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Educated Guesses: Week 4 Clemson, Ga. Tech stake ACC claims

on Wed, 09/18/2013 - 3:13pm
By Scott Michaux

There were a few season predictions made in Week 1 that need a little updating. So consider this the first a few periodic revisits.

 

As far as SEC/ACC/BCS calls go, everything is still on track. Alabama beat Manziel to take the lead in the East, Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina and Georgia Tech all remain on the predicted path to potential titles. It’s all good.

 

That Heisman Trophy call? Weeeeeeellll ...

 

Jadeveon Clowney may not be the slam dunk defensive winner that I presumed. At the rate he’s going – which is glacial so far – he might not garner the national and conference defensive awards that seemed preordained in August. Injuries, fatigue and shrewd opponent game-planning have taken much of the dominance out of the Clowney equation. He’s still a freakishly disruptive presence, but it isn’t in the form of showcase sacks that made his 2012 campaign so memorable. And with so many cameras focused on him, his relatively ordinary play is not going to have voters thinking defensively unless he alters that perception as the Gamecocks trudge on toward a berth in Atlanta.

 

My other Heisman finalists of Tajh Boyd and Teddy Bridgewater are firmly in the conversation, but it’s a very crowded field at the moment with too few meaningful games to measure. Don’t count out Georgia’s Todd Gurley if he keeps it up.

 

Anyway, the pickings have been good so far. The only local miss all year was Georgia Southern at Wofford. Hope to keep it up. 

 

In addition to following these weekly guesses on ScottMichaux.com, anyone wishing to play along can join The Augusta Chronicle’s Football Fever Challenge. You can register to try to catch me (that’s right, I’m STILL leading – solo – through three weeks) at http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/footballfever#.UD9xLcFlSE8

 

Bring on the guesses for Week 4:

 

Clemson @ N.C. State: This has often been a brutal trap game for Clemson, but this team is different. TIGERS 34, Wolfpack 20.

 

North Texas @ Georgia: Expect to see a lot of Brendan Douglas and the backups for this one with LSU on the horizon. BULLDOGS 48, Mean Green 13.

 

North Carolina @ Georgia Tech: Time to see what the Vad Lee and Jackets are really made of in this critical second leg of Coastal foursome. RAMBLIN’ WRECK 28, Tar Heels 27.

 

Boise State @ Fresno State: Perhaps the best game in the country this week. BULLDOGS 38, Broncos 28.

 

Tennessee @ Florida: Could be the upset special, but playing in the Swamp should help Florida right the ship. GATORS 27, Vols 14.

 

Arkansas @ Rutgers: Great rushing vs. great rushing defense. What gives? Pick-em game. RAZORBACKS 23, Scarlet Knights 21.

 

West Virginia @ Maryland: Hard to imagine that this Mid-Atlantic border war will be a Big 12-Big Ten showdown from here on. TERRAPINS 38, Mountaineers 23.

 

Auburn @ LSU: Unless Zach Mettenberger gets caught looking ahead to his Georgia return, the better Tigers should prevail. BAYOU BENGALS 42, War Eagle 20.

 

Pitt @ Duke: Losing to Florida State is one thing. Losing to Duke would be an ominous ACC introduction. PANTHERS 23, Blue Devils 21.

 

Arizona State @ Stanford: The second-best of the West this week. Wonder if ASU will get the same officiating crew as last week. CARDINAL 31, Sun Devils 24.

 

Michigan State @ Notre Dame: So is the a real rivalry or not? It’s confusing. Outcome won’t be. FIGHTING IRISH 27, Spartans 17.

 

LAST WEEK: 9-2

Winners: South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Oregon, Ole Miss, Auburn, UCLA, Louisville, Washington,

Losers: TCU, Georgia Southern

 

Year-to-date record: 28-5 (.848)

 

2012 record: 117-48 (.709)

 

2011 record: 115-51 (.693)

 

2010 record: 97-49 (.664)