Welcome back to the ACC’s ultimate road trip. In case you’re just joining us, whoa are you late. Get with the program. It's already rivalry week. This is the week you’d like to be everywhere at once. But you can’t. You’ve got to pick one. Where should we go in our final week of the regular season? Here’s a look at our final stop:
Saturday, Nov. 24
Boston College at NC State
South Carolina at Clemson
Miami at Duke
Florida at Florida State
Georgia Tech at Georgia
Maryland at North Carolina
Virginia at Virginia Tech
Vanderbilt at Wake Forest
My choice: South Carolina at Clemson
Why: Two main reasons: 1) the Virginia Tech-UVa game won’t carry as much meaning to the Coastal Division race as it did in 2011 because the Hokies’ defense will separate the two programs throughout the season and in this game, and 2) Spurrier vs. Swinney. This rivalry will feature two coaches who like to talk, and last year -- whether it was intentional or not -- their off-field jabs at each other added some spice to an already heated rivalry.
Swinney is the one with something to prove in this game, though, as he has now lost to South Carolina three straight years. That hasn’t happened in the series since 1968-70. Clemson fans have lost their bragging rights AND their patience, but it’s not going to be any easier this year. South Carolina should again be a contender for the SEC East title.
Considering the expectations for the other teams in the ACC/SEC matchups, the best rivalry game should be in Death Valley. Florida returns 10 starters, but the Noles are ahead of the game and should again win the unofficial state championship. Georgia’s defense and quarterback Aaron Murray should be the difference against Georgia Tech. Swinney won Clemson’s first ACC title since 1991, but if he whiffs a fourth straight time against the Gamecocks, fans might not remember last December.