•Florida State (5-0) at N.C. State (3-2), Saturday 8 p.m.
Logically, this game is all for show from the Wolfpack’s perspective.
Barring a startling turn of developments, State’s season will hinge not on what happens against the Seminoles but what happens during the next four games against Maryland, UNC, Virginia and Wake Forest.
It’s clear now that the Wolfpack is going to have to play out its string using a base-to-base strategy. The defense is too porous to assume anything else is possible.
•Virginia Tech (3-2) at UNC (3-2), Saturday 12:30 p.m.
It’s possible the Hokies could go undefeated in the ACC and winless against the Big East.
It’s also possible _ unlikely as it sounds _ that the Hokies