In the interest of staying in the loop with what's going on around the ACC, every week we'll be previewing the conference games that don't involve our Syracuse Orange. Believe it or not, other teams in the league do play football, and some of them are actually pretty good at it. Others compete at an equal level of mediocrity to us as well. All will be detailed below.
ACC Featured Game of the Week: Week 13
Boston College Eagles (6-4) (3-3) at Maryland Terrapins (6-4) (2-4), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU: There are very few options for this "honor," so we're stuck with this matchup. Both teams have already wrapped up a postseason berth, tough I'd assume they'd each like to improve their rank in the bowl hierarchy. For Maryland, they'll probably get screwed by Swofford (rightfully so) and tossed into the worst bowl imaginable. But for BC, there's a lot at stake. Winning out could mean the difference between Nashville (Music City) and Shreveport (Advcocare V100), and I'd imagine they'd prefer the former. The Terps' run defense is solid, but I doubt it'll be able to stop Andre Williams from getting very close to the 2,000-yard mark on the season. Prediction: Boston College 31, Maryland 20
The Rest of the Slate (in order of start time)
Duke Blue Devils (8-2) (4-2) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-6) (2-5), noon ET, ESPN2: In all likelihood, we'll be looking at a nine-win Duke team around 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. This makes absolutely no sense. But the way the Blue Devils are playing, how is Wake going to stand in their way? Duke's scored 35 or more points in six of the last seven games and consistently finds creative ways to utilize its personnel. We saw Wake struggle against both FSU and Syracuse lately, and I doubt that changes vs. Duke. The Blue Devils will enter the final weekend one win away from an ACC Championship Game berth (HOW?!). Prediction: Duke 33, Wake Forest 17
Virginia Cavaliers (2-8) (0-6) at Miami Hurricanes (7-3) (3-3), noon ET, ESPNU: Miami's not the same team without Duke Johnson, but they're still better than the hapless Hoos (as is the rest of the ACC). UVa's lost seven straight games and have allowed 35 or more points in six of their eight losses this year. The 'Canes may not have the firepower they once did, but given Virginia's shoddy secondary, you can expect Stephen Morris to take full advantage, and really move the ball through the air. Miami is still alive in the Coastal race, so this game is critical. Prediction: Miami 42, Virginia 14
The Citadel Bulldogs (5-6) at Clemson Tigers (9-1) (7-1), noon ET, ESPN3: Some of the ACC has finally caught on to the scheduling construction that's allowed the SEC to be so well-positioned at the end of every season. Instead of putting the top games in the season's final weeks, play a body bag game before facing off with your rival on the final weekend. Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and others have been doing this for years. Glad to see Clemson finally wise up and put themselves in great position to be 10-1 entering their matchup with the Gamecocks. It's also Tajh Boyd's final home game, which should add some extra fanfare to this event. Prediction: Clemson 59, The Citadel 3
East Carolina Pirates (8-2) at NC State Wolfpack (3-7) (0-7), 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3 : ECU relishes its role as North Carolina's "fifth wheel," and loves playing spoiler to the state's four ACC schools even more. The Pirates already ran roughshod over UNC earlier this year, and now get to do the same to State. While they do have those two losses (Virginia Tech and an inexplicable one to Tulane), this is an extremely good Pirates team, with one of the best offenses in the country. They're going scorched-earth on the Pack, and Raleigh will be a very sad place come late Saturday afternoon. Prediction: ECU 52, NC State 27
Alabama A&M Bulldogs (4-7) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-4) (5-3), 1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3: These FCS schools need to find a more creative nickname than Bulldogs (soooo many of them!). Remember what Georgia Tech did to Elon to start the year? Expect a very similar show of force against Alabama A&M. It may not reach 70-0, but it could very well come close. For the first time in awhile, Georgia Tech has a shot to beat hated Georgia next weekend. They'll have the starters rested up early this Saturday in preparation. Prediction: Georgia Tech 66, Alabama A&M 0
Idaho Vandals (1-9) at Florida State Seminoles (10-0) (8-0), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU: What's more insulting than a FCS body bag game? Being a FBS team and serving as a bodybag game. Like Clemson and Georgia Tech, Florida State went ahead and eased into its season-ending rivalry game with Florida, but unlike the the others, they scheduled Idaho, who plays as a FBS independent. Of course, it hasn't much mattered who the 'Noles face this year -- nearly every team's been beaten to death in front of a national viewing audience. One thing to keep an eye on, however, is the ongoing Jameis Winston situation, which is growing in volume by the day.