It’s Week 11 in the ACC and we are heading into the home stretch. The ACC continues to be a complete disaster, making it pretty difficult to pick games week over week. Despite that, here we are once again…
Justin: 69-15 (.821)
Joey*: 60-17 (.779)
Mike: 64-20 (.762)
Jeff*: 52-17 (.754)
Grant*: 55-20 (.733)
Let’s get to our Week 11 picks…HERE. WE. GO.
Thursday, November 8th
Wake Forest (4-5, 1-4 ACC) at #14 NC State (6-2, 3-2 ACC) (-17), 7:30 PM ET on ESPN
Grant: A lot of people were surprised that NC State was included in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, but they proved they deserved to be there with a route of the Seminoles. This Wolfpack team is really good, they are up into the top 15 in the rankings, and it’s dangerous to overlook them just because they have two losses. Pack wins easily.
Jeff: Wake is treading water right now and NC State is ready to step in their head. Wolfpack wins easy.
Justin: Wake has been bitten exceedingly hard by the injury bug and now it would appear to be too much to overcome. State has meanwhile morphed into the standard, “nothing special but pretty good” team we’ve come to expect under Dave Doeren. Wolfpack wins without issue.
Mike: Wake Forest enters this game with a backup quarterback and question marks on both sides of the football. NC State is at home and has Ryan Finley at the controls. Give me the Wolfpack relatively comfortably.
Friday, November 9th
Louisville (2-7, 0-6 ACC) at #13 Syracuse (7-2, 4-2 ACC) (-21), 7 PM ET on ESPN2
Grant: I have never in my life seen a worse ACC defense than this Louisville one. I don’t know if they’ve just given up on the season, if they’re just that bad, or if it’s a combination of those things and others. Whatever the reason, they are atrocious, and the road isn’t getting any easier. All three of their remaining opponents are in the CFP top 15, so I’d set the over under on points they will give up for the rest of the year at about 275. Cuse in a route.
Justin: Louisville isn’t even a real team at this point. It’s a sad scene and TOP 15 Syracuse is going to do just unspeakable things to them en route to victory.
Mike: Syracuse. Louisville has quit.
Saturday, November 10th
UNC (1-7, 1-5 ACC) at Duke (6-3, 2-3 ACC) (-8.5), 12:20 PM ET on ACC Network Extra
Grant: It’s basketball season now, so I’m sure fans of these teams are so excited for this big football rivalry. It’s unfortunate for Duke, because I think their football team deserves more respect, especially after beating Miami on the road for the first time in program history. Daniel Jones is due for a good outing, and UNC is pretty beaten down. Larry Fedora fighting for his job won’t be enough motivation as the Blue Devils win (and FYI, Zion should be playing Defensive End).
Jeff: Which version of both of these teams show up? Rivalry game dynamics make this one closer than the point spread predicts. The team that wins the turnover battle will win. Duke wins a close back-and-forth game.
Justin: Duke is favored which is oddly not a good thing for them in this game. They’ve lost to UNC recently when picked to win by degenerates, which is foreboding, but not the worst thing. I think they’ll shrug off the gambler’s curse and win at home.
Mike: Both of these teams are low-key garbage. I like UNC in a rivalry game upset.
Liberty (4-4) at Virginia (6-3, 4-2 ACC) (-23.5), 3 PM ET on ACC Network Extra
Grant: In my opinion, the Cavaliers are getting a little bit too much hate after their loss to Pitt last Friday. Sure, it’s a big hit to their Coastal Division chances, but they are still far outperforming expectations. Not that UVA football expectations have ever been very high, but I digress. I think UVA still has a lot to prove to the doubters, so they are going to be motivated this week. UVA wins big.
Jeff: Liberty will cover but UVA will win.
Justin: Liberty is wildly inconsistent but could prove capable of making it interesting. Which is to say they might cover in this one. Virginia will pad its record a touch in Charlottesville.
Mike: Liberty is not as bad as people think. They should keep it close early, but UVA will pull away in the second half and win comfortably.
Virginia Tech (4-4, 3-2 ACC) at Pittsburgh (5-4, 4-1 ACC) (-3), 3:30 PM ET on ESPNU
Grant: Prior to last Saturday’s game, it was the Hokies defense that had been giving them trouble. Then, they do a relatively good job shutting down Boston College for three quarters only to see the offense stall out. Virginia Tech just can’t get things flowing together, which could be a product of a very young team. Meanwhile, Pitt is peaking at the right time, and they’ve become the Coastal favorites. Pitt will win and cover easily at home.
Jeff: This game is interesting. Will be competitive. The Hokie defense just seems to beat up to handle the physical Panther offense for four quarters. But if they’re QB makes some unexpected plays, who knows? Still think Pitt wins in the end.
Justin: Primanti Brothers sandwiches are wildly overrated and their “coleslaw” is tantamount to wet lettuce. That being said, Pittsburgh should win this game and possibly enough others down the stretch to win a Coastal division that is also tantamount to wet lettuce.
Mike: I have no reason to pick Virginia Tech right now. They’re bad. Plus, The Hokies have only won once ever at Heinz Field…Pitt wins.
Miami (5-4, 2-3 ACC) at Georgia Tech (5-4, 2-1 ACC) (-3), 7 PM ET on ESPN2
Grant: Even though it isn’t the biggest game as far as Coastal implications, this one has far more intrigue for me than any other matchup. Miami has pretty much gone into full free-fall mode, tumbling from preseason Top 10 to 5th place in their own division. The Hurricanes are more talented, but they seem to have lost all motivation. Meanwhile, Paul Johnson’s squad is invigorated after two straight wins. Yellow Jackets get a statement win at home.
Jeff: QB is everything right in football. If your QB situation is a mess, you’re in trouble. Manny Diaz needs to find a way to win this game for the Hurricanes. The concern is, did Duke break their spirits? I think Paul Johnson has his team focused and confident. Yellow Jackets win at home.
Justin: I’m not sure if this or the Pitt-VT game better personifies Coastal Division mediocrity. These teams both have the potential to win the division, but do you really in your heart of hearts think they will? Neither do I, but someone has to. As for this game, I think Georgia Tech will keep it rolling because MARK RICHT HAS LOST CONTROL.
Mike: Miami still has quarterback issues, and Georgia Tech is on a nice little run right now. Give me the ‘Jackets at home at Bobby Dodd.
Florida State (4-5, 2-5 ACC) at #3 Notre Dame (9-0) (-16.5), 7:30 PM ET on NBC
Grant: The Fighting Irish got past a road test against Northwestern that may have been one of their biggest obstacles to making the playoff. They do have a neutral site game against a good Syracuse team next week, so I would not be surprised if they are looking ahead a little bit and allow Florida State to stay in the game for a quarter or so. However, Notre Dame will certainly pull away in the end.
Jeff: This will be a painful road trip for the Seminoles. The Irish in a walk.
Justin: Notre Dame is clearly the much better team in this and many other match ups. They will win now and in the future. Still, I have a sneaking suspicion that if they get into the College Football Playoff they’ll be soundly beaten into hamburger meat by whomever they encounter. Just a weird feeling with no basis though…for now.
Mike: Notre Dame will be without QB Ian Book, so it will be the return of Brandon Wimbush on Saturday night football for the Irish. It will be a more ground-heavy attack with him under center, but with temperatures in the 20s, that’s probably the right move anyway. Also, and update: Florida State is still really, really bad. ND wins and finds a way to cover at home.
#2 Clemson (9-0, 6-0 ACC) (-20) at #17 Boston College (7-2, 4-1 ACC), 8 PM ET on ABC
Grant: So this is where we are now? Remember when we used to get top 10 matchups between Clemson and Florida State to decide the Atlantic Division? Now we get Gameday going to Chestnut Hill for a game in which Boston College is a 20-point dog. No offense to the Eagles, but it isn’t quite the same allure. Addazzio has put together a solid and experienced team, but they just are not on the same level as Clemson. To be fair, not many teams are. Tigers win and spoil the excitement in Chestnut Hill.
Jeff: BC is a much better team than what Clemson will make them look like. Go back and look at the point differential in Clemson’s games since the second half against Syracuse. Absolutely ridiculous. Could BC pull off the upset at home where Clemson has struggled in the past? Sure, but I’m not going to be the guy that makes that pick. Tigers win.
Justin: Boston College might cover, but I don’t see it as terribly likely. Anthony Brown is just too inconsistent to really challenge a great defense and this Tigers’ group definitely qualifies. Clemson by a whole bunch.
Mike: I think Boston College can keep it competitive early, but I don’t see the path offensively, especially if Clemson is able to stymie A.J. Dillon. Clemson wins and covers as they pull away in the second half.