The Atlantic Coast Conference has yet to have a big game this season and might not have another one after Saturday until its conference championship game.
No. 16 North Carolina State visits No. 3 Clemson in a matchup of the only remaining unbeaten teams in the ACC. It seems early to declare the winner of this game the ACC Atlantic champion, but it’s not so far-fetched.
The only other team in the division with less than two losses is Boston College, which has already lost to N.C. State and plays Clemson in mid-November. Over in the ACC Coastal, Virginia Tech is the lone undefeated team in conference play, but six of the seven members of the division have lost at least two games overall.
Duke (5-1) is the lone exception, but the Blue Devils’ lone loss was to Virginia Tech. This week is the first since Oct. 4, 2015, that the ACC has only two ranked teams. There is plenty of time for teams such as Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Duke, all of which were ranked at some point in the first half of the season, to work their way back into the Top 25 and set up a few more marquee games.
But for now, N.C. State-Clemson is as good as it gets in the ACC and as good as it likely will get for at least a few weeks — if not longer.
No. 1 Alabama (minus 28½) at Tennessee
Tide has won 11 straight meetings, and only two have been closer than 14 points … ALABAMA 45-20.
No. 2 Ohio State (minus 13) at Purdue
Boilermakers are one of six teams in the country averaging four plays of at least 30 yards per game. The Buckeyes are one of 21 teams to allow at least three 30-yard-plus plays per game … OHIO STATE 45-31.
No. 16 North Carolina State (plus 16½) at No. 3 Clemson
The Tigers’ defensive line has all the star power, but the Wolfpack’s offensive line has future pros, too, in LG Terronne Prescod, C Garrett Bradbury and LT Tyler Jones … CLEMSON 34-21.
No. 22 Mississippi State (plus 6½) at No. 5 LSU
Tigers are being talked about as a playoff contender while the Bulldogs are trying to avoid slipping out of the rankings, but believe the odds makers: These teams are not so different … LSU 23-18.
No. 6 Michigan (minus 7) at No. 24 Michigan State
Spartans have won four of five and eight of 10 meetings, and like nothing better than being the underdogs to the Wolverines … MICHIGAN 24-14.
No. 9 Oklahoma (minus 7½) at TCU
Horned Frogs and QB Shawn Robinson have regressed since Ohio State game … OKLAHOMA 34-23, BEST BET.
No. 10 UCF (minus 21) at East Carolina
Under-the-radar stellar season: Pirates DE Nate Harvey leads the nation with 16.5 tackles for loss … UCF 42-17.
No. 12 Oregon (plus 3) at No. 25 Washington State
Ducks lost freshman LT Penei Sewell, a budding star, for six week with an ankle sprain … OREGON 28-24, UPSET SPECIAL.
Vanderbilt (plus 11) at No. 14 Kentucky
Wildcats are 7-3 in their last 10 SEC home games, matching a school-best for a 10-game span set in 1974-77 … KENTUCKY 28-14.
Colorado (plus 15½) at No. 15 Washington
Midseason All-America WR Laviska Shenault Jr. (toe) is uncertain to play for the Buffaloes … WASHINGTON 31-14.
No. 18 Penn State (minus 16) at Indiana
Nittany Lions have lost just once to Indiana since joining the Big Ten, going 20-1 … PENN STATE 35-17.
Maryland (plus 10) at No. 19 Iowa
Hawkeyes are suddenly high-scoring and looking for a third straight 40-point game in Big Ten play for the first time in program history … IOWA 35-14.
No. 20 Cincinnati (plus 3½) at Temple
AAC East race could be fun with Bearcats and Owls mixing it up with UCF and USF … TEMPLE 22-20.
UConn (plus 32½) at No. 21 South Florida
Huskies are allowing 53.7 points per game, on pace to set an FBS record (Louisiana-Lafayette, 50.3 in 1997) … SOUTH FLORIDA 52-17.
Illinois (plus 25) at No. 23 Wisconsin
Badgers are in need of a get-well game and get the perfect opponent at home … WISCONSIN 48-21.
Virginia (plus 7½) at Duke —@Schmiidtyy
Important game in what could turn out to be a muddled ACC Coastal race … DUKE 24-20.
North Texas (plus 1) at UAB — @Q_Brunk
First-place Blazers could open a commanding lead in Conference USA west with a victory … NORTH TEXAS 24-21.
USC (plus 6½) at Utah — @ChadUtes24
It’s early, but the Trojans could put a vice grip on the Pac-12 South race by following up its victory against Colorado by beating the Utes … UTAH 27-21.
Last week: 11-9 straight; 10-10 against the spread.
Season: 116-40 straight; 82-72-2 against the spread.
Upset specials: 4-3 (straight up).
Best bets: 2-5 (against the spread).
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