Friday, November 16, 2007

November 17 Predictions

For once, the ACC has the headliner games of the week led by Boston College at Clemson.

Georgia Tech vs North Carolina 12:00 ESPN
Line: GT -10, 42.5

Georgia Tech became bowl eligible last week, but needs this one to really feel secure about their postseason hopes. They have had what many would consider a disappointing season and grumblings about the future of the program are being heard. North Carolina has had a tough go as of late losing a close game to rival NC State last week. The Tar Heels’ record may not be much better than last year, but they have been in many more games at the end.

Tashard Choice is back from knee surgery and showed no ill effects in a 170 yards performance at Duke last week. The Yellow Jackets continue to struggle in the passing game. Junior QB Taylor Bennett again completed less than 50% of his passes, but he did throw 2 TDs matching his season total. His wide receivers have not been giving him much help with dropped passes.

North Carolina’s philosophy on offense has been a 5 step drop and wing it downfield. QB TJ Yates leads the ACC in interceptions largely because of the lack of a running game. The Heels managed just 12 yards rushing a NC State defense that had been playing like a matador in a bull fight against the run.

Here is a fact for you…North Carolina has not won outside the state of North Carolina since 2002. They have had so many close games this year and need a “big win” to gain so momentum for next year (sorry, Duke won’t cut it). Georgia Tech may be caught looking ahead to next week’s game vs Georgia, where their bowl might be (San Francisco and San Jose bring back memories), and what their coaching situation will be going forward.

Georgia Tech 24 North Carolina 20
Georgia Tech Wins, North Carolina Covers, Over

Clemson vs Boston College
7:45 ESPN2
Line: Clem -8, 52.5

People are calling this the biggest game in Clemson history since 1981. I don’t know if I would go that far, but it is Tommy Bowden’s biggest game ever at Clemson. These two teams are heading in opposite directions with the Tigers flying high after a two game bump in the road earlier in the season and the Eagles experiencing a two game bump after winning eight straight to start the year.

Clemson looks great statistically on offense and defense. BC looked great statistically until two weeks ago. People have seemed to figure out this Eagle defense and exposed its weakness. Maryland, a team playing numerous second stringers, scored on 7 of their first 8 possessions.

This the classic game that would make Clemson wet their pants over the last several years, but
I think they already wet their pants against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech and now have become potty trained. Death Valley will be rocking and the Tigers rock Boston College to a third straight loss.

Clemson 38 Boston College 17
Clemson Wins, Covers, Over

Georgia vs Kentucky 12:30 SEC TV

Line: UGA -7.5, 61

If you look up momentum in the dictionary it would say "Georgia Bulldogs with Mark Richt out of character tactics". The Bulldogs have also uncharacteristically scored 40+ points in three straight games. A month ago, all of the focus of the SEC was on Kentucky after they upset LSU and had ESPN Gameday and Florida coming to town. After the loss to Florida, they got "Croomed" by Mississippi State and QB Andre Woodson fell out the Heisman race. So what is Mark Richt using this week to motivate his team? No team celebrations or black jersey are expected this week. Instead, the once conservative Richt is passing out pictures of Kentucky fans tearing down the goalposts after the victory of the Dawgs last year.

I think this game could be an old fashioned SEC offensive shootout. Wait a second... that makes no sense. Kentucky really can't stop anyone especially on the ground and Georgia is running the ball very well with Knowshon Moreno behind an improved offensive line. Georgia will give up some yards as well and when given time Woodson can pick apart even the best defenses. Kentucky climaxed a few weeks ago... Georgia is climaxing now. Dawgs get it done at home in the 4th quarter.

Georgia 35 Kentucky 28
Georgia Wins, Kentucky Covers, Over

Bonus Game... just because Duke has a shot against Notre Dame!
Notre Dame vs Duke 2:30 NBC

Line: ND -6, 48

Just when you think Notre Dame can't get any worse, they did against Air Force. Both teams are top academic schools, both teams have 1 win, both teams have not won a conference game (ok, so Notre Dame isn't in a conference). Notre Dame is awful and there is no good excuse or reason why they are this bad. The recruiting services have rated their recent classe top 10 nationally. They really have not played a decent team close - Duke has played decent teams close including Wake Forest and Virginia.

Call me an ACC homer or a Domer hater, but I think Duke has a real shot to win if they believe
they can. Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis has had a few rough games and is due for a big game. The Irish thought this was a definite win at the beginning of the year. Six points is a lot for a team that is 3-7 ATS this year and most of the losses have not even been close.

I think Duke extends the misery of the Domers in a not so surprising upset.

Duke 17 Notre Dame 16
Duke Wins, Under
Last Week: 3-2SU, 2-3ATS, 3-2O/U
Season: 26-21, 26-18-1, 24-22-1

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