Welcome back to the ACC’s ultimate road trip. In case you’re just joining us, this series is your ticket to each of the best games in the ACC every week. These are the games that -- if you had the money and the time -- you would want to be at this fall. The season is still a long ways off, but here in the blogosphere, we’re already into the second half of the season. Here’s a look at Week 9:
Thursday, Oct. 25
Clemson at Wake Forest, ESPN
Saturday, Oct. 27
BYU at Georgia Tech
Maryland at Boston College
Duke at Florida State
NC State at North Carolina
My choice: Clemson at Wake Forest and NC State at North Carolina
Why: Take the Tobacco Road tour. The Thursday night game is interesting -- especially considering this game was decided by a Clemson field goal last year -- but I also don’t want to miss Larry Fedora’s first shot at Tom O’Brien, who is 5-0 against the Tar Heels during his career in Raleigh. This was dubbed as UNC’s “most important game” of the season for several reasons, and there’s no question it would be a statement win for Fedora -- especially if UNC is able to play the role of spoiler in a season that should be NC State’s best shot at the ACC title under O’Brien. Another subplot to this matchup will be the quarterbacks. It’s tough to tell which one will be better -- NC State’s Mike Glennon or Carolina’s Bryn Renner. Glennon has the advantage of being in the same system longer, but Renner should have an even better season than he did a year ago now that he’s not dealing with a bone spur in his foot. Both should have outstanding offensive linemen to work with.
If Wake Forest was able to challenge Clemson for the Atlantic Division title last year, there’s no reason to doubt the Deacs can do it again in 2012. And it’s only a matter of time before the tables turn in Chapel Hill, but can Fedora do it in Year 1? This should be a fun weekend in the ACC. Welcome to Tobacco Road.