Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Week 13 in the ACC: Picks

I want to announce that Soaring to Glory will not be taking a break for Thanksgiving.  I only have to travel a few dozen feet to get to the dining room table for dinner tomorrow, so I'm thinking that writing up some blog posts won't be much of an inconvenience.  I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all of my readers a Happy Thanksgiving.  With that said, let's get to the picks for the final weekend of the regular season.

Wake Forest at Duke
Line: Wake -4.5

This is a fairly interesting matchup between a team that was worse than expected and a team that was better than expected.  Duke will be playing at home in their final game with a chance to become bowl-eligible at 6-6, while Wake has nothing to play for at 4-7.  The bettors and the online simulators seem to think Wake will win this one, but I tend to disagree.  Having watched both teams play over a full season, I believe the Blue Devils are a little better and I believe they will get themselves to a .500 finish.  Pick: Duke

#23 North Carolina at North Carolina State
Line: UNC -6

I tell ya, the Tar Heels got us pretty good last weekend.  Quarterback TJ Yates may not have a great stat line, but his fifth-ranked defense sure does.  Last year, NC State beat the stuffing (no Thanksgiving pun intended) out of the Tar Heels by a score of 41-10, but this year, there is absolutely no question which is the better team.  Chapel Hill will prepare for its team getting a bowl game while a miserable season will end in Raleigh, and the TOB Watch will begin.  Pick: UNC

#15 Clemson at South Carolina
Line: Clemson -3

In-state rivalries will be the main theme today, in case you didn't notice.  This one here is a little tricky, because Clemson is a solid team while South Carolina is certainly capable of pulling off a good home win.  The Gamecocks need to win on senior day to secure themselves a bowl with a 7-5 record, while Clemson is just tuning up for the ACC Championship against Georgia Tech.  It will be a battle of two tough defenses, but ultimately the Tigers have more offensively to work with.  Pick: Clemson

Florida State at #1 Florida
Line: UF -24

This game, in the past, has had a lot of appeal.  I sincerely doubt that will be the case in 2009.  I also doubt the Gators will look past this game to their toughest challenge yet (Alabama), so it's pretty clear to me what the outcome will be.  Pick: Florida

#19 Miami (FL) at South Florida
Line: Miami -6

I'm going to start off by saying that I could actually see South Florida winning this game, but I think the Hurricanes have too much offense.  Miami had their swagger back for part of the season, but lost it again.  South Florida had some good wins and was ranked at one point, and have even notched a win over an ACC opponent this year (FSU).  I understand that this is their final home game, and my gut is telling me to go with USF, but my head says 'take the favorite' so I will.  Pick: Miami

Boston College at Maryland
Line: BC -6.5

Here's the only game in the conference not featuring an in-state rivalry.  I'll give the pick on Friday, as always.

#14 Virginia Tech at Virginia
Line: VT -15.5

Al Groh's final game as the head coach of Virginia should not be a memorable one.  The 'Hoos pathetic offense will be faced against the Hokies difficult defense.  Virginia Tech's offense isn't the best in the land, but it's certainly good enough to win this game, even against a pretty decent Virginia defense.  I'm not even sure the Cavaliers will score in this one, and if they do, it won't be much.  Pick: Virginia Tech

Georgia at #7 Georgia Tech
Line: GT -8

And now for some clean, old-fashioned hate.  The Yellow Jackets, favorites to win the ACC title this year, go up against their in-state rivals who are having a down year.  I'm sure the Bulldogs will be motivated for this one, but GT is on a mission this year and they will not be denied.  The steamroller that is their triple-option offense will keep the good times rolling in Atlanta.  Pick: Georgia Tech

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