Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Not Bad for a Supposedly Wretched Conference

Rivals has catalogued their top five games of opening weekend, and our little ol' ACC is in three of them, with five teams in total.

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2. Florida State at Clemson

The winner of 'Bowden Bowl IX' gets the inside track in the ACC Atlantic Division race. Clemson has a two-game winning streak in the series and has won three of the last four. The Tigers also have one of the nation's premier rushing tandems in James Davis and C.J. Spiller. Florida State returns eight starters from a defense which ranked 12th nationally against the run in 2006. How Florida State's offense fares in its debut under coordinator Jimbo Fisher will be of keen interest. So will the performance of Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper, who is making the first start of his collegiate career.

3. Wake Forest at Boston College

Can Wake Forest continue the magic of 2006? This game should provide some indication of whether the defending ACC-champion Deacons were one-year wonders or if they can again contend for the conference crown. The game also features a matchup of the league's top two quarterbacks -- BC's Matt Ryan and Wake Forest's Riley Skinner. However, the play of the defenses may reveal more. Boston College anticipates fielding one of its best defensive units ever. Wake Forest, meanwhile, has six new starters. Last season, the Deacons' 20-14 victory over BC was the difference in the Atlantic Division standings.

4. Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame

Irish coach Charlie Weis won't reveal whether Evan Sharpley, Demetrius Jones or heralded freshman Jimmy Clausen will start at quarterback against the Yellow Jackets. That's the first question about Notre Dame's offense. The second question is whether it will matter. The Irish edged Georgia Tech 14-10 in last year's season opener – and that was with Brady Quinn, Darius Walker and Jeff Samardzija in the lineup. How successful can they be against a Georgia Tech defense that returns eight starters?

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Many of you are aware that I'm a rabid Florida State junkie, but the Wake-BC matchup may just be the ACC Must See Game O' The Week.

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