Some early-morning picks to start your day that canvass a weekend when the entire ACC will be done by around 7 p.m. Saturday …
* Louisville at North Carolina (Noon, ESPN2): Tar Heels 31-14. North Carolina’s an odd team. The Tar Heels have rolled up more than 400 yards in all four of their wins but have scored more than 28 points in just two of them. They’ve been shredded for 468 yards or more the last three weeks, but playing Georgia Tech and East Carolina makes that understandable. Louisville, meanwhile, has a win over Kentucky to its credit (which doesn’t mean much) and a loss to Marshall. The latter isn’t promising as Charlie Strong‘s team heads to Chapel Hill.
* Maryland at Georgia Tech (Noon, ESPNU): Yellow Jackets 41-24. Maryland gave up 378 total yards to Towson last week, and it wasn’t a garbage-time 378; the Tigers had 225 yards at the half (while down 7-3) and 313 after three quarters (while trailing 14-3). Meanwhile, Georgia Tech brings the nation’s No. 1 rushing offense into the week, and has yet to run for less than 296 yards in five games. The only team Maryland has stopped on the ground is one that barely pays attention to a rushing attack in a traditional sense (West Virginia). It’s tough to be optimistic about the Terps’ chances at Bobby Dodd Stadium, where they are 1-8 all-time.
* Florida State at Wake Forest (12:30, ACC Network): Seminoles 34-20. Wake Forest allowed just 24 points in its last two games. It also played Gardner-Webb and Boston College in those contests. The Seminoles, fresh off their bye week, will provide a far better measure of exactly where the Demon Deacons’ defense is at this stage. Wake is better, and it has a dangerous offense that is increasingly no fun to play to thank for that. But the Seminoles should be able to deal the Demon Deacons their first conference loss.
* Boston College at Clemson (3, CSN): Tigers 38-7. The Eagles turned their 2010 season around with a surprise victory over Clemson. Will it happen again? Don’t count on it. A lackluster performance would constitute a “That’s So Clemson” moment, but the Tigers still possess advantages all over the place. It’s difficult to imagine Boston College (likely without Montel Harris) thriving in Death Valley.
* Miami at Virginia Tech (3:30, ABC/ESPN regional): Hokies 24-13. Some folks in ACC land seem to want to talk about how doomed Virginia Tech is after its loss to Clemson last week. Well, the Hokies still held the Tigers to 323 yards, and that was a season-high for yards allowed through five games. So if “doomed” equates to “will rely on defense and special teams to win games, which is a nearly annual Blacksburg tradition,” then yes, Virginia Tech is doomed. For this week, the Hokies’ league-leading pass efficiency defense gets to face the interception-prone Jacory Harris. Things should end well for Virginia Tech.
* Central Michigan at N.C. State (3:30, ESPN3.com): Wolfpack 28-10. Don’t bother firing up your laptop for this one. Central Michigan is not ranked in the top half of major college football in any of the eight major team categories (total, rushing, passing and scoring offense or defense). N.C. State cracks the top half in just two (tied for 39th in passing offense and 51st in scoring offense).
* Southern Mississippi at Navy (3:30, CBS Sports Network): Golden Eagles 31-28. Likely down fullback Alexander Teich because of a suspension, Navy will still be plenty competitive against an excellence Southern Mississippi bunch. The Golden Eagles beat Virginia two weeks ago, and will look to go 2-for-2 in trips to the Mid-Atlantic this season. As is often the case, expect a toss-up in Annapolis.
Week 5 record: 7-2 (2-1 conference)
ACC record: 36-11 (6-3 conference)
Navy record: 3-1
Preseason Week 6 picks changed: None
Preseason ACC record: 32-15 (3-6 conference)