Well, Florida State at Louisville certainly set a high standard for this weekend of ACC football. But there are still five games left of ACC-tion, and plenty of Coastal Division implications hang in the balance.
Four Atlantic Division teams have been mathematically eliminated from the division race, but every Coastal team is still alive and Coastal chaos reigns again. And since today is Halloween, why not look forward to it with some scary movies?
Last week was the real horror movie for Pittsburgh, as the Panthers lost five fumbles in their first 13 plays in a 56-28 loss to Georgia Tech, unable to build anything positive off of their win over Virginia Tech. They’ve now lost three of four, while Duke is rolling and ranked for the first time in back-to-back seasons since 1956-57. Right now, every Coastal team has two or more ACC losses … except Duke. Can the Blue Devils conquer the Coastal clutter?
Get your popcorn: The Exorcist. Because the Blue Devils are the only hope left to exorcise the demonic presence inside of the Coastal Division.
When North Carolina and Miami face off, the game is often … well, it’s often interesting. Let’s put it that way. There are moments of greatness at times, offset by moments of complete failure. Two years ago at Miami, the two teams — featuring two of the worst defenses in the league — combined for just 32 points, and UNC’s 18 points were its lowest point total in a win under head coach Larry Fedora and fourth-lowest overall. Last year, the two teams combined to score three redzone touchdowns in 10 trips and Miami QB Stephen Morris threw four interceptions — in a Miami win. In spite of how great both teams are offensively, it’s often a mess of a game.
Get your popcorn: Jacob’s Ladder. This game may cause disturbing hallucinations if you are exposed for it for more than 200 minutes in real time. Use caution.
Virginia can’t manage to get out of its own way long enough to win a football game. Having a loss cemented last week with a 12 men on the field penalty is basically the equivalent of running away from a serial killer by going up the stairs instead of out the front door. The Cavaliers had a really good start to the season, but things have unraveled in a hurry and there are no get-right games left on the schedule. Georgia Tech can relate, as it lost two straight to Duke and North Carolina. But then they notched a dominating win at Pittsburgh, looking as good as they have all season, and suddenly have new life when they were left for dead.
Get your popcorn: Halloween. Virginia thought it had escaped from its past, but it continues to haunt Charlottesville. And Georgia Tech is basically Michael Myers. The Yellow Jackets will remain in the Coastal Division conversation for as long as anyone is willing to let them stick around.
Boston College didn’t get the prettiest win at Wake Forest last weekend, allowing the Demon Deacons to put up 17 second-half points and escaping, 23-17. But Virginia Tech laughs at that so-called misfortune. The Hokies have played in back-to-back Thursday night primetime games and lost both in rather ugly fashion, with their struggling offense on display for all the country to see. Injuries are racking up on both sides of the ball, confidence is low and their games have generally turned into unwatchable, mistake-riddled affairs. They need a win in the worst way, but this isn’t going to be a pretty one for fans or spectators to watch, because Virginia Tech hasn’t played a pretty football game since it beat Ohio State (and yes, that really did happen) in Week 2.
Get your popcorn: Birdemic. Because both mascots are birds. And also, this was an awesomely bad SyFy classic before Sharknado was ever a thing. So bad, it’s good? This game.
There are no more ties in college football, and boy, could both of these teams use this game, particularly the Wolfpack. Scott Shafer might have found himself under fire in his second year as Syracuse’s head coach, but at least the Orange have a few ACC wins and a bowl berth last season. NC State under second-year man Dave Doeren has neither an ACC win nor a bowl berth, and with the way the season has been going, neither look like sure things. But with Syracuse starting a freshman quarterback, this is as good a chance as any.
Neither of these teams are in contention for any division titles or anything of consequence, but both are going to fight to turn around their respective seasons before it’s too late. But to what end? This year, probably not much, but at least it’s something. Even if that something is the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.
Get your popcorn: The Mist. A group of everyday folk are locked inside a shopping center with something evil lurking on the outside and trying to fight its way in, and they have to fight with it, each other and the elements to survive. I won’t spoil the ending, but trust me, it fits. And it’s worth watching.