Just when you thought the ACC could get through the out-of-conference schedule unscathed, the league got absolutely throttled in Week 4. How bad was it? Virginia, Pitt, Syracuse, Miami, and North Carolina all took it on the chin. Syracuse lost to Maryland! Carolina gave up 70 points! While there were some bright spots, it was pretty gruesome overall.
Fortunately, the most important results in Week 4 came from the two league games. Georgia Tech looked like a legit Coastal Division contender by beating Virginia Tech. And most important, Florida State barely...and I do mean barely...escaped its match-up with Clemson with its playoff hopes intact. If FSU had lost, Week 4 would have been an unmitigated disaster for the league. Instead, it was just really...really...ugly.
Let's take a look at the Vegas odds for Week 5:
1) The Conference Games
Clemson is a 15-point favorite at home against North Carolina
Louisville is a 22-point favorite at home against Wake Forest
Miami is a 7-point favorite at home against Duke
NC State is a 19-point UNDERDOG at home against Florida State
The Clemson-UNC game features two teams desperately in need of a win. Carolina got humiliated last week by ECU and Clemson lost a winnable game in Tallahassee. It's time for both teams to test their resilience. In the process, Carolina's defense will have to learn to stop someone soon if the Heels are to have a prayer. Meanwhile, Louisville should have no trouble at home against Wake Forest while NC State should have HEAPS of trouble against Jameis Winston and the Noles.
The most intriguing game here is between Duke and Miami. If the Devils win, I think they become the favorite to win the Coastal. It's a big test for Hurricane true freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya.
2) The Non-Conference Games
Boston College is a 9-point favorite at home against Colorado State
Virginia is a 27-point favorite at home against Kent State
Virginia Tech is a 21-point favorite at home against Western Michigan
Pittsburgh is a 21-point favorite at home against Akron
There's not a whole lot of intrigue here outside of the BC-CSU game. Boston College would finish their out-of-conference schedule 4-0 with a win against the Rams. Virginia, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh shouldn't face much trouble against their MAC opponents.
3) The Prime-Time Game
Syracuse is a 13-point UNDERDOG at home against Notre Dame
Syracuse gets the ACC's first official crack at Notre Dame as part of the conference's scheduling agreement with the Fighting Irish. Unfortunately for the Orange, they're not exactly firing on all cylinders. Syracuse got blown out by Maryland last week and will have to improve a great deal to hang with the Irish. Notre Dame fans are thinking playoff, plain and simple.