The Washington Times - November 10, 2011, 09:22AM

There’s five ACC games this weekend, while Maryland steps out of league play for a November nonconference tussle for the first time since 2001. Navy also continues its schedule with a date in Dallas.

The picks (all times p.m. and Saturday unless otherwise noted) …


* Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (Thursday, 8, ESPN): Hokies 28-24. Look for the Yellow Jackets to fall out of the Coastal Division race as Virginia Tech crafts its usual Thursday night heroics.  Also, it’s November, and the Hokies are 19-1 in regular season games after Halloween since 2006. Virginia Tech might struggle a bit to contain the option, but look for it to escape with a win.

* Wake Forest at Clemson (Noon, ESPNU): Tigers 38-17. The Atlantic Division race comes to an anticlimactic conclusion in Death Valley as Clemson clinches its second appearance in the ACC title game in three years. The only huge concern for the Tigers: Does a week of rest mean some rust?

* N.C. State at Boston College (12:30, ACC Network): Wolfpack 21-10. Saturday marks the 2,198th day since N.C. State’s last defeat of an Atlantic Division team. Tom O’Brien and the Wolfpack will end that drought against the woeful Eagles and ensure their bowl hopes survive into the final week of the regular season.

* Duke at Virginia (3, CSN): Cavaliers 35-28. Virginia further cements its bowl bid, clinches a losing season for the Blue Devils and avoids sending out its fourth-year seniors with an 0-4 record against Duke.

* Miami at Florida State (3:30, ABC regional): Seminoles 31-21. No, Florida State isn’t a particularly accomplished 6-3 team (its best victory probably is a home rout of N.C. State), so this is a bit of a barometer for a team that suffered three early losses. Look for the Seminoles to continue their winning streak and further position themselves for a Champs Sports Bowl bid.

* Navy at Southern Methodist (3:30, CSN+): Mustangs 31-28. The Midshipmen have suffered plenty of close losses on their way to 3-6. It would be almost cruel for them to fall out of bowl contention with another tight setback. That’s the pick here; SMU, which has lost to the Mids the last three years, figures out a way to survive a squeaker at home.

* Maryland vs. Notre Dame (7:30, NBC): Fighting Irish 38-17. Notre Dame comes east to play a “home” game roughly 10 miles or so from College Park. No matter. The Irish have plenty of offensive weapons and a strong kickoff return game, both of which should exploit some of the Terrapins’ weaknesses at FedEx Field.

Week 10 record: 5-1 (3-1 conference)

ACC record: 56-19 (23-11 conference)
Navy record: 6-3
Total: 62-22

Preseason Week 11 picks changed: Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech, N.C. State-Boston College, Duke-Virginia
Preseason ACC record: 52-23 (20-14 conference)

—- Patrick Stevens