Last time, we talked about how Week 6's games would provide some separation in the ACC Coastal Division. And separation is what we got with Georgia Tech, Virginia, and Virginia Tech taking steps forward in the division race. The Atlantic Division already has a clear leader in Florida State, but there are a number of interesting divisional stories that will be on display this week. Let's take a look at all of the ACC's games for Week 7.
1) The Atlantic Division Games
Florida State is a 24.5-point favorite at home against Syracuse
Clemson is a 10-point favorite at home against Louisville
NC State is a 4-point favorite at home against Boston College
- While the jury is still out on Florida State as a national title favorite, there's no doubt the 'Noles are the heavy favorite to win the ACC. But many would argue that FSU still hasn't put together a complete game. That doesn't bode well for Syracuse. The Orange hung around for a while against Notre Dame a couple of weeks back, but there's not much hope for them in Tallahassee. Look for the 'Noles to roll.
- When ACC officials slotted Louisville in the Atlantic Division, the Cardinals immediately became the most likely threat to FSU and Clemson's divisional dominance. Clemson and Louisville clearly look like the second-and-third-best teams in the Atlantic and quite possibly in the entire ACC. This weekend will give them a chance to establish the pecking order for their new "rivalry" going forward. I think the Cardinals will struggle in their first trip to Death Valley as a conference member.
- Finally, NC State and Boston College could very easily be playing for 4th this weekend when they meet in Raleigh. The Eagles have provided the ACC's best out-of-conference win this year with their win over Southern Cal. The Wolfpack, meanwhile, pushed FSU to the limit two weeks ago. Vegas initially set the line at 6 points, but it's tightened since then. BC, coming off a bye week, just might have enough to pull off the upset.
2) The Coastal Division Game
Georgia Tech is a 4-point favorite at home against Duke
- Georgia Tech has emerged as the favorite in the ACC Coastal after beating Miami and Virginia Tech. Duke struggled mightily against the same Miami team and hasn't beaten anyone decent all year. Georgia Tech has owned the series over the last decade. So with all that, it's surprising that this line is so tight. It looks like the betting public still isn't sold on the Yellow Jackets quite yet.
3) The Out-of-Conference Games
Miami is a 15-point favorite at home against Cincinnati
North Carolina is a 17-point UNDERDOG on the road against Notre Dame
- After last week's disappointing loss to Georgia Tech, Miami head coach Al Golden's seat is starting to warm up. The Hurricanes are undefeated at home in 2014 and they need to keep it that way. A loss to the Bearcats could send their season into a spiral. Fortunately, Vegas doesn't see that happening.
- On the subject of spiraling seasons...let's talk about North Carolina. The Tar Heels lost their third straight in another uninspired effort against Virginia Tech on Saturday. Notre Dame is quietly putting together a run toward the College Football Playoff. The Fighting Irish play Florida State in two weeks, so there's a chance they overlook the Tar Heels. Could UNC capitalize on such a scenario? It doesn't seem likely.