Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics
The picks get wilder and wilder as the article goes on...
Georgia Tech (-7) @ Maryland
Part of me is afraid of this game. We've spent most of the season thinking our team was of a certain level of capability, and finding out that it isn't. Now we play a Maryland team that we're expected to beat, though it isn't exactly what you'd call chopped liver. But then you consider that they're playing their 5th string QB, who a week ago was a linebacker. And then you consider that their defense is top-10 nationally. Overall I just don't know what to make of it. My bet is that they have a tough time scoring 10 points and Georgia Tech can score at least 17-21. Tech covers.
Virginia (+14) @ NC State
You know how we've done a ton of complaining about how bad we are? Get this: Virginia hasn't won since we beat them. Then again, we've won once since then....so we're not much better off. Though I will say that they've gotten beaten much worse and by generally worse opponents. NC State has a top-15 passing offense and will light up the Virginia defense. NC State covers at home.
Boston College (+4) @ Wake Forest
If you want some more perspective on how confusing the ACC is this year, check this out: two weeks ago, we beat BC 37-17, and they didn't look good for the entire game. Last week, they got their second win of the year and beat Maryland at home by 3 -- this being a Maryland team who has already beaten Wake Forest among 3 other teams. However, as much as certain fans would love to say that if "A beats B, and B beats C, then A beats C", the transitive property doesn't work in football, and even if it did, the ACC would still be that token case where it didn't. In a battle of who's worse, I'll take the team that's coached by the less-bad coach. Wake covers at home.
Clemson (-15) @ Duke
It's weird that Duke is already bowl eligible and leading the Coastal Division, and yet nobody takes them remotely seriously as a team. That said, any game they've played against reasonable competition (except for UNC) has resulted in a blowout loss. As much as I think it'd be hilarious to watch Duke beat Clemson, I think this is more in the "blowout loss" category for the Blue Devils. Clemson covers 15 on the road.
Virginia Tech (-1.5) @ Miami (In Retrospect)
(I know, I know. Knowing what we know now, this is entirely unfair, but just for shiggles I want to write about it.)
I didn't get this up before the game, but if I had, I'll be honest with how I would have looked at this one. First, you have Miami, with a very absentee fanbase and 3 straight losses. Then there's Virginia Tech, with a very erratic set of performances this year and losers of 3 of their previous 4. It seems that we're returning once more to a competition of who's less bad. I don't know if I can pick Virginia Tech on the road to beat a Miami team with as much potential and athleticism as they have. Miami covers and wins a close, hard-fought game.
Texas A&M (-7) @ Mississippi State
Led by Johnny "Johnny Football" Manzell, Texas A&M is a good team, and will win this game, but I think Mississippi State is underrated here and keeps it close at home. Mississippi State covers, and A&M wins straight up.
Oregon (-6) @ USC
Going into the Coliseum and winning will be a tough test for the Ducks. USC was thought of very highly this year and was the preseason #1 team for many (myself included). They've been pretty shaky at times though, and lost last week to an Arizona team that plays very similarly on offense to Oregon -- though the Ducks are a couple of notches better. Oregon covers 6 in a hostile road environment.
Alabama (-8) @ LSU
Watch out, I'm about to say something crazy. This is about the last time and place Alabama would want to have this game. LSU is 36-1 at home on Saturday nights under Les Miles. If there's a game that Alabama will lose before going to Atlanta, it's this one without a doubt (come on, Texas A&M doesn't actually have a chance next week). Alabama is a young team playing in an environment that makes their home look like daycare. I'm going to go out onto a major limb here and pick LSU to cover 8 and straight up pull the upset against the Crimson Tide.
Readers, if you want to call me crazy, here's your chance. What did I get wrong?