Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rivalry Week Continued

Rivalry Week is the best week of the college football season. Some will say the bowl games are the best week, but you don't have to listen to other team 365 days a year if you lose that game.

North Carolina vs Duke 3:30 ESPNU
Line: NC –14, 47
North Carolina leads 53-35-4

A rivalry usually reserved for basketball season, but these two go at it hard on the football field as well. UNC has won 16 of the past 17 meetings. Despite a disappointing record, all of the Tar Heels losses this year have come by 7 points or less.

Offense will be hard to come by as Duke ranks 117th in offense while Carolina checks in at 100. But Duke is also equally bad on defense allowing 440 ypg of offense. This could game could have a lot of turnovers as both teams are negative in turnover margin on the year.

This is pretty big spread for a rivalry as big as this one. Duke has lost the last two by a combined four points despite being 7 and 21.5 point underdogs. North Carolina has much better talent, but you can truly throw that out in this game. Even with the disappointing seasons, Tobacco Road fans have basketball to look forward to.

North Carolina 30 Duke 24
UNC Wins, Duke Covers, Over

NC State vs Maryland 12:00 Raycom
Line: NCS –2.5, 47
NC State 30-29-4

The winner of this game is likely to go to the Humanitarian Bowl and fill the ACC’s 8th bowl spot. This game really
blossomed into a rivalry about 5 years ago when the Terps and Wolfpack were vying for ACC supremacy along with Florida State. I remember when Maryland won late on Philip Rivers senior Day in Raleigh in what had to be the biggest senior day celebration for 1 player I have ever seen.

Both teams are pretty bad on offense. NC State has a decent passing attack with
Daniel Evans, but they both rank below 90 in total offense in the country. NC State is not very good against the run, which could be good news for Maryland RBs Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore.

Maryland has been decimated by injuries especially on the offensive and defensive lines. The Wolfpack have a had comeback of sorts winning four of their last five to be in this position. I think the Terps have found a continuity from all the injuries and win on the road.

Maryland 24 NC State 21

Maryland Wins, Under

Wake Forest vs Vanderbilt 2:00PM

Line: WF –1, 46

An overlooked intra-conference game this weekend is Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. This is a battle of the brains and
two football challenged programs historically. Vanderbilt is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Tennessee where they lead 24-9 in the 3rd quarter only to miss a 49 yard FG with under a minute to go for the win. Vandy is going for their 6th win to try and become bowl eligible. The Commodores have the longest bowl drought in the BCS conferences.

Neither team has much offense amassing under 340 ypg each. Vandy has a pretty good defense led by LB Jonathan Goff. The Dores rank in the top 35 in the major
defensive categories. Wake plays smart and does not turn the ball over ranking 17th in turnover margin. They are lead by Riley Skinner at QB and Alphonso Smith at CB.

Vanderbilt has been very close to bowl eligibility under Bobby Johnson and will find a way to get it done this year.

Vanderbilt 23 Wake Forest 21
Vandy Wins, Under

Boston College vs Miami

Line: BC –14.5, 47.5

Have you ever seen the Doug Flutie’s hail mary pass to beat Miami in 1984? That was the last time BC beat Miami. Miami
needs this one to finish .500 and become bowl eligible, though I think they will have a hard time finding a slot this year. They should have beaten NC State and could have beaten North Carolina or Georgia Tech as well.

You have to wonder how strong BC will play having wrapped up an ACCCG bid. But this game could mean a lot if the Eagles don’t win the ACCCG because they don’t travel very well.

Miami is downright awful on offense. Not Notre Dame bad, but close. Most of their bad rankings come because they cannot pass the ball. Kyle Wright has been banged up all year and has again been prone to turnovers, but he is better option than Kirby Freeman who completed just 1 pass against NC State in a loss a few weeks back.

Miami may have just as much apathy on their side knowing they are probably not
going to a bowl game even if they do win. The Canes do have a good recruiting class coming in next year and may pack it in early.

Boston College 34 Miami 14
BC Wins, Covers, Over

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