The end of November (often referred to as closing month) is a time to give thanks for the season of thrills, chills and spills.  Even if the area ACC schools get shut out of postseason play this has been an interesting if not rewarding season.  We’ve seen Maryland meet injury early and often…Virginia never being able to make up its mind who their quarterback is…and Virginia Tech (long the blue chip stock of the ACC) have a decidedly un-Hokielike season.  We’ve seen teams fall all over themselves within weeks of the BCS finish line.  We’ve seen a freshman nicknamed “Johnny Football” turn the Heisman race on its head.  We’ve seen islands of excellence in the ACC amidst a sea of 5 and 6 win teams (6 of 12 schools are within a game of .500 entering the weekend).  We’ve seen leagues poach each other as the game off the field is just as rough and tumble.  But we’ve also had the chance to get outside on Saturday afternoons and evenings… smell the autumn air and changing leaves as gridiron history-good or bad-is being made.  How many weeks to Labor Day 2013?

Alma mater Update– Syracuse is not only bowl bound but on a serious roll…the Orange’s 38-20 thumping of Temple was a nice way to exit the Big East.  Ryan Nassib, I’m sorry for thinking you were afraid when you seemingly slid 15 times in the game at Minnesota.  Doug Marrone… I’m happy to see this year as a turn the corner season somewhat like 1984:  a five loss campaign that involved an upset of an unbeaten (although knocking off #9 Louisville isn’t as awesome as shocking #1 Nebraska).  I’m hopeful for an Orange future in the ACC that now doesn’t involve Maryland…and hoping the Sign of the Whale adds the 44 wing salute for the Big East Basketball.

Maryland at North Carolina– the Terps wonder “what if”.  What if that field goal against NC State didn’t clang off the left upright?  What if they held on against Boston College in the 4th quarter?  What if they didn’t lose their only quarterback with experience in August… and only three eligible QB’s over eight days in October?  What if they didn’t lose their leading tackler and rusher for the season in November?  The building blocks are in place for the Terps to contend in 2013…but unfortunately the banged up bunch that came close in 2012 has one more week of growing pains.  Terrapins tumble, 35-17.

Virginia at Virgina Tech—  Cavaliers against Hokies.  Liberal Arts against Engineers.  Kippy & Buffy against Ray and LuAnn.  The commonwealth clash has been a major mismatch as of late– with VT taking 12 of 13 and 8 straight from their in-state rivals.  Both teams have had issues holding onto the football:  Virginia Tech is 9th in the ACC while Virginia is dead last.  The Cavaliers are also 11th in the conference in penalty yardage… creating more than a few short fields for opponents.  Add in the best pass rush in the ACC (VT is #1 in sacks) against a quarterback carousel…it’s a challenge trying to see how Virginia ends its in-state slide.  It’ll be as messy as a smoked turkey leg after 7 bites, but the Hokies handle the Cavaliers, 22-16.

Last Week:  6-3.

Overall:  66-32.