After a rough opening week, the ACC bounced back with a solid Week 2. Virginia Tech carried the conference banner with a road win at then-no.8 Ohio State. Pitt looked like a legitimate Coastal Division contender, and Virginia, Clemson, Miami and Wake Forest all got into the win column for the first time. Meanwhile, Duke, North Carolina and NC State shook off slow starts to avoid upsets. The Big Ten would have loved to have had a week like that.
Week 3 brings good news for us fans: no one from the conference is playing an FCS team! With that, let's take a look at what Vegas thinks of the ACC's odds this Saturday.
1) The Conference Game:
Virginia is a 6.5-point UNDERDOG at home against Louisville
All ACC eyes will be on Charlottesville this weekend as Louisville faces its first conference road challenge. Louisville looks like it should be able to challenge Clemson...and perhaps even Florida State...in the Atlantic Division pecking order. Virginia, meanwhile, seems improved in a lot of areas. It's a must-win game for both teams as they strive to achieve their respective goals for the season. Will the Cavalier defense be able to contain the quick-passing Louisville attack? Will Virginia be able to get anything going on the ground against the Louisville defense? Will Bobby Petrino lead his team to the field on a motorcycle?! Intrigue abounds.
2) The National Showcase Game:
Boston College is a 17-point UNDERDOG at home against Southern California
At the end of the first quarter last Friday, with Boston College holding a 7-3 lead over Pitt, I almost texted a buddy of mine who's a BC alum. I was going to proclaim that "NO ONE just waltzes into Alumni Stadium and pushes the Eagles around." Then...well...the Panthers started pushing the Eagles around pretty easily. I don't think USC will have much trouble doing the same.
3) ACC Home Games
Virginia Tech is an 11-point favorite at home against East Carolina
Georgia Tech is a 20-point favorite at home against Georgia Southern
Duke is a 15.5-point favorite at home against Kansas
Miami is a 16.5-point favorite at home against Arkansas State
I like Duke to roll over Kansas, but Miami's game against Arkansas State could be tight. The Red Wolves (!!!) gave Tennessee a good game at Neyland last week.
East Carolina could surprise Virginia Tech if the Hokies have a hangover from their victory over Ohio State. The Pirates were within a touchdown of South Carolina last Saturday before a 10-minute Gamecock drive put the game out of reach. Unlike Ohio State, ECU has a proven starting quarterback in senior Shane Carden. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, takes on a Georgia Southern team that scored 80 points last week and that almost beat NC State. The...Eagles (?) won't be afraid to take on the Yellow Jackets.
3) ACC Road Games
Wake Forest is a 14.5-point UNDERDOG on the road at Utah State
NC State is a 1.5-point favorite on the road at South Florida
Syracuse is a 6.5-point favorite on the road at Central Michigan
Pittsburgh is a 26-point favorite on the road against Florida International
Outside of the Pitt game, there's a lot of danger on the road for the ACC this weekend. Wake Forest being a two-touchdown underdog to Utah State speaks for itself. But I'm shocked to see NC State favored given how much the Pack has struggled. South Florida should have beaten Maryland in Week 2. I wouldn't be surprised to see them knock off the Wuffies. Syracuse, meanwhile, takes on a Chippewa squad that knocked off Purdue last weekend. The Orange needed overtime to dispatch of Villanova in Week 2. They'll need a better effort this week to avoid the upset.