The ACC takes a bit of a breather this week with only 5 games. Given all the excitement in Week 8, it's a well-deserved break. Let's get to it.
1) Coastal Division Games
Virginia Tech is a 3-point UNDERDOG at home against Miami on Thursday night
Virginia is a 7-point favorite at home against North Carolina
Pitt is a 3-point favorite at home against Georgia Tech
Last week, we learned that Virginia Tech's offense is straight-up putrid when it can't run the ball. The Hokies laid an egg at Pittsburgh in a performance that had Tech fans calling for Frank Beamer's head. I giggled. Miami has been a huge question mark this season. After pounding Duke at home, they couldn't stop Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Miami hasn't won a road game all year, and I'm surprised they're favored in Blacksburg of all places. If you're a Virginia fan (like me), go ahead and circle the loser of this one. The Wahoos may need to beat that team to make a bowl game.
Speaking of our Wahoos. The latest "biggest game of Mike London's career" takes place in Charlottesville Saturday when the Cheaters...I mean Tar Heels...no, I really mean CHEATERS...come to town. This is an interesting matchup even if you ignore the whole multi-decade academic scandal that's gone on in Chapel Hill. Carolina's defense can't stop anyone, but their offense can score at will. Virginia's defense has been tough all year while it's offense has struggled. I'm surprised to see the line as high as it is in favor of Virginia. Mike London is 0-4 against UNCheat. This is his best chance to beat them so far.
Just when we were about to leave Pitt for dead, they beat the Hokies last Thursday night. Just when we were about to crown Georgia Tech as the Coastal favorite, they lost two in a row. If the Panthers can use their power running attach to chew up clock and keep Tech's offense off the field, I like their odds. Tech's defense hasn't been able to stop many teams this season.
2) Atlantic Division Games
Clemson is a 14-point favorite at home against Syracuse
Wake Forest is a 12-point UNDERDOG at home against Boston College
The schedule lightens up for Clemson this week after tough battles with Louisville and Boston College. If the Tigers survived those without Deshaun Watson, they shouldn't have much trouble beating 'Cuse. After losing 2 of their first 3, Clemson could win 8 in a row before their season finale against South Carolina. Syracuse has to go 3-2 down the stretch to make a bowl game. I don't see it happening.
Boston College nearly nipped the Tigers last week and should roll against Wake Forest. Wake cemented its place in the ACC Power Rankings Basement by being embarrassed at home last week by Syracuse. It'll be a long rebuild for Deacs coach Dave Clawson.