. This is a familiar foe for Coach Mark Richt, as he has a 21-2 career record against the Yellow Jackets from his time at FSU and Georgia. Miami looks to continue their strong start to the season following a bye. Georgia Tech looks to rebound from “a catastrophe” — Coach Paul Johnson’s words, not mine — vs Clemson last week.
Who to root for: This is State of the U. We root for Miami. Every week. Bar none. Get your life together.
Notre Dame (1-3) at Syracuse (2-2, 0-0), Saturday, 12 Noon, ESPN
Notre Dame is a team looking for traction after firing their Defensive Coordinator. Syracuse is an up and coming program under Dino Babers. Miami plays Notre Dame to close out October. If the revival of Catholics vs Convicts has 4 or fewer combined losses, it would have added gravitas to an already marquee matchup.
Who to root for: For the above reason, and that reason only, you should root for ND this week.
Virginia (1-3, 0-0) at Duke (2-2, 0-1), Saturday, 12:30pm, ACC Network (Regional)
These two Coastal foes defied logic with big wins last week. Virginia is still one of the worst outfits in the Nation. Duke is still an average outfit at best, but they played one HELL of a game against Notre Dame. Miami travels to Charlottesville to face UVa in November, then hosts Duke in the regular season finale 2 weeks later.
Who to root for: Since Duke is the better team, and UVa is unlikely to be a challenge to good teams this season in the future, I say root for Virginia in this game to give Duke another ACC loss.
Buffalo (1-2) at Boston College (2-2, 0-2), Saturday, 12:30pm, ACC Network (Regional)
This is a chance for Boston College to go a game over .500 on the year. It won’t be a chance for them to get their first ACC win of the year, but a win is a win nonetheless. Buffalo is a Go5 team, but the Bulls should offer little resistance.
Who to root for: Boston College, if only for to get them some momentum to maybe steal a game vs a top ACC contender later on this season.
North Carolina (3-1, 1-0 ACC) at Florida State (3-1, 0-1), Saturday, 3:30pm, ESPN
Wooo buddy is this a big game. The Tar Heels enter off a big win over Pittsburgh last week, while Florida State is looking for their first ACC win after getting 63 points dropped on them by the Lamar Jackson Death Machine of Louisville a couple weeks ago.
Both these teams have championship aspirations in the conference, and this game will go a long way toward deciding their fates. If UNC wins, they’re at 2-0 in conference and ahead of the pack. If FSU loses they’re at 0-2 in the conference and virtually contending in the Atlantic. If FSU wins/UNC loses, however, both teams would be 1-1 in conference and still in the running for their respective Divisions.
Who to root for: UNC is a Coastal foe. FSU is a bitter rival, and Atlantic team. This one is tough, but I’d rather see UNC catch that L. And, with their future ACC schedule a touch lighter than Miami’s, a conference loss now would be great for the Canes’ championship aspirations.
So, for this week ONLY, it is with a sullen heart, I say root for FSU. Or, better said, root for UNC to lose. Yeah, that’s it. Root for UNC to lose.
Wake Forest (4-0, 1-0) at North Carolina State (2-1, 0-0), Saturday, 3:30pm, ACC Network (Regional)
No, that’s not a typo. Wake Forest is 4-0 and undefeated in the ACC. If you predicted that before the season, shut up because you’re lying. NC State is 2-1, having dropped a game to East Carolina, a school that absolutely delights in beating other teams from their State.
Who to root for: Wake Forest. Miami plays at NC State later this year, but the main draw of rooting for Wake Forest is that WAKE FOREST IS UNDEFEATED THIS YEAR OH MY GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING?!!?! Plus, neither team is beating 2 of Clemson, FSU, and Louisville, teams with whom they share the Atlantic Division, so this may be their biggest game of the year.
Marshall (1-2) at Pittsburgh (2-2, 0-1), Saturday, 7:30pm, ACC Network (Regional)
Marshall is coming off a blowout loss to the Lamar Jackson Death Machine. Pittsburgh is coming off a loss to UNC where the Panthers had a lead in the 2nd half, but couldn’t hold it, losing by 1, 37-36. Couple that with a 45-38 loss at Oklahoma State the week before that, and Pittsburgh’s defense has give up 82 points in the last 2 weeks. Not great, Bob.
Who to root for: Pittsburgh. I would say Marshall just to spite the Panthers, but rooting for Marshall in this game is a fool’s errand with no use. And, a Pittsburgh win should hopefully give the Canes a higher strength of schedule later on in the year.
Louisville (4-0, 2-0) at Clemson (4-0, 1-0), Saturday, 8:00pm, ABC
I know UNC at FSU is a huge game relative to Miami’s season since the Canes play both of those teams in the coming weeks, but this game right here is the biggest CFB game in the COUNTRY this week.
I mean, everybody has seen the carnage wrought by the Lamar Jackson Death Machine this year. If you haven’t, ask an FSU fan about it. And Clemson, while not playing to their best potential yet, was the CFB Playoff Runners-Up in 2015, and they have a team STACKED with talent.
Also, this matchup of QBs is worth the price of admission. Lamar Jackson vs Deshaun Watson. Man. This is gonna be a good one.
Who to root for: The only way Miami will see either of these teams would be in the ACC Championship game. Since there’s no direct impact on the Canes’ regular season with the outcome of this game, root that it’s an awesome game with plenty of highlight plays.
Or, you could be petty and root for Louisville since Clemson laid that 58-0 beatdown on Miami lat year.
Or, you could be petty and root for Clemson because Louisville beat Miami in that Russel Athletic Bowl in 2013 and then Brad Kaaya’s first career start to start in 2014.
Up to you.
Anyways, that’s it for this week’s rooting guide. Enjoy the games, guys!