Just 13 games left in the ACC during the regular season, including five this week.
Let’s see if there can be a follow-up to last week’s 5-1 mark …
* Duke at Miami (Noon, ESPNU): Hurricanes 31-20. The Blue Devils’ bowl hopes die this week as Jacory Harris has a bit of a bounceback game. At least Duke will be the fifth team to become bowl ineligible in the league this season rather than leading that charge as it usually does. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Blue Devils’ bowl drought end soon, but Miami is still the deeper and more talented outfit in 2009.
* North Carolina at Boston College (Noon, ESPN2): Tar Heels 17-10. This has a real chance to be an unwatchable, grind-it-out matchup. The Tar Heels’ defense continues to play well, and 7-3 Boston College owns one victory over a team with a winning record —- Central Michigan. The Eagles deserve a ton of credit for dispatching the mediocrities on their schedule. The problem is the Tar Heels, while not worldbeaters, are still good enough to come in and poach a victory.
* Maryland at Florida State (Noon, Raycom): Seminoles 34-10. The Terps have gone six quarters without an offensive touchdown. Florida State is playing its last home game with Mickey Andrews as defensive coordinator and will probably try to match the authority in which it eviscerated Maryland last year. In a battle of second-time starting quarterbacks, expect big defensive plays to play a significant factor.
* Virginia at Clemson (3:30, ABC/ESPN): Tigers 31-14. The tenants of Clemsonliness would suggest the Tigers would stumble with an Atlantic Division title on the line. Really, that was more likely to happen last week against N.C. State’s capable offense. Virginia is out of bowl contention, and rumors swirl that Al Groh will be out of a job in another 10 days or so. Ultimately, Virginia will play hard, but that won’t be enough to end a four-game skid.
* N.C. State at Virginia Tech (3:30, ESPNU): Hokies 28-17. The Hokies might want to find a way to contain a mobile quarterback; if Jamarr Robinson can run for 129 yards in his first career start against Virginia Tech, then Russell Wilson should be able to do reasonably well. This looked like a ripe upset possibility in the preseason. Now, the Wolfpack just is trying to get through the season without any more injuries. Maybe the surprise comes next year in Raleigh.
Last week’s record: 5-1 (5-1 conference games)
Season record: 57-26 (24-15 conference)
Preseason picks record: 55-28 (23-16 conference)
Preseason picks changed for this week: North Carolina-Boston College, N.C. State-Virginia Tech
—- Patrick Stevens