Don’t look now, but the ACC is back, babydoll. The much-maligned league enters this weekend with three top ten teams and Saturday night’s nationally televised instant classic is a battle for the Atlantic Division lead between #3 Clemson and #5 Florida State. With an unbeaten Miami preparing for a Coastal Division showdown against a Virginia Tech team that’s won 6 straight (after losing to two-time defending champ and #1 Alabama). This is the ACC that John Swofford dreamed of ten years ago when he pulled the Hurricanes and Hokies away from the Big East. October and November games in the national championship conversation…with Heisman Trophy hopefuls at multiple schools. A shame Louisville joins next year–after Teddy Bridgewater leaves for the NFL. Does it get any better than this ?

Alma Mater Update“Dave and Bob’s Football Reunion Adventure V” takes place this weekend in Atlanta as the Orange face “cross-division rival” Georgia Tech. Wow—I mean…it’s amazing to join a new league and all of a sudden have 13 bitter rivals! This is fun! I roomed with Bob my freshman year and he later lent his skills to “Big Bob’s Picks” on SUNup (a UUTV staple with Dominick Pupa and Lori Geary). Records have been lost (or destroyed), but I believe he went a Vegas-alerting 76-12-3 before moving cross-country and changing his identity. His take: “Dave, you see the Yellowjacket Option won’t hurt the Orange as much as you’d think because the misdirection is designed to get fast defenders to make the wrong decision—and we don’t have fast defenders. The SU offense remains offensive—and that’s not a good thing. I see both teams running the ball as much as they possibly can—meaning we’ll be out and about postgaming by 3 at the latest. And can we get the creamed spinach at Morton’s?”

Maryland at Wake Forest—the Terps can become Bowl Eligible with a victory. That means 6 wins in 8 weeks for a program that won just 6 times in the first two seasons under coach Randy Edsall. Quarterback CJ Brown is back after missing the Virginia game with a concussion…but a dinged up defense is what concerns me: linebacker Alex Twine joins the banged up bunch with a shoulder injury—they’ve already lost Yannik Cudjo-Virgil for the season this week and one wonders how they’ll keep Tanner Price in check. The Demon Deacon senior isn’t Jameis Winston, but he’s much better than David Watford. Terps punch their ticket to some bowl we’ll be complaining about in two months, 21-19.

Virginia vs. Duke– the Cavaliers begin a three game homestand by trying to snap a three game losing streak. The winless in the ACC Blue Devils drop by Scott Stadium—and you’d think two things: a UVa season-saving win and a tailgate reunion of Tommy & Cricket with Kippy & Buffy. But Duke’s 0-2 conference start is a byproduct of not having Anthony Boone at quarterback for those games; he’s returned and the Blue Devils are unbeaten when he plays. Meanwhile, Tommy & Cricket remain pissed that Kippy & Buffy are going with Virginia-wines only; as a subscriber to Wine Spectator they only delve in Napa Cabs nowadays. K&B go with Barboursville Octagon—the 2009 vintage winning the Governors Cup: “Fine garnet color with very forthcoming aromas of lush, fresh fruit, emphasizing ripened cherry…”. Perfect with Cotswold Cheese on Nabisco “Sociables”. While T&C lose on the wine, the Cavaliers come up short, 37-26.

Navy tops Toledo, Georgetown loses to Lehigh, Howard is humbled by Florida A&M, Towson tops Albany, William & Mary falls to Maine, Richmond loses to Rhode Island.

Last Week: 6-1.
Overall: 40-7.