What do Billy Graham and <insert head football coach name here> have in common?

 This is an old one. Both are capable of having a stadium full of people stand up and yell “Oh my God.” The thing is we have a lot more faith in those folks at a Billy Graham Crusade than the fans in a college football stadium. Patience does not exist anymore in the fan bases. Nothing could underline that fact more that LSU firing head man Ed Orgeron less than two years after he led the Tigers to a national championship.

Closer to home we read a few things on social media posted by Wolfpack fan(atics) regarding the status of coach Dave Doeren. They were upset that State lost on the road by a FG at Wake Forest, the number 12 ranked team in the nation. Some even called for a new coach. In our opinion, that is misguided.

Doeren has done a more than credible job in Raleigh. The thing State fans should be worried about is losing him. If they have to replace him it could be a significant step back. As a thought experiment, answer this question – who would you replace him with off of this list:  Monte Kiffin. Tom Reid. Dick Sheridan. Mike O’Cain. Chuck Amato. Tom O’Brien. If your answer is anything other than Sheridan we don’t know what to say. 

Let’s break out the dartboard and look at this week’s games:

FLORIDA STATE AT BOSTON COLLEGE: N.C State got to play FSU without QB Jordan Travis and BC without QB Phil Jurkovic. Both will play in this game and each team is significantly better with them under center. With this one in Beantown and the chance of a Noles letdown after beating the U last week, it’s…Boston College 27, Florida State 21.

VIRGINIA TECH AT MIAMI: The U stubbed their toe in Tallahassee last week and it cost them their shot at the title game. Tech has been out of serious contention for a while. Miami is young and talented and could be a title threat in coming years if they are patient. The Hokies have one quality win this year (UNC) and may be coach shopping at the end of the season…Miami 35, Virginia Tech 24.

GEORGIA TECH AT NOTRE DAME: The Yellow Jackets have lost four in a row and at 3-7 will not be going to a bowl this year. Notre Dame still has an outside shot to make the playoffs if chaos ensues in the coming weeks. The Fighting Irish won’t need Rudy in this one…Notre Dame 42, Georgia Tech 17.

VIRGINIA AT PITTSBURGH: The winner of this one will likely get the Coastal’s spot in the conference title game. Both teams average over 500 yards total offense per game, but the Panthers have the better defense. Couple that with the fact that this one is at the giant mustard bottle, and Pitt will punch its ticket to the ACC Championship game….Pittsburgh 35, Virginia 28.

WOFFORD AT NORTH CAROLINA: After UNC lost their opener at Virginia Tech, Head Coach Mack Brown took a shot at teams that played a soft opponent to kick off the season. In his post-game press conference he said, “Most people had a scrimmage this weekend, and we had a very difficult team on the road in a tough environment.” This week the Heels line up against the 1-9 Terriers. Line starts to the right for coaches that would like to respond…North Carolina 56. Wofford 7.

LOUISVILLE AT DUKE: The Cardinals need this one to secure bowl eligibility. The Blue Devils are giving up an average of 50 points per game in their last four. Duke coach David Cutcliffe has done wonders for the program, but we can’t help but feel a mutual parting of ways is forthcoming with the way this season is ending. Another blowout loss….Louisville 45, Duke 17.

SYRACUSE AT N.C. STATE: The Orange have been sneaky good this year, but they are coming off a 41–3 loss in Louisville last weekend.  The Wolfpack need to win out and have Wake Forest lose their last two to have a chance at the Atlantic Division title. Barring any significant injury news, we think State bounces back from last week’s loss and get the W here …N. C. State 31, Syracuse 21.

EAST CAROLINA AT NAVY: The Pirates head to Annapolis on a three-game winning streak and line up against the 2-7 Midshipmen. We think ECU, who is allowing less than 150 rushing yards per game, will be able to contain the Navy triple option. Raise your hand if you had the Pirates at 7 wins….East Carolina 30, Navy 20.

WAKE FOREST AT CLEMSON: We keep expecting Wake to regress and Clemson to look like Clemson again. This might be the weekend it finally happens. The Tigers still have a slim chance to make it to Charlotte to the ACC Championship Game. We think Death Valley, the Clemson defense and a sense of urgency puts an end to the Deacons’ undefeated conference season…Clemson 31, Wake 28. 

OTHER GAMES THIS WEEKEND: Coastal Carolina over Texas State, Marshall over Charlotte, Appalachian State over Troy, Alabama over Arkansas, Florida over Missouri, Auburn over South Carolina, Ole Miss over Vanderbilt, All other SEC Teams over Cupcakes they schedule before rivalry weekend, Utah over Oregon, Cincinnati over SMU, UCLA over USC, Ohio State over Michigan State.

TOFF COMPOSITE TOP TEN:  1. Georgia 2. Alabama 3. Ohio State 4. Oregon 5. Cincinnati 6. Michigan State 7. Notre Dame 8. Michigan 9. Oklahoma State 10. Wake Forest.

Southeast Sports Syndicate, 2021.