ITA Staff Picks: Week Ten

Jeff Greenberg had a perfect record and week nine while esteemed Managing Editor Justin Cates tumbled all the way to last place.

Grant Atkinson: 64-14

Mike McDaniel: 61-17

Jeff Greenberg: 61-17

Justin Cates: 60-18

There are only five games this week, but we’ve got two top 25 games on the conference slate with some other good match ups.

On to the picks.


Syracuse (4-4, 2-2) @ Florida State (2-5, 2-4) (-5), Saturday 12:20 p.m. on ACCN Extra

Justin Cates: Syracuse wins.

The Orange have yet to win a game on the road this season while the Seminoles haven’t won a home game. Who on Earth is favoring the ‘Noles here? Let alone by five points!

Jeff Greenberg: Syracuse wins.

Normally I would start talking about making my upset pick for this week, but we’ve reached the point where I think this may not be much of an upset to some people. Either way, I think Syracuse is going down to the Sunshine state and coming away happy.

Grant Atkinson: Syracuse wins.

Florida State has just not looked good at all this year. What’s more, they completely embarrassed themselves and the ACC by announcing that they were trying to add a game on the same day as the ACCCG in order to keep their tainted bowl streak alive. I hope it comes back to bite them.

Mike McDaniel:  Syracuse wins

Florida State has not covered a spread all year, and I think that trend continues on Saturday. Syracuse has a bowl berth to continue to push for, while Florida State is looking forward to getting another week closer to the off-season.


Georgia Tech (4-3, 3-2) (-10) @ Virginia (5-3, 2-2), Saturday 3 p.m. on ACCN Extra

Justin Cates: Georgia Tech wins.

This is an interesting game featuring two teams in mid to late-season ruts. The Yellow Jackets are the more complete team, but they have to play much better this week. Bronco Mendenhall has a knack for slowing the option, but I don’t think it’s enough this time.

Jeff Greenberg: Georgia Tech wins.

This game is an enigma to me. Virginia is sliding but they get to play at home. The Yellow Jackets have lost two tough games but they’re still dangerous. Plus, the coach trash talk this week was brilliant here. I’m going with Paul Johnson and saying Georgia Tech wins in Charlottesville.

Grant Atkinson: Georgia Tech wins.

Well, UVA has come back down to earth a bit. I will still admit that they are better than I expected, and they will probably find one more win to get bowl eligible; just not this week.

Mike McDaniel:  Georgia Tech wins.

The Yellow Jackets should win and cover in this spot, continuing Virginia’s inevitable fall back to reality. That’s still a rebuilding program in Charlottesville.


Wake Forest (5-3, 2-3) @ #3 Notre Dame (7-1) (-14), Saturday 3:30 p.m. on NBC

Justin Cates: Notre Dame wins.

After bombing on most of my upset picks last week, I’m playing it safer this time around. Wake is still playing well, but wins are harder to come by against the meat of the schedule. The Irish should be fine at home.

Jeff Greenberg: Notre Dame wins.

Man, Wake Forest had the high of beating Louisville and unleashing their WakeyLeaks revenge. Then they found out they lost their best playmaker for the season. The Demon Deacon defense is good, but that’s what I thought about NC State’s defense and the Irish still ran for over 300 yards.

Grant Atkinson: Notre Dame wins.

Notre Dame looks incredibly physical this year. They impose their will on everyone, and for the most part, they are dominant. They could really give the Playoff Committee a tough decision without a conference championship game to play in.

Mike McDaniel:  Notre Dame wins.

Wake Forest is 89th nationally in rushing defense. Notre Dame is 6th in rushing offense. Irish win big here and avoid the letdown spot.


#4 Clemson (7-1, 5-1) (-7.5) @ #20 NC State (6-2, 4-0), Saturday 3:30 p.m. on ABC

Justin Cates: Clemson wins.

State was overwhelmed by Notre Dame last week so I’m curious to see if they can kep this one close or not. Clemson is just as physical up front as the Irish so my gut tells me the answer is no.

Jeff Greenberg: Clemson wins.

Despite their humbling loss in South Bend, I fully expect Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh to be electric this Saturday. They’ve been talking about getting “revenge” over the Tigers. However, I think there is an element of revenge from the Tigers’ side as well. They’re tired of hearing how they should have lost to the Wolfpack last season. In the end, the Clemson defense will win this game for Dabo.

While I personally would love to see NC State win the Atlantic, it would ultimately be detrimental to the ACC and its CFP chances. I also don’t see Clemson losing another game this regular season.

Mike McDaniel:  Clemson wins.

The Tigers looked like a playoff team once again last Saturday in their rain-soaked victory against Georgia Tech. Kelly Bryant is healthy once again and it should prove to be the difference against an NC State team that is still very good. Clemson wins and *barely* covers.


#13 Virginia Tech (7-1, 3-1), (-2.5) @ #10 Miami (7-0, 5-0), Saturday 8 p.m. on ABC

Justin Cates: Virginia Tech wins.

Miami is a good football team. Virginia Tech is as well. I’m not sure either is ‘great’ despite the high-rankings for this rivalry game. One team will certainly assert itself Saturday night, and the slight road favorites have been playing well for weeks.

Jeff Greenberg: Virginia Tech wins.

Well, here is your Coastal Division championship game, barring a late season collapse by the winner of this game. If this game was in Blacksburg, I’d have a hard time picking against the Hokies. Miami better hope they play better against Virginia Tech than they did against UNC. The Tar Heels’ defense disrupted much of what the Hurricanes were trying to do on offense. The Hokies’ defense is playing well right now and will be the difference in this game.

Grant Atkinson: Virginia Tech wins.

Finally, the Coastal Division has a primetime, top 15 matchup to go a long way in deciding the division. It’s nice to not be in the shadow of the Atlantic. This should be a great one, with both defenses having good games. The team that avoids turnovers and mistakes will come out on top.

Mike McDaniel:  Virginia Tech wins.

Miami has more talent on their roster top-to-bottom than the Hokies, but it has not been difficult to see that the Hokies have been the far more consistent team this year. Miami has yet to play a big game, so I’m curious to see whether or not they will falter under the bright lights. The Hokies are 1-1 in prime time with a win over West Virginia and a loss to Clemson, the latter of which nobody should apologize for. I like the Hokies here to beat Miami in one of the premier games of the weekend.

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