Genius move: Al Gore for inventing the Internet (or something like that) so that something as crazy as getting work done on a train at 6 a.m. is possible.
Not-so-genius move: Pretty much all of last week’s predictions.
Implicitly understood far-from genius move: Me for being on a train well before dawn.
Moving along, here’s this week’s seven ACC-related picks, plus a call on Navy-Air Force as well
* Navy at Air Force (11:30 a.m., CBS): Falcons 21-13. Navy’s offense looked, well, inert last week against San Jose State. It was jarring to see the Midshipmen struggle so severely, and some of that credit belongs to the visitors from the west coast. But there’s no question Navy is on the spot. Expect a highly competitive game (as you would hope for from a pair of service academies) even with the insanely early 9:30 a.m. local time kickoff. It’s a no-secrets kind of game; the basics will win this one for either team.
* Boston College at Army (Noon, CBS Sports Network): Eagles 35-17. There are exceptions to the “highly competitive service academies” argument. Consider Army, which is coming off a 23-3 loss to Stony Brook. Four turnovers played a huge role in the offensive output, but it certainly seems the Black Knights are down this year. Pencil in Boston College for its second victory; tailback Andre Williams could be in for a big day.
* Virginia Tech at North Carolina (12:30, ACC Network): Hokies 28-24. After a couple years of relative hibernation, one of the surest things in college sports – Virginia Tech fans clamoring for a new offensive coordinator – is a weekly thing again. There’s no question the Hokies pieced together a forgettable September, but their mastery of the ACC over the last eight seasons is so remarkable, it’s tough to take a leap into picking an opposing Coastal Division team. Virginia Tech is 31-5 against that group since 2005.
* Virginia at Duke (3, CSN): Blue Devils 35-27. The path to ever-elusive bowl eligibility for Duke was always to collect three nonconference wins, try to snag victories over Wake Forest and Virginia when league play arrived and then steal one (or maybe more) against a brutal second-half schedule. The Blue Devils catch the reeling Cavaliers, who have dropped three straight, in the middle of a quarterback change. Phillip Sims might need to have a standout first start for Virginia to even its record at 3-3.
* Georgia Tech at Clemson (3:30, ESPN): Tigers 45-28. Who’s up for a Chessmaster reference? Let’s just say Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris has a few more pieces to control the board with than Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh does this week. Checkmate could come quite early on.
* Wake Forest at Maryland (3:30, ESPNU): Terrapins 24-14. There’s going to be a lot of these kinds of scores with Maryland involved going forward; thanks to a veteran front seven that’s finally as healthy as it is going to get, the Terps’ defense will keep it in games. It doesn’t hurt that Wake is down top receiver Michael Campanaro. The home team has won five straight in the series. It should become six straight this weekend.
* Miami vs. Notre Dame (7:30, NBC): Fighting Irish 35-27. The Hurricanes are the inverse of Maryland – an offense that makes you think they can stay in any game, and a defense that makes you wonder what their ceiling realistically is. After shredding Georgia Tech and N.C. State, Miami must contend with a far more imposing Notre Dame bunch coming off a bye week.
* Florida State at N.C. State (8, ESPN2): Seminoles 38-21. Mike Glennon has been sacked more than all but six quarterbacks nationally this season. His offensive line is banged up. Florida State leads the ACC in sacks per game. There’s a real chance this doesn’t end well for a 3-2 N.C. State bunch that has yet to really impress this season.
Week 5 record: 4-5 (1-2 conference)
Overall record: 41-11 (5-5 conference)
ACC record: 38-10 (5-5 conference)
Preseason ACC record: 38-10 (6-4 conference)
Navy record: 3-1
Preseason Week 6 picks changed: Georgia Tech-Clemson, Virginia-Duke, Virginia Tech-North Carolina