Written By: Kellen Sharpe
It’s currently the weekend following one of the biggest weekends in college football over the past decade. Most, if not all of the monumental changes occurred in the Athletic Coast Conference or the ACC. I’m going to start with the small moments and then rise to the large moments that not only affect the conference but the college football world.
Boston College’s Consistent Inconsistency
Boston College started the season with two wins over Duke and Texas State. But, the Texas State victory wasn’t impressive, as they only won 24-21. They then went on to lose to North Carolina in a nail biter where they were one 2-point conversion away from taking the game to overtime. They narrowly beat Pitt 31-30 and were then blown out by Virginia Tech the next week. They turned it around and clobbered Georgia Tech 48-27 the following week. But, if I had to sum up the Boston College season in one game, it would be the Clemson game. The Eagles took a 28-13 lead heading into halftime but didn’t score a point for the rest of the game. They lost to Clemson 34-28 in a pivotal ACC game. The disappointment continued with an awful win against Syracuse where the Eagles only scored one touchdown the entire game. Boston College faces Notre Dame this weekend and I see them being competitive. But ultimately, Phil Jurkovic will try to do too much against his old team and cost the Eagles the game.
North Carolina’s Solid Recovery
The Tar Heels felt a terrible defeat to the Virginia Cavaliers two weeks ago. The Cavaliers gained their second victory against North Carolina, halting the Tar Heels in their journey to a New Year’s Six bowl game. Mack Brown had his Tar Heels ready to play against Duke and hopefully win by a large margin to get back on track. They succeeded in their goal with a 56-24 trouncing of the Blue Devils. This is an important win for the Tar Heels, as they face Notre Dame in two weeks and hope to be on a roll before they face the Irish. The recovery of North Carolina doesn’t affect the ACC all that much as this was already projected to happen. I see the Tar Heels only winning two of their next four games as they face Notre Dame and Miami.
Is This the End of the Clemson Dynasty?
No, it’s not even close to the end of Clemson. Sure, the Tigers have struggled the past couple of weeks, but they have been missing key pieces to both sides of the ball. Let’s deal with the first problem, the quarterback situation. Clemson is missing their Heisman candidate quarterback, Trevor Lawerence, who is a perfect complement to Travis Etienne’s running game. Also, D.J Uiagalelei is a true freshman quarterback who had to face a stout, Irish defense and almost pulled it off. The second problem is the defensive key injuries. Defensive tackles Tyler Davis, and linebackers James Skalski and Mike Jones were sidelined with injuries. They also continued to lose defensive lineman throughout the game, further worsening the situation. When they get healthy, which they will, and when Trevor Lawerence comes back, the Tigers will be title contenders once again. They will most likely face Notre Dame in the ACC championship and if Clemson loses that game, then maybe Death Valley fans should panic a little. Overall, the future is still very bright for the Clemson Tigers.
Is Notre Dame A Proven Team Yet?
Yes and no, but mostly yes. The biggest criticism of Notre Dame is that they keep winning because “They only face 1-2 really good opponents a year. They have a schedule tailor-made for their success. Even when they play good teams, they lose to them. They wouldn’t last in a Power 5 conference.” Well, to anyone and everyone who has ever said that, you can stop now. Notre Dame is currently leading the ACC with an unblemished record. They haven’t played anyone great yet except Clemson and even then, Clemson wasn’t at their best. But, coming from a Notre Dame hater, you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. They’ve proven almost everyone wrong this year and will look to dethrone 5-time consecutive ACC champion, Clemson, in the ACC championship game. Notre Dame plays one actually good team for the rest of the season, so they should make the College Football Playoff even with a loss to Clemson. Unless Cincinnati is undefeated, like seriously, can we get an oddball in there for once!
Miami Is Ranked What!? And Above Who!?
As you can probably tell, I’m not on the Hurricane hype train. Miami is a good football team but with no quality wins. The Hurricanes have only beaten one team with a winning record in N.C. State. As you may know, they had to claw back from a 10 point deficit to beat the Wolfpack. The only ranked team they’ve played was Clemson and they got stomped 42-17 in Death Valley. I personally don’t believe the Canes have shown enough to be ranked above Oklahoma State. I may be biased in saying that because I love Mike Gundy, but I think the Cowboys have shown more in their six games vs Miami’s seven. Miami could gain trust if they convincingly win their next three games but, for now, I would hold off on getting too high on the Hurricanes.
Teams Worth One Sentence
The Florida State Seminoles are terribly underperforming and I don’t see any upside. Syracuse, what the heck happened since 2018. Duke your still Duke, nobody really expected more. Louisville, you’ve lost your athleticism and now you’re losing games. Georgia Tech, your transition out of the flexbone triple option has not been successful and will continue to not be successful. N.C. State, you have no defense and that is costing you games. Virginia, your football program is the little brother to Virginia Tech’s and you will never surpass anything the Hokies do. Pittsburgh, you barely beat bad teams and get pummelled by good ones. Wake Forest, you’re a surprise to everyone so far, but a tough journey ahead gives you another mediocre record. Virginia Tech, you have the talent, but your coach doesn’t know how to use it.
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