<
>

Ultimate ACC road trip: Week 11

7/1/2013

South Florida in November? Yes, please.

Week 11 schedule

  • Syracuse at Maryland

  • NC State at Duke

  • Virginia at North Carolina

  • Florida State at Wake Forest

  • Boston College at New Mexico State

  • Notre Dame at Pitt

  • Virginia Tech at Miami

Our pick: Virginia Tech at Miami

Why you should come along: We understand if you would rather head out to Las Cruces, N.M., to watch BC take on New Mexico State. We kid because we love. There are a few other intriguing games on the slate here -- the final meeting for what feels like a century between Duke and NC State; and Pitt-Notre Dame, another big-time nonconference opportunity for the Panthers (they nearly pulled the upset a year ago).

But it is hard to pass up a Virginia Tech-Miami matchup in any season. Not only has the rivalry grown between these two programs, going back to their Big East days, but the expectation remains that this will be yet another critical Coastal Division matchup. Last year, Miami beat Virginia Tech at home for just the third time in 10 meetings. At the time, the win gave Miami a lead in the Coastal. Had the Canes not imposed a postseason ban, their win in this game would have enabled them to play for the ACC championship.

Because of a quirk in the schedule given the additions of Pitt and Syracuse, Miami has the good fortune of getting Virginia Tech at home for the second straight season. While Miami seems to be the early preseason favorite to win the Coastal, Virginia Tech is never a team that should be dismissed out of hand. After all, the Hokies should have a top-notch defense, and the expectation is for the offense to be improved with a new coordinator. The matchup between Stephen Morris and Duke Johnson and the Hokies' front will be a huge key. Last year, Johnson had 100 yards and a touchdown in the matchup.

Let's go!