Ultimate ACC road trip: Week 6

Virginia Tech may not get to host any Thursday night games this year, but that doesn't mean we will skip one of the best places to watch a game in the ACC.

Week 6 schedule

Saturday, Oct. 5

  • Army at Boston College

  • Clemson at Syracuse

  • Maryland at Florida State

  • Georgia Tech at Miami

  • North Carolina at Virginia Tech

  • NC State at Wake Forest

  • Ball State at Virginia

Our pick: North Carolina at Virginia Tech

Why you should come along: AA here to give you the breakdown. The truth is, I really thought long and hard about choosing Clemson at Syracuse, considering this is the Orange's first ACC game and it's a big one. I was in the Carrier Dome last year to see Syracuse take down then-No. 9 Louisville, ending the Cardinals' undefeated season. So Syracuse is perfectly capable of beating a highly ranked -- and highly favored -- team. Plus, a trip to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que for another slice of sweet potato pecan pie has to happen at some point this season. Has to.

But the truth is, division implications are expected to be greater for the North Carolina-Virginia Tech contest. There are a lot of people who believe Miami is the favorite in the Coastal, but the truth is, this division is way, way more wide open than the Atlantic, where it's Clemson, Florida State and everybody else. You could make the case for just about every team in the Coastal to win the division -- North Carolina and Virginia Tech included. Last season, North Carolina beat Virginia Tech for the first time in Chapel Hill since 1938 and rolled up 48 points. The good news for the Hokies is Giovani Bernard is gone, after he ran for a career-high 262 yards -- the most ever against a Frank Beamer-led team. The bad news is Sean Tapley and A.J. Blue return -- the two accounted for four total touchdowns in the win.

This game is in the middle of a critical three-game stretch for the Hokies. They face Georgia Tech on a Thursday night in Week 5, and then turn around and play Pitt in Week 7. They do get extra time to prepare for the Tar Heels, who come into this game after playing East Carolina. That may irk UNC fans, but there is no sense in complaining about the schedule. This is a must-win game for both teams if they want to get to the championship game -- for real this time for the Tar Heels.

Let's go ...