Random thoughts as we prepare for Friday night's clash of...mmm, "Titans" isn't really the word for a NC State - Virginia Tech clash, is it.
The big news last week, of course, was Clemson Clemsoning their attempt to Clemson against Notre Dame and hanging on for what's probably the biggest win anyone in the conference has had this year. (As is increasingly clear, Miami beating Nebraska doesn't count.) This sets up the Tigers to be the ACC's great hope for a playoff team going forward, because really, nobody expects anything out of Florida State this year. Whether the Tigers can actually pull it off depends on, well, whether or not they Clemson.
I think we can officially call last week's loss to Cincinnati the beginning of the end of the Al Golden era in Miami. Not because Cincinnati is bad, per se - they're not. But because it was a game Miami had to win and they ultimately got steamrollered by an uncool kid starting their backup QB. Meanwhile, Temple - Golden's old school - is undefeated and is generating some buzz about that consolation prize slot in the big bowl games. North Broad Street is probably looking pretty good right now.
It's now officially time to stop considering Virginia Tech good. Look, for a long time they were good. They were very good. But talking about them beating Ohio State last year is reaching its expiration date, and in the meantime, they're kind of a mess. Losing to a Pitt program that, frankly, feels like it would be in the MAC if not for its basketball team is a clear sign that as marvelous as Frank Beamer has been, it's time to stop giving his squads the benefit of the doubt.
At a certain point this season, Boston College will score again. The over-under on this happening before someone finds the Loch Ness Monster has the smart money taking the over. BC used to be known for road-grader o-lines. Now, they generate hockey scores.
Local pundits were predicting NC State would run all over a 1-3 Louisville team, despite dismissing star running back Shadrach Thornton for general chuckleheadedness. Instead, Louisville delivered a dull, bruising, efficient razing of the Wolfpack, which means it's time for the annual reminder that beating up on FCS and directional schools may get you to a bowl game, but it won't make you good.
And finally, congrats to UNC for a stunning comeback in a game that should have been a blowout for Georgia Tech. What's really impressive is not that they put 38 points on the board - their offense has been pretty steadily good for a while. No, it's that they actually stopped Tech from scoring for a good long while, and that's something UNC usually accomplishes about as often as one finds decent street parking in Carrboro.