Instead of Texting Pick ‘Em: Week 13

November 27, 2009

As is often the case with the holiday season, the last weekend of regular season ACC football seems a little anti-climactic.

Clemson clinched a spot in the conference title game last week, joining Georgia Tech for a rematch of their highly competitive game from week 2. Georgia Tech won the first half of that game, 24-0. Clemson took the second half, 27-6. The comeback wasn’t enough in a contest we’ll be revisiting next week.

Tech and Clemson take two final stabs at defending the ACC’s honor this week. The Yellow Jackets host nemesis Georgia, while Clemson travels to Columbia to play arch-rival South Carolina.

Elsewhere, the intraconference games largely match bottom- and middle-feeders. Duke and Wake Forest will meet in a matchup of two of the conference’s most prolific quarterbacks, eighth-year seniors Riley Skinner and Thaddeus Lewis. Maybe it only seems as though they’ve been playing college football that long.

Boston College seeks its second road win against Maryland.Virginia Tech seems likely to give Al Groh a rousing sendoff in what will probably be his last game coaching Virginia. Miami plays at South Florida in what may be the best matchup of the weekend.

Finally, we have the rotting husks of two rivalries: North Carolina plays at N.C. State, while Florida State travels to Gainesville to play Florida.

Closer to home, my lead in the IoT season standings is officially insurmountable. Jeremy and I differ on two games this week; sweeping them would only get Jeremy to within three games of me. I’d like to thank Boston College for nailing this one down for me by mailing in the Carolina game last week. At this time (midday) next week (Dec. 4), I’ll be getting ready to eat a steak in New York, courtesy of Jeremy. Or, chicken on a stick from a street vendor. Depends on my mood.

Onward:

Jimmy’s Picks (63-24) Jeremy’s Picks (58-29)
Clemson at South Carolina Clemson South Carolina
North Carolina
at N.C. State
North Carolina North Carolina
Wake Forest at Duke Duke Duke
Florida State at Florida Florida Florida
Virginia Tech at Virginia Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Georgia at Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Miami at South Florida Miami South Florida
Boston College at Maryland Boston College Boston College
Advertisements

Instead of Texting Pick ‘Em: Week 12

November 21, 2009

The IoT team had a bit of a long week, so we haven’t had much time to post. We’re planning to pick up the pace next week, but we couldn’t let this Saturday go by without getting our picks in.

Like the ACC Coastal Division, the IoT picks league is all over but the crying (for me, at least). Jimmy widened his lead by correctly picking North Carolina and Boston College last Saturday. My chances of catching up have gotten a lot slimmer, especially since we agree on just about everything this week, except the UNC-BC game. I get the feeling I’m going to hear a lot of gloating at the IoT summit in New York in two weeks.

Jimmy’s Picks (58-24) Jeremy’s Picks (54-28)
Maryland
at Florida State
Florida State Florida State
North Carolina
at Boston College
North Carolina Boston College
Duke
at Miami
Miami Miami
Virginia
at Clemson
Clemson Clemson
N.C. State
at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech Virginia Tech

Instead of Texting Pick ‘Em: Week 11

November 13, 2009

Three weeks from now, Team IoT will meet face-to-face in New York City. One of us will be buying a grossly overpriced steak for the other.

This weekly picks column will determine whose wallet gets lighter in The Big Apple. Right now, I’m holding a two-game lead on Jeremy. As has become our custom, we differ on two games this week: Miami at North Carolina and Boston College at Virginia.

Four of six ACC games Saturday will occur in central North Carolina. The corpse of Florida State, beheaded last week by the needless loss of quarterback Christian Ponder, is traveling to Winston-Salem to play Wake Forest. Duke hosts Georgia Tech, the ACC’s last hope for national relevance. Miami visits Chapel Hill to play North Carolina. And N.C. State hosts C.J. Spiller and Clemson. A warning to the Wolfpack: I’ll be in the stands this week. State hasn’t won a game I’ve attended in five years.

