Streaks, like rules, were made to be broken. There are several streaks in the ACC this year that could come to a screeching halt. Will NC State really beat rival North Carolina for a sixth straight season? Could Clemson coach Dabo Swinney survive the wrath of his fans after a fourth straight loss to rival South Carolina? And Duke – oh poor Duke – couldn’t possibly lose to Wake Forest a 13th straight time … could it?
When I think of the ongoing series in the ACC, those are the three games that immediately come to mind when wondering what will be different about 2012 in the ACC this fall. NC State coach Tom O’Brien will have the upper hand in experience on Oct. 27 when he faces first-year UNC coach Larry Fedora, but the Tar Heels will have home field advantage and lots of motivation from losing the past five games in the series. Clemson will have home field advantage this year, but the Gamecocks could be the best team in the SEC East. And Duke? Well, the Blue Devils have yet to beat Jim Grobe. The past six games in the series, though, have been decided by an average of 4.5 points.
So which is the most likely streak to be broken in 2012? I’ll give you my prediction, then you cast your vote:
Prediction: Duke beats Wake Forest. Considering how close the series has been in recent years, another thriller should be expected. This would be a big win for the Blue Devils because it is on the road and it’s a conference game. It could also put Duke in position to be 4-1 going into the Virginia game. As for the other options? Tough call, but right now on paper, South Carolina’s defensive line will be the difference against Clemson, and NC State’s secondary will be the difference against the Tar Heels.