Now I know how NC State and Miami feel, sitting at .500 -- pretty average. I went 3-3 last week, striking out on picks in favor of Clemson, Miami and Wake Forest. That brings my grand total to 54-17 for a winning percentage of 76 percent. It pained me to write that, but my job is much more difficult than, say, picking LSU or Alabama each week (yeah, I'm talking to you guys over there in the SEC blog).
Here’s a look at your projected winners for Week 10:
Florida State 28, Boston College 17: No matter which way you look at it -- on paper or on film -- Florida State is the better team. BC will get some help from its defense in keeping it in the game tonight, but the Seminoles’ stingy run defense will prevent the Eagles from repeating the kind of success they had at Maryland.
Virginia 24, Maryland 14: Even Maryland coach Randy Edsall said he realizes teams are going to try to run first against them, considering how lax the Terps’ rushing defense has been this year (118th in the country). Virginia running backs Perry Jones and Kevin Parks will get their yards, and quarterback Michael Rocco will continue to progress as the undisputed starter.
North Carolina 35, NC State 28: It’s time for the tables to turn. If it were that easy to beat the same opponent five times in a row, the 1988-92 seasons wouldn’t have been the last time we’ve seen it in this series. NC State was embarrassed by Florida State last weekend while UNC is coming off a strong performance in a win over Wake Forest. The quarterbacks will highlight this matchup, and UNC’s Bryn Renner will get the final word.
Notre Dame 31, Wake Forest 17: The Deacs’ best chance at ruining this pick will be to force the Irish into turnovers. You can expect Jim Grobe’s team to play more disciplined than the five turnovers against North Carolina, but Wake Forest will be overmatched up front and won’t be able to stop the Irish offense.
Miami 28, Duke 24: This was the toughest pick of the week because Duke has been on the verge of a breakthrough win and Miami played so poorly in a loss to Virginia last week, but the Hurricanes will regroup and continue to take advantage of Duke’s mistakes. The Blue Devils’ defense should be confident after shutting out Virginia Tech in the second half of a 14-10 loss last week, but Miami’s defense will get the critical takeaway.