Perhaps Week 2 was a lesson not to place too much value in the single game that came before it.
Maryland-Temple. Wake Forest-North Carolina. Both picks were flipped from the preseason predictions. Both changes turned out to be wrong.
(On the other hand, the Virginia-Penn State pick was correctly changed in favor of the Cavaliers).
As for this week’s games, read on. …
* Wake Forest at Florida State (Noon, ESPN): Seminoles 38-10. Florida State kicks off its season … oh, wait, it did that with a pair of games against lower-division teams the last few weeks. Wake Forest has won four of the last six meetings, including last year in the Dash. Expect a turnaround from the Seminoles, who won’t be hurting from a couple unexpected losses like they were last season.
* Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh (Noon, ESPNU): Hokies 31-17. No, Pittsburgh hasn’t changed coaches (again) after losing its first two games. The Panthers will try to avoid only their third 0-3 start since 1972; the last one came in former coach Dave Wannstedt‘s first season. That’s probably not the trailblazer Paul Chryst wants to follow. Expect Virginia Tech to gradually put this away.
* Bethune-Cookman at Miami (Noon, ESPN3): Hurricanes 35-14. There aren’t many near-certain wins in Miami’s immediate future, but this is one of them.
* Connecticut at Maryland (12:30, ACC Network): Huskies 14-13. Flip a coin, kids. Just don’t expect a whole lot of points. Both teams possess top-10 total defenses nationally and bottom-20 total offenses. No, two weeks worth of data isn’t entirely indicative of a team’s relative strengths, but chances are defense will carry the day in this one.
* Furman at Clemson (3, CSN): Tigers 51-7. Sammy Watkins returns from a two-game suspension. Lucky Furman.
* North Carolina at Louisville (3:30, ESPN2): Cardinals 34-20. The Big East favorites should make up for last year’s loss in Chapel Hill while dealing Larry Fedora and Co. a second straight setback. Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was fantastic in his first two games.
* Virginia at Georgia Tech (3:30, ESPNU): Yellow Jackets 35-24. The Cavaliers did enough to survive last week against Penn State, the start of a telling four-game stretch that continues with their ACC opener. Georgia Tech would face a tough slog in the Coastal Division race with another loss at this stage; don’t expect that to happen.
* Boston College at Northwestern (3:30, Big Ten Network): Wildcats 45-38. Get all your Eagles into the lineup, fantasy leaguers! Not only has that phrase not been uttered with regard to Boston College since 2007, it’s also true. This has the makings of a much higher-scoring game than Northwestern’s 24-17 victory in Chestnut Hill last season.
* Navy at Penn State (3:30, ABC): Nittany Lions 27-20. Navy was hammered in its opener, while Penn State has played competitively in losses to Ohio and Virginia. Fiats of vacated games aside from on high in Indianapolis aside, Penn State hasn’t started 0-3 since 2001. Even in a depleted state, the Nits hold a talent advantage. Look for Navy to keep things interesting throughout.
* South Alabama at N.C. State (6, ESPN3): Wolfpack 35-7. If N.C. State can’t get its offense rolling this week, then it might be time to wonder what exactly is wrong with the Wolfpack.
* North Carolina Central at Duke (7, ESPN3): Blue Devils 42-10. This is a good game for the city of Durham. It’s also Duke’s ticket to getting to 2-1.
Week 2 record: 9-2 (0-1 conference)
Overall record: 18-4 (1-2 conference)
ACC record: 17-4 (1-2 conference)
Preseason ACC record: 18-3 (2-1 conference)
Navy record: 1-0
Preseason Week 3 picks changed: Virginia-Georgia Tech
—- Patrick Stevens