Educated Guesses: Week 13
What’s harder to comprehend – that Maryland thinks it’s worth $50 million to abandon its charter status in the ACC or that the Big Ten thinks the Terps are worth recruiting?
A Terrapin athletic program well past its prime has decided to give up struggling to compete with the likes of natural rivals like Virginia and North Carolina so that it can fail miserably against power programs like Michigan and Ohio State.
Good luck Terps. Don’t let the door hit your ugly uniforms on the way out.
Perhaps this speaks volumes about the relative health of the ACC. Commissioner John Swofford was crowing about conference solidarity after another wave of expansion brought in Pitt, Syracuse and the partial affiliation with heavyweight Notre Dame.
Truth is, the ACC still can compete financially with the B10 or SEC, so Maryland has elected to invest in future net worth despite the ensuing travel costs to the rust belt.
Of course, the ACC will inevitably grow back to 14+1 and jump at the chance to take UConn (though I still think Louisville would be a better fit) and further strengthen itself as a basketball power conference once again. With the newest defections of the Huskies and Rutgers (to the B10 in discount package deal with Terps), the Big East might as well throw in the towel.
My only hope for a little restoration of the charm that the ACC of my youth once had is that the conference opts to split it up into Classic and New Coke Divisions. But I’m afraid my Wahoos will get relegated to the wrong one.
If I were Johnny Swoosh, these would be my new divisions:
Classic: Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Georgia Tech.
New Coke: Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse, UConn, Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State.
I could live with swapping the Techs, but that’s as far as my heart can compromise.
Oh well, onto turkey dinner and Week 13’s educated guesses:
Georgia Tech @ Georgia: Laughable fact of the week: both of these teams will play in conference title game. Only one will have winning record when it’s over. BULLDOGS 52, Yellow Jackets 28.
South Carolina@ Clemson: Spurrier could send a whole Tiger class away without ever winning rivalry game. Classic offense vs. defense showdown. TIGERS 31, Gamecocks 27.
Florida@ Florida State: Wait to hear how loud Jimbo Fisher cries after winning this one. SEMINOLES 27, Gators 13.
Auburn @ Alabama: Will Iron Bowl beatdown be worse than what Georgia inflicted on the puny Chiziks? CRIMSON TIDE 35, Tigers 0.
Notre Dame @ Southern Cal: Lane Kiffin’s Trojans haven’t won a game that matters yet even WITH Matt Barkley. Irish exposing will have to wait until Jan. 7. FIGHTING IRISH 34, Trojans 28.
Oregon@ Oregon State: Ducks need to regroup fast or they’ll prove computers right. DUCKS 42, Beavers 38.
Stanford @ UCLA: The first of back-to-back meetings? Both have to get over big wins first. CARDINAL 35, Bruins 31.
OhioState@ Michigan: The closest Urban Meyer’s team will get to a moral national championship. BUCKEYES 24, Wolverines 20.
OklahomaState @ Oklahoma: The consolation prize for down seasons in the Sooner state. SOONERS 42, Cowboys 35.
Missouri@ Texas A&M: Tigers can’t even get a break against an old Big 12 rival. AGGIES 45, Tigers 13.
Virginia@ VPI: No faith that my Wahoos can even muster up a win against a bad Hokies team, but I’ll vote for hope. CAVALIERS 20, Hokies 17.
Winners: Georgia, South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Florida State, UCLA, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt
Losers: Oregon, Kansas State
YEAR TO DATE: 95-37 (.720)
2011 record: 115-51 (.693)
2010 record: 97-49 (.664)