Ultimate ACC road trip: Week 8

Hope you're ready for a doubleheader. It's a make-or-break week in the ACC ...

Week 8 schedule

Thursday, Oct. 17

  • Miami at North Carolina, ESPN

Saturday, Oct. 19

  • Florida State at Clemson

  • Duke at Virginia

  • Syracuse at Georgia Tech

  • Maryland at Wake Forest

  • Old Dominion at Pittsburgh

Our pick: Miami at UNC and FSU at Clemson

Why you should come along: These are season-defining games for both divisions. As of right now, we consider all four of these teams the frontrunners in their respective divisions. It's not unreasonable to fly into Raleigh-Durham, drive to Chapel Hill for this nationally televised Thursday-night game, then turn around and make the drive to Death Valley. (You're a pro, now -- don't forget, you already did UNC-South Carolina and Clemson-Georgia). Totally worth the mileage. In Chapel Hill, you'll see two teams that were ineligible for the postseason last year trying to elbow their way back to the top of the league standings. You'll see two of the ACC's best quarterbacks in UNC's Bryn Renner and Miami's Stephen Morris. You'll see two of the country's up-and-coming coaches in Larry Fedora and Al Golden. You should see one of them take the lead in the division standings.

In Death Valley, meanwhile, you'll see see a game where, in each of the past four seasons, the victor has won the Atlantic Division, and the home team has won all four. FSU has not won at Clemson since 2001. Home-field advantage couldn’t be bigger on Oct. 19 in Death Valley. This weekend could be the biggest of the season, as the winners of these two games could go on to play in the ACC championship. Of course, we didn't even hit November yet. Ready for more?

Let's go!