A tangent: at Carter-Finley, I’ll be wearing my T.A. McLe … er, my Levar Fisher jersey. A funny story: at the last home game of the 2002 season, McLendon and Phil Rivers jerseys were both on sale for $20. “Why get a #17 that will only be useful for another year,” I thought. “You’ll be able to wear that 44 when Touchdown Anytime wins the Heisman in 2004! And hey, how about Kelly Rowland? Beyonce will rue the day she split with THAT hitmaker.” Way to be, Jimmy. Way to be.

Elsewhere, Virginia hosts Boston College, while Virginia Tech travels to College Park to play Maryland.

Jimmy’s Picks (53-23) Jeremy’s Picks (51-25)
Georgia Tech
at Duke
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Clemson
at N.C. State
Clemson Clemson
Florida State
at Wake Forest
Wake Forest Wake Forest
Virginia Tech
at Maryland
Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Miami
at North Carolina
North Carolina Miami
Boston College
at Virginia
Boston College Virginia

Instead of Texting Pick’em: Week 10

November 5, 2009

As we come down to the last third of the college football season, just about every game on the ACC schedule this weekend has bowl implications. The only one that doesn’t is the game the IoT crew might be most interested in.

Jimmy and I have had a running debate over the last couple of weeks over who is the worst team in the conference — Maryland or N.C. State. (Check out our belated Power Rankings tomorrow to see how we came down on the question this time around.) Fortunately, we’ll finally get our answer on the field Saturday. While we’ve wasted quite a bit of time arguing this point, we both think the Wolfpack is going to come out on top at Carter-Finley Stadium (a.k.a. – the Un-fairgrounds).

Like the football season, we’re coming down to the end of our two-man IoT picks league. Last week, we split the two games we differed on, leaving me two back in the standings. I’ll get another chance to make up that ground Saturday.

One of the two games we’re divided on this week is Duke-North Carolina, which has some actual implications in the standings for once. Jimmy is predicting Duke’s three-game winning streak comes to an end, but I’m taking the Blue Devils to move one step closer to a bowl.

Our other head-to-head matchup is the (post-Tommy) Bowden Bowl. Florida State and Clemson have both suddenly gotten hot after disappointing starts. Jimmy likes the Seminoles and their high-scoring offense. Give me the home team that actually plays some defense.

Jimmy’s Picks (48-22) Jeremy’s Picks (46-24)
Virginia Tech
at East Carolina
Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Virginia
at Miami
Miami Miami
Maryland
at N.C. State
N.C. State N.C. State
Wake Forest
at Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Duke
at North Carolina
North Carolina Duke
Florida State
at Clemson
Florida State Clemson

Instead of Texting Pick’em: Week 9

October 29, 2009

Last week proved to be a bit of a game changer in the ACC standings. For the first time, an Atlantic Division team beat a Coastal Division team (twice, no less). For the first time, one of the Big Three — Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Miami — lost to someone other than each other or a Top 2 team. And for the first time in a really long time, Duke has a winning record more than halfway through the season.

Last week also promised to be a game changer in the two-man IoT picks league. With three games separating us in the standings, Jimmy and I differed on three picks. A sweep for Jimmy would have effectively put me away; a sweep for me would have knotted things up. Instead, I took two out of three to inch ever closer to my bitter rival.

This time around, we’re split on two games, starting with Central Michigan-Boston College. Jimmy is calling for the upset, picking the Chippewas, who already knocked off in-state rival Michigan State and gave Arizona a tough game. I like the Eagles at home, where they seem to do no wrong.

We’re also parting ways on the Duke-Virginia game, which looked like it was going to be a pillow fight a few weeks ago. Unlike last week, Jimmy is following his heart and picking the Blue Devils. In a close call, I’m going with my head and taking the home team again.

Jimmy’s Picks (43-20) Jeremy’s Picks (41-22)
North Carolina
at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
N.C. State
at Florida State
Florida State Florida State
Coastal Carolina
at Clemson
Clemson Clemson
Miami
at Wake Forest
Miami Miami
Duke
at Virginia
Duke Virginia
Central Michigan
at Boston College
Central Michigan Boston College
Georgia Tech
at Vanderbilt
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech

Instead of Texting Pick ‘Em: Week 8

October 22, 2009

As the college football season has reached its midpoint, the ACC Atlantic Division has been taking a beating from pundits for major media outlets to little-known blogs.

Atlantic teams have an opportunity to redeem their side of the conference this weekend with three matchups against Coastal Division teams, starting with Florida State’s visit to North Carolina on Thursday night. Boston College, the current leader in the division, can also make a statement for the entire conference with its annual game against that other Catholic school, Notre Dame.

The only intradivisional meeting of the weekend features a battle for first place in the hotly contested Coastal between Georgia Tech and Virginia. After about as miserable a start as any team can have, the Cavaliers are somehow still undefeated in the ACC and leading a division that includes three teams in the top 14 of the BCS rankings. One of those teams is the Ramblin’ Wreck, which won its long-anticipated showdown with Virginia Tech last Saturday.

Meanwhile, this could prove to be a pivotal moment for another major college football race — the two-man IoT picks league. Jimmy and I have been trading a game in the standings with each other for the last three weeks. That could change this weekend as we go head-to-head on three of the six ACC games on the schedule.

Jimmy is going with road underdogs FSU, Maryland and Wake Forest. I’m sticking with the theory that Atlantic Division teams can’t win away from home. All five Atlantic teams in action this weekend play on the road, so I’m picking against them all. (I was tempted to take the Bye over N.C. State just for good measure.)

If Jimmy is right, he could build an insurmountable lead in the IoT standings. If I’m right, we could be right back where we started the season — dead even.

Jimmy’s Picks (40-17) Jeremy’s Picks (37-20)
Florida State
at North Carolina
Florida State North Carolina
Georgia Tech
at Virginia
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Maryland
at Duke
Maryland Duke
Clemson
at Miami
Miami Miami
Boston College
at Notre Dame
Notre Dame Notre Dame
Wake Forest
at Navy
Wake Forest Navy

Instead of Texting Pick ‘Em: Week 7

October 17, 2009

For weeks, the Instead of Texting team had Saturday, Oct. 17, circled on its virtual calendar. It promised to be a momentous day, as Maryland and Virginia payed one of the most significant conference games of the season. Finally, we’d know definitively who the worst team in the Atlantic Coast Conference is.

But fate conspired with the Cavs and Terps. Our Bottom-Feeder Bowl has become a game with actual ramifications for the rest of the league. A Maryland win, coupled with a Wake Forest loss, would put the Terrapins atop the Atlantic Division. Virginia would remain in a virtual first-place tie atop the conference with a victory, regardless of the other Week 7 outcomes.

Meanwhile, the true tests of ACC futility lie elsewhere. Thursday night’s North Carolina-Florida State game will pit two ACC-winless teams. It’s conceivable the Seminoles and N.C. State could still be seeking their first conference victories when they meet on Halloween. We’ll have our pillow fight yet.

The top conference game this week has some national consequences. Virginia Tech visits Georgia Tech in a matchup of one-loss ACC teams. This is probably the Hokies’ last regular-season chance to bolster their BCS resume. The Yellow Jackets, meanwhile, could enter the big-bowl conversation with a win today.

Elsewhere, Clemson seeks to regain a spot in the Atlantic Division race when it hosts Wake Forest. N.C. State will try to stop the bleeding in a visit to Boston College, where the Eagles are having an identity crisis. Are they the team that gave Wake its only loss or the hapless group that got drilled by Clemson and FSU?

Miami continues its break from actual competition with a trip to play Conference USA’s Central Florida. It’s a well-earned respite for the Hurricanes after their murderous season-opening stretch.

Last week, Jeremy gave back the game he gained on me in week 5. We only differ on one contest this week: Wake Forest-Clemson. I think Wake will continue separating itself from teams 6-12 in the conference standings. Jeremy expects Clemson to bring the Deacons closer to the pack.

Jimmy’s Picks (37-15) Jeremy’s Picks (33-19)
Wake Forest at Clemson Wake Forest Clemson
N.C. State at Boston College Boston College Boston College
Virginia at Maryland Virginia Virginia
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Tech
Miami at Central Florida Miami Miami