Syracuse football doesn't play this weekend, which is probably a good thing after last Saturday. So for many, they'll take this as an opportunity to go outside while they still can, actually pay attention to family members and perhaps be a little productive, too...
For those of us who can't help but find themselves parked on the couch for college football anyway, though, we've got plenty to pay attention to -- and some of it may actually, inadvertently affect us. First, your ACC contests this weekend:
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-3) (2-2) at Miami Hurricanes (6-0) (2-0): This game has a direct impact on the Orange since it's our last look at the Deacs before they come up to the Dome on November 2. Will they be able to continue their offensive resurgence, and can the defense continue its ball-hawking ways? Their two recent wins were over a depleted Maryland team and an NC State squad that we had no problem with, so this game might be a better barometer for what they really are. If they pull off the upset, we're likely toast as well.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-3) (3-2) at Virginia Cavaliers (2-5) (0-3): If there's one team that could make our game against Tech look less bad, it's Virginia. The Hoos' offense is just as stale as ours, and the defense is equally inept more often than not. Make us feel better, UVa! Get blown out!
Pittsburgh Panthers (4-2) (2-2) at Navy Midshpmen (3-3): Meet Pittsburgh. They're a mediocre team right now, just like Syracuse, but you wouldn't know it because they scheduled accordingly to pad their record. That's not a bad thing, either. They understand how perception works in college football, which is not the forte of our own Syracuse Orange and one DOCTOR Darryl Gross.
Boston College Eagles (3-3) (1-2) at North Carolina Tar Heels (1-5) (0-3): On the one hand, we'd obviously enjoy watching the Eagles go down to a hapless UNC team. On the under, watching the tire fire that has come of the Heels is also pretty entertaining. Have a bad feeling that the season finale against BC is going to be for bowl eligibility, and a loss here by them also helps push matters in that direction...
Duke Blue Devils (5-2) (1-2) at Virginia Tech Hokies (6-1) (3-0): If Duke gets to six wins this weekend, that should be the clearest sign of all that it's time to start reconsidering how we schedule. Duke's supposed to be the worst program in the conference, and yet, they're a win away from locking up their second straight bowl trip. No additional comments.
Clemson Tigers (6-1) (4-1) at Maryland Terrapins (5-2) (1-2): Maryland picked the wrong week to have everyone injured (which is every week). Clemson's going to be pretty pissed about last week's shellacking and that means exacting a world of hurt on the Terps to make up for it. There will be blood.
NC State Wolfpack (3-3) (0-3) at Florida State Seminoles (6-0) (4-0): Speaking of pain: hi NC State! Watch what Jameis Winston does to this Wolfpack team and then try not to extrapolate it out to what he'll do to Syracuse. It's a nightmare that I'd prefer to just live once, in real time.
Some other games of note in case you watch non-ACC football (advisable):
Vanderbilt Commodores (4-3) at Texas A&M Aggies (5-2): A&M plays zero defense in a way Syracuse can relate to. Vandy carries a large anchor around with them everywhere. If nothing else, just watch Johnny Manziel do Johnny Manziel things.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-0) at Oklahoma Sooners (6-1): Oklahoma's on a short list of programs you'll always root against despite not having a team involved in the game. The Red Raiders are guided by the swaggiest of swaggy bros and are a fairly likeable program.
UCLA Bruins (5-1) at Oregon Ducks (7-0): UCLA looked bad against Stanford last week, and that's unlikely to change this week. The Ducks defense has shown some holes though, so I don't know... maybe I'm wrong. Big national title implications here, plus Gameday, so tune in.
South Carolina Gamecocks (5-2) at Missouri Tigers (7-0): So Missouri virtually locks up the SEC East with a victory here. Considering that time we beat them on their home field 11 months ago, this seems silly. Such is college football.
Baylor Bears (6-0) at Kansas Jayhawks (2-4): Ever used a nuclear bomb to kill a single ant? That's the best way to describe what's going to happen to the Jayhawks against Art Briles and the Bears' death machine offense.
Stanford Cardinal (6-1) at Oregon State Beavers (6-1): Now imagine how much MORE important this game would seem if the Beavers hadn't gone and lost to Eastern Washington to start the year. Still, big Pac-12 North repercussions for the winner, especially if it's Oregon State, who could set themselves up to be 10-1 going into the Civil War.
Happy viewing this weekend!