The last full week of the regular season is finally here.
Along with it are this week’s picks. All games Saturday unless otherwise noted …
* Boston College at Miami (Friday, 3:30, ABC): Hurricanes 24-17. It seemed like a good idea at the time for the ACC —- sliding a game into a national TV slot on the day after Thanksgiving. Except Boston College is having a miserable season, and the NCAA investigation of Miami has prompted the school to remove its team from bowl consideration. Of course, that bowl might have been in Shreveport, but no matter. Look for Miami to complete a 7-5 season under first-year coach Al Golden. A curious question: Would a 3-9 mark mean the end of the line has arrived for BC coach Frank Spaziani?
* Georgia at Georgia Tech (Noon, ESPN): Bulldogs 35-31. Remember when this looked like it could be the last hurrah for Mark Richt? Well, Georgia’s rattled off nine straight wins after an 0-2 start and can take a victory in a rivalry game into next week’s visit to Atlanta against the SEC West champion. The Yellow Jackets have won two of three but have dealt with some injury issues of late.
* Maryland at N.C. State (12:30, ACC Network): Wolfpack 28-13. As erratic as N.C. State has been, it encounters the perfect opponent with bowl eligibility on the line: A team that’s consistently struggled for the last two months. Maryland has lost seven straight, the last six by double figures. Advantage: Wolfpack.
* Duke at North Carolina (3:30, CSN): Tar Heels 27-21 (OT). Was really tempted to go with the Blue Devils in the Victory Bell game. Instead, it will be another close call for David Cutcliffe‘s team as Carolina clinches a winning record, regardless of its bowl result.
* Vanderbilt at Wake Forest (3:30, ESPNU): Commodores 27-21. Wake Forest clinched its bowl berth last week. Now, Vanderbilt will do the same under first-year coach James Franklin —- and will do so a few hours after the school where Franklin was the coach-in-waiting at this time last year wraps up a miserable season just 90 miles to the east.
* Virginia Tech at Virginia (3:30, ABC regional/ESPN2): Hokies 27-16. Yes, Virginia’s better. But this is believe-it-when-you-see-it territory. The Hokies have so dominated the Commonwealth Cup over the last decade and change that it’s tough to pick against them, especially since they haven’t exactly tailed off with their results this season.
* Florida State at Florida (7, ESPN2): Seminoles 27-13. Beating Florida won’t erase the disappointment of a season featuring losses to Wake Forest and Virginia. But it certainly will ease that a bit for Jimbo Fisher.
* Clemson at South Carolina (7:45, ESPN): Tigers 31-20. Will Clemson’s offense have consecutive lousy weeks? Of course, the flip side of this is the Tigers haven’t played particularly well since their 8-0 start. Clemsonliness dictates that since folks are down on the Tigers, they’ll rise up and snag one against their in-state rivals on the road. The return of Sammy Watkins will go a long way to making that happen.
Week 12 record: 5-3 (3-2 conference)
ACC record: 66-22 (30-14 conference)
Navy record: 6-5
Preseason Week 13 picks changed: Clemson-South Carolina, Florida State-Florida, Maryland-N.C. State, Vanderbilt-Wake Forest
Preseason ACC record: 61-27 (26-18 conference)
—- Patrick Stevens