Week 7 moves us deeper into the heart of a season that is becoming less and less fun for Virginia fans. Still, football is better than no football, so let's get to it.
As always, we'll split this week's games into categories.
1) Wide spread
Clemson is a 24.5-point favorite at home against Boston College
The only hope the Eagles have here is that the Tigers are looking forward to next week's Game of the Century against Florida State. Even then, Clemson has too much talent to fall at home to a BC squad that has improved this season. Boston College derailed Clemson's season in 2007 when Matt Ryan
led the Eagles to a comeback victory in Death Valley that clinched a Coastal Division title. Unfortunately for BC, Matt Ryan will be otherwise occupied this weekend.
2) Closer spreads
Virginia Tech is a 9-point home favorite against Pittsburgh.
Duke is a 3-point home favorite against Navy.
Georgia Tech is a 7-point underdog on the road at BYU.
NC State is a 6.5-point home favorite against Syracuse.
Maryland is a 7-point home favorite against Virginia.
The Hokies lost at Pitt last season in a game that foreshadowed much of their troubles for the rest of the year. But Tech has steadied itself after a couple of early-season nonconference scares. A win in Blacksburg, meanwhile, would put the Panthers in the heart of the ACC Coastal race. If Tom Savage has a game like he had against Duke, Pitt could pull out the upset. If Virginia Tech's defense dictates play much like Virginia's did against Pitt, the Hokies should prove victorious.
Duke continues to chug along in its quest for a second-straight bowl game. And with Wake, State, Virginia and UNC still on the schedule, the Devils could definitely get back there. But...really...who cares? Basketball season in Durham is only a month away.
NC State desperately needs a win after losing to previously-hapless Wake Forest last weekend. Luckily, Syracuse looks just as unimpressive so far. It's hard to know what to make of the Orangemen. They've dominated lesser opponents and gotten crushed by the two ranked teams its faced. The Wolfies seem to be in the same weight class, at least. This will be another game where fans are more interested in preseason basketball reports.
Which brings us to Maryland and Virginia. The Terps got shellacked last week at Florida State, and quarterback CJ Brown's status remains unknown following a concussion. Virginia has won its last three in College Park, and will likely be heartened by never having to play in that dump of a stadium again. Still, Virginia is not a good football team at the moment, so it's hard to have any confidence or hope there at all.
3) Opponent matchups
BYU is a 7-point favorite at home against Georgia Tech.
Oregon is a 13.5-point favorite on the road at Washington.
Ball State is a 14-point favorite at home against Kent State.
The Jackets badly need a win to regain momentum for their season, but I doubt it's going to come against a BYU team that just came off a big road win against Utah State. If Georgia Tech loses this one, they could end up flirting with the possibility of missing a bowl game. As a Virginia fan, a BYU win over a Georgia Tech team that beat Duke and North Carolina means that Virginia should beat all three of those teams...right....right???
Oregon will face its first tough task of the season when it travels to Washington. This is a game that Huskies fans have circled on their calendars since it was announced. Washington almost knocked off Stanford last weekend, and an upset over the Ducks could put it right back into the Pac-12 North race. I'd still look for Oregon to win, but I'm interested to see what happens when they face an opponent closer to their weight class.
Ball State, frankly, is a juggernaut. And Kent State has less than a snowball's chance in hell of going to Muncie and coming out with a victory.
Until next week...