We’re at the beloved second bye week of the season. We get another week to sit back and watch college football while knowing our second-consecutive perfect ACC regular season is secured. Only the Palmetto Bowl and postseason remains (for us... obviously no such postseason is in the cards for the Gamecocks who we will play in the aforementioned Palmetto Bowl). Enjoy the rare second bye week. We have a handful of quality games worth watching!
NC State at Georgia Tech (-1) (8:00pm, ESPN)
I’ll be attendance in this game in Atlanta! Why you ask? Mostly because A) I love college football, and B) I want to see a game where the outcome isn’t 95% locked up before opening kickoff. You’d think this would be a cheap win for NCSU, but the Wolfpack is just awful. Georgia Tech opened as a 1-point home favorite. The Yellow Jackets have UGA next, so this is their last real chance for a third win. Two ACC wins in year one would be slightly exceeding expectations.
Penn State at Ohio State (-18) (12:00pm, FOX)
We’ve got to watch this to see if Ohio State is as good as they’ve looked. They boat raced Wisconsin earlier in the year and have looked about as nasty as Clemson against so-so competition. Although LSU has accomplished more than any team this year, Ohio State is the only team that scares me when thinking about playoff matchups. JK Dobbins is one of only a few RBs that can truly rival Travis Etienne. Justin Field has surpassed my expectations and the Buckeyes’ defense has had a miraculous turnaround from last season. They’ve only given up over 14 points on two occasions and those were in blowouts against FAU and Rutgers.
Ohio State opened as a big favorite. If they win by over 14, I’ll be pretty worried. If they lose, they’ll be mostly out of the picture because Penn State will be a win over Rutgers away from winning the division. This is an unofficial college football playoff game!
Texas A&M at Georgia (-13.5) (3:30pm, CBS)
The Aggies have lost to Clemson, Auburn, and Alabama. That’s forgivable, but their best win was at Ole Miss. Winning at Georgia seems like it’ll be too tall of an order, but Georgia’s offense is pretty bland, so you never know. I have a weird feeling we’ll be seeing Georgia in the playoff after they upset LSU in the SEC Championship. Obviously, I’ll feel differently if A&M can give them a scare or ruin their season.
Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech (-3) (3:30pm, ESPN2)
There are four teams in the ACC with two or fewer conference losses: Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh. Pitt and Virginia Tech face in an ACC Coastal elimination game. Pitt needs to beat VT (handing them their third conference loss), then they need to hope VT turns around and hands Virginia their third conference loss so Pittsburgh is the only team with two conference losses in the Coastal (UVA has the tiebreaker over Pitt). Virginia Tech simply has to win the next two games and they’re in. I’d like to see VT win here so the Commonwealth Cup is the Coastal Division championship game!
Temple at Cincinnati (-10.5) (7:00, ESPN2)
The night slate is bare, but this is one of the better matchups the AAC will produce. Cincinnati played Ohio State earlier this season and got thrashed, but I think Cinci is good and Ohio State is just Clemson-level good.
As always, thanks for reading this weekly article. To conclude this week’s article, I’d like to share a brief product review of some Clemson bobbleheads by FOCO that were sent to me for purposes of this review. Below are links to each of them. You can see all of their Clemson bobble heads here.
- Clemson Bobblehead Ornament
- Deshaun Watson
- DeAndre Hopkins
- Undefeated Season
- The Tiger and Dabo High Five Dual
Overall, I was impressed with the quality of these. I can’t speak to the quality of their other bobbleheads, but the six linked above are quite heavy for what they are and appear to be pretty well made. They’re a bit on the pricey side, but they were willing to give us a coupon code so you should be able to get 10% by using code SHAKIN when you make a purchase. My recommendation is the Clemson Bobblehead Ornament. It is very cheap for the quality - it’s a very nice ornament. Unlike STS writer Matt Goldin who loves the most random Clemson players (he is a Deon Cain fanboy), DeAndre Hopkins isn’t my favorite Tiger of all-time, but his bobblehead is hilariously spot on. The Deshaun Watson bobblehead is well made, but the likeness isn’t quite as uncanny. The Undefeated Season bobblehead is great because it has the scores of each of the 15 wins the “Best Ever” team earned last season. Enjoy browsing and don’t forget that Christmas is just around the corner.