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ACC Buy, Hold or Sell: Week 3

September 18, 2008
Week three was a light week for the league, as three teams had bye weeks (BC, Wake and Miami). Nevertheless, there was some movin’ and shakin’ going on.

Boston College: Hold

Clemson: Hold
So the Tigers beat State 27-9. That’s great and all, but as depleted and anemic as State’s offense is, it was still a game heading into the fourth quarter. In Death Valley. Cullen Harper still hasn’t proven himself to be the Preseason ACC Player Of The Year the media anointed him, throwing a pick-six on the very first play of the game to Nate Irving for State’s only touchdown of the year against a Div 1-A opponent.

Wow. 2-1. Who’d’a thunk it possible for the Blue Devils in their first year under coach Cutcliffe? Moreover, when was the last time Duke cracked the 40-point threshold in football? Navy’s not the team they were under Paul Johnson but there’s enough well-coached midshipmen remaining to put up a good fight, so Duke’s win was no cakewalk. And Thad Lewis is putting up some legit numbers at the quarterback position (25-35, 317, 3 TDs against Navy), making the Devils a tough out for anyone in the ACC.

Florida State: Buy
Apparently the Seminoles are tired of all the talk around town that their best days are behind them and they’re taking it out on the pasties on their schedule. They’ve put up 115 points against their last two opponents, Western Carolina and Chattanooga, getting primed for one of the season’s most anticipated games against Wake Forest. It’s clear that Bobby Bowden ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR Jimbo Fisher has FSU on a mission to reassert themselves as one of the ACC’s premier teams.

Georgia Tech: Hold
The Jackets lost a close one to Virginia Tech, 20-17, damaging their chances to represent the Coastal division this year in the ACC title game. Nevertheless, Georgia Tech continues to post impressive efforts each and every game. They’re probably the scariest team to play this year because it’s tough to know how well a team will perform defensively against them. Even scarier: As they get more proficient, they’ll be even more difficult to prepare for.

Maryland: Hold
Has there ever been a more difficult team to figure out that the Maryland Terrapins? They get beat by Middle Tennessee State one week, then stun #23 Cal the next. Philip Rivers (or, as Terps fans love to refer to him, PhiLLLLip) never could solve the Terrapin riddle, either. So while one part of me wants to upgrade the Terps to a Buy, the other side of me wants to keep them as a solid Sell based on the MTSU and Delaware games. So, naturally, I’ll hold them steady where they are.

Miami: Hold

North Carolina: Buy
Ugh. I hate Buying the Heels, but I’ve got to do it. They looked good beating up on a beleaguered Rutgers squad. I’m still not 100% sold on Butch Davis’ coaching abilities, but I’ll say the Heels looked prepared to pounce whenever the opportunities presented themselves. The big test, for both the Tar Heel players and Davis as coach, comes this weekend when they host Virginia Tech. This will be one of the key games that determines the Coastal; a Heels win will put them in the driver’s seat, for sure.

N.C. State: Sell
The hits keep coming for the Pack. Alan-Michael Cash is done for the year, the latest Pack player set to miss either the remainder of the season or at least a good part of it. The Clemson game could’ve gone worse in some respects, but the offense continues to sputter like a VW Bug with sugar in the tank. The only hope at this point is that Russell Wilson continues to progress as a quarterback and that our young receivers step up and make plays. If State continues to rely on its running game and defense to carry the load, the Pack will continue to go nowhere fast.

Virginia: Sell
Things are bad in Hooville. How bad? They just suffered a 35-point beatdown courtesy of UConn. Yikes. It’ll be tough for Al Groh to survive past this season, frankly, unless some serious improvement occurs across the board. At this point, they look like a contender with State for the worst team in the league.

Virginia Tech: Buy
It looks like it’s Tyrod Taylor’s show from here on out…Sean Glennon didn’t set foot on the field against Georgia Tech last week. Taylor didn’t exactly ignite the passing record books, though. Just 48 yards, on 9-14 passing? Sheesh. But maybe that’s how VT fans like their QBs: Extremely mobile (just without all the nasty dog fighting and gun-pulling incidents). In any event, they won a crucial Coastal division game against the Jackets last week. If they can get past the Heels on Saturday, they’ll have beaten two of the top Coastal division opponents and all but wrap up the division (Miami may have something to say about it, however…).

Wake Forest: Hold

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