One week after Florida State’s fall, I’ve chosen to move on and celebrate conference parity, as opposed to mourning the loss of the ACC‘s only national title contender. Before the season, I never bought into the league having an undefeated team, but rather, would have a collection of three or four teams in the range of 9-11 wins. This is still very possible, and still indicative of a conference that can experience football success. It’s not the end of the world. Just another roadbump. At least we always win the conference realignment championship?
Game of the Week
North Carolina Tar Heels (4-2) (1-1) at Miami Hurricanes (4-2) (3-0): It’s a matchup of dynamic offenses, and only one competent defense when the Heels head down to Miami on Saturday. Despite how even these two may look on paper, I don’t anticipate a close game. The ‘Canes allowed the decidedly UN-dynamic Notre Dame offense to run right through them last weekend, so it’s hard to believe they’ll be able to stop Larry Fedora’s fast-paced spread attack. Miami’s ranked 103rd in the country in opposing passing yardage per game, allowing nearly 287 yards through the air every contest. UNC, led by junior QB Bryn Renner, averages about the same amount. Miami’s offense should keep it closer, but it’ll be hard to pull out a win. Prediction: UNC 42, Miami 30
The Rest of the Slate (in order of start time):
Louisville Cardinals (5-0) at Pittsburgh Panthers (2-3): Pitt’s one-point loss to Syracuse last Friday was a difficult pill to take for this team, but they’ve been down before. The key to rebounding, though, is simply running the ball better. For all the playmakers in their backfield, the Panthers only amassed 27 yards on the ground — not the type of numbers that result in wins. Louisville has a fairly staunch run defense too (allowing 130 yards per game), but the team’s now littered with questions after slogging through a supposedly easy non-conference schedule. It’ll be a tight contest, but the Cardinals should eek out the victory. Prediction: Louisville 24, Pitt 21