Through 10 games, the Miami Hurricanes are 5-5 with a 3-3 record against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference. They are eliminated from contention for the Coastal Division title, but they are still playing for bowl eligibility.
It is important whether the Hurricanes can win one of their final two games, but what about the rest of the conference? In week 12, all but one team from the ACC is playing. Virginia, who canceled their final home game against Coastal Carolina, is the only team not playing this week.
Of the 13 teams in play, who should Miami fans root for in week 12? Of the eight games involving an ACC team, this is who I think you should be rooting for.
Saturday, November 19
Louisiana @ Florida State; Noon
At 7-3 and winning their last three games, Florida State is now ranked inside the top 20. So the Seminoles losing to Louisiana would be awesome to see. The Rain’ Cajuns are currently 5-5, so they are outmatched in this game. But crazier things have happened.
Virginia Tech @ Liberty; Noon
Virginia Tech has struggled all season with the worst record in the conference at 2-8. They have lost their last seven games and began the season with a loss to Old Dominion. Liberty beat Old Dominion by two touchdowns earlier this season and only lost to a ranked Wake Forest team by one point.
I say all of this to make the point that the Hokies going on the road to play the Flames is a huge mismatch. The 10-point spread on the game makes that pretty clear. And I love it. Liberty is a program on the up while Virginia Tech has struggled ever since Frank Beamer retired. And I am happy to see both of those trends continue.
Duke @ Pittsburgh; Noon
This game will likely decide who finishes in second place in the Coastal. Duke, at 4-2 in the ACC, travels to Pittsburgh, who is 3-3. The Panthers are the Hurricanes’ regular-season finale and could quite possibly be the team that they must beat to make a bowl game.
My rooting ties are solely based on hoping Pittsburgh uses a lot of energy on this game and give Miami a little bit better of a chance to win in week 13. That being the most important thing in this game, I would be rooting for the Blue Devils to come out on top.
Boston College @ Notre Dame; 2:30 p.m.
After a rough start to the season with losses to Ohio State and Marshall, Notre Dame has found their groove since and is back inside the top 20 with a 7-3 record. Boston College has been one of the worst teams in the ACC with the opposite record of 3-7.
Rooting against the Irish is a key pass-time for all Hurricane fans. Especially when they are playing teams that have no rooting ties to Miami like the Eagles this week. Watching Notre Dame drop a home game to a team that won't play in a bowl game would be sweet.
NC State @ Louisville; 3:30 p.m.
Each with up and down seasons, NC State has to play Louisville on the road. Both are already bowl-eligible, so each team is just playing for a better bowl game.
I would say the only connection to the Hurricanes for either of these teams is the Cardinals’ trend of recruiting South Florida pretty well over the past decade. Even if it may be small and not as effective lately, it is still something that can change results on the recruiting trail for a few players if Louisville struggles.
Georgia Tech @ North Carolina; 5:30 p.m.
After losing to Miami last week, Georgia Tech now goes on the road to play North Carolina. The Tar Heels are still undefeated in conference play heading into the final two games. They will represent the Coastal in the ACC Championship game, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t root for them to stumble into Charlotte.
The Yellow Jackets are 4-6, so they must win their final two games against North Carolina and Georgia to become bowl eligible. As unlikely as that may be, they have to win this one to have a chance, so they should come out fighting, and hopefully, hand the Tar Heels their first conference loss of the season.
Syracuse @ Wake Forest; 8 p.m.
After beginning the season a combined 12-1, Syracuse and Wake Forest have gone winless since. The Demon Deacons are on a three-game winning streak while the Orange have lost their last four games.
With each team at 6-4, each team could use a win here to strengthen their resumes for bowl season. I am going with my opinion of each school (which is mostly based around basketball) for this and rooting for Wake Forest.
Coastal Carolina @ Virginia; Cancelled
After a shooting on Sunday that resulted in the death of three Virginia football players, the Cavaliers canceled their game against Coastal Carolina. The game would have been the final home game of the season. The rest of the ACC teams plan to honor the school and their players with decals on their helmets and fields this week.