The Picks: ACC has chance to have big day vs. SEC


Published: Friday, November 29, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

Two weeks into this college football season, the Atlantic Coast Conference was crowing because Clemson had beaten Georgia and Miami had beaten Florida. Remember Clemson coach Zeppo Swinney starting a news conference by saying, “How about the ACC?”

On Saturday, there will be four more of those epic SEC-ACC battles and I’m sure that the other conference will be sending out news releases and breaking news alerts if Florida State beats a Florida team with, like, eight healthy players and Georgia Tech beats a Georgia team that just lost the heart, soul and arm of its team.

But a season is a body of work and its important to note the records of the conferences against the other teams that make up the Power Five conferences. (I am not including the Atlantic Athletic, er, the Amateur Atrophy, uh, the American Eagle, whatever it is they call the old Big East).

The ACC is 3-6 against those teams. The SEC is 6-4. To be fair, the ACC does have Pittsburgh’s win over Notre Dame, which is kind of an independent but is pretending to be in the ACC.

Certainly, when you have one team practically locked into the BCS National Championship Game, it’s a good time to stick out your chest. Saturday could be another big day for the ACC.

It needs to be a big day for Dr. Football, who last week had a putrid 6-4 record, which only looks good when comparing it to 4-7. That’s 102-28 for the season with two weeks to go.

FSU at Florida: A year ago, a lot of us felt like dummies for picking FSU. In retrospect, FSU’s soft schedule made the Seminoles look better than they really were while Florida had been through the rigors of a brutal schedule. It’s the same way this year, except Florida didn’t survive that schedule in more ways than one. FSU, 45-10.

Alabama at Auburn: Breaking news — Nick Saban’s wife says he’s not leaving Alabama. More breaking news — Florida is not making a coaching change. Remember when breaking news was breaking news? Alabama, 24-21.

Georgia at Georgia Tech: I wonder if any team from a major conference has ever scored 56 points in a conference game and given up 55 in another? I mean, other than Tech. Georgia, 24-23.

Clemson at South Carolina: I caught a lot of grief from the South Carolina camp for picking Clemson last year. South Carolina, 23-21.

Texas A&M at Missouri: Memo to Mizzou defense — make Johnny Sharpie roll right. And don’t ever think this game is over until it’s over. Missouri, 38-31.

Wake Forest at Vanderbilt: If the ’Dores win this week and win their bowl game, that will be two straight nine-win seasons for James Franklin. Which begs the question — when does the statue go up? Vanderbilt, 23-20.

Ohio State at Michigan: Here’s a question for you — FSU and Ohio State both have soft non-conference schedules and each has one win over a team in the BCS Top 25. So why is FSU ranked ahead of Ohio State again? Ohio State, 42-21.

Notre Dame at Stanford: Oregon’s players said last week they weren’t excited about going to the Rose Bowl again. Fellas, enjoy the Valero Alamo Bowl. Meanwhile, it’s Stanford vs. Arizona State for the Pac-12 title. Oh, wait, that’s next week. Stanford, 31-13.

UCLA at USC: Lane Kiffin said this week that Ed Orgeron is the natural selection for the USC job. Why does he think anyone at USC would listen to him? USC, 34-28.

Arizona at Arizona State: Did you know that these two teams play for the Territorial Cup, which is the oldest trophy in college football? Neither did I. Arizona State, 38-31.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at dooleyp@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

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