Things in ‘paradise’ are bad, you know that and I know that. After starting the season 5-1, the Miami Hurricanes have dropped 4 straight and is now playing for their pride and a spot in a bowl game. While none of the other ACC games will benefit the Hurricanes attempt at a bowl, there are still moments of revenge that can be taken from the remaining games.
Saturday, November 17
Pittsburgh (6-4, 5-1) @ Wake Forest (5-5, 2-4), 12:00 PM, Regional
Even though Pittsburgh finished 1-3 in out-of-conference play, a near perfect conference start has pushed the Panthers to the top Coastal as a trip to Charlotte awaits them. This week, the Panthers will travel to Wake Forest to play a hot Demon Deacons team that is coming off a shocking upset against NC State.
In the case of Hurricanes fans, root for Pittsburgh. While the Hurricanes can’t win the ACC Coastal, they have the chance to play spoiler next week when Pittsburgh travels down to Hard Rock Stadium.
North Carolina State (6-3, 3-3) @ Louisville (2-8, 0-7), 12:20 PM, Regional
After a stunning defeat at the hands of Wake Forest just a week prior, the NC State Wolfpack are looking to recover with a win. While NC State can not make it to Charlotte for the ACC Championship Game, a better bowl game can still be in store. This week, the Wolfpack will battle the Louisville Cardinals, who are in utter disarray after the firing of Bobby Petrino earlier this month.
While neither team has a direct effect on the Canes, root for NC State and an increase in the ACC resume.
#12 Syracuse (8-2, 5-2) @ #3 Notre Dame (10-0), 2:30 PM, NBC
Syracuse should be considered one of the surprising teams in the nation this season. A year removed from a 4-8 campaign, the Orange sit at 8-2 with their only losses being a 4-point defeat to undefeated Clemson and a overtime loss to Pittsburgh. While the battle against Notre Dame will be a tough one in the Big Apple, if any team has a chance of dethroning the Fighting Irish before the end of the season, it would be the Dino Babers led Orange.
Root for Syracuse this week. Seeing an ACC team defeat the red hot Fighting Irish would be a nice way to end the season.
Western Carolina @ North Carolina (1-8, 1-6), 3:00 PM, Regional
While a matchup against a non-FBS team is rare this late in the season, this is exactly what North Carolina is doing. While the Tar Heels seem to be in about as much disarray as Louisville, winning out could be a nice ending to a relatively poor season.
There isn’t much to say about this game. North Carolina can not become bowl eligible and the Hurricanes already defeated North Carolina. However, rooting for North Carolina seems like the best idea.
#20 Boston College (7-3, 4-2) @ Florida State (4-6, 2-5), 3:30 PM, ESPN 2
Earlier this week, a poll was ran on Twitter to determine who the most disappointing team between the Canes and Florida State were. While the Canes took 54% of the votes, the Seminoles are still disappointing. Now sitting at 4-6, the Seminoles have to win out to reach bowl eligibility. This week, it won't get any easier for Willie Taggart and the Seminoles as a match-up against a Boston College team that has turned heads this season awaits.
In fact, root for Boston College this week. Florida State failing to make a bowl game would be a fitting way for Hurricane fans to end the season.
Virginia (7-3, 4-2) @ Georgia Tech (6-4, 4-3), 3:30 PM, Regional
After finishing the 2016 season with a 2-10 record, the Virginia Cavaliers have rattled off a 7-3 record so far this season and currently sit in 2nd place in the Coastal division. With a chance to make the ACC Championship game nearing, a trip to Georgia Tech is first in the cards. The winner of this game should be tasked as the most likely team to win the Coastal should Pittsburgh stutter at any point.
Just for the story involved with it, Miami should root for Virginia and hope they can pull together enough to upset Clemson in the ACC Championship game.
Miami (5-5, 2-4) @ Virginia Tech (4-5, 3-3), 3:30 PM, ESPN
Before the season began, this late November matchup looked had College Gameday potential. Now, however, it’s a mere matchup between two teams trying to earn their bowl eligibility. After losing 4 straight games, Miami is looking to salvage anything from this season and make a bowl game. It starts in Blacksburg and Lane Stadium, where a Virginia Tech team lies. Should Miami win, they will clinch bowl eligibility and have the possibility to play spoiler next week against Pittsburgh.
None of this really matters though. This is the State of the U and every week we root for the Canes. Nothing changes here.
Duke (7-3, 3-3) @ #2 Clemson (10-0, 7-0), 7:00 PM, ESPN
Known as the cream of the crop of the ACC conference, the Clemson Tigers are the only team from the conference that can make the playoffs. In order to do so, the Tigers will have to go undefeated (likely) in the final three games. While the Tigers are favored in every game, a team like Duke could dethrone Clemson with a strong performance from Daniel Jones and the offense.
Despite the chance Duke has, root for Clemson because the ACC having someone in the playoffs increases the conference’s notoriety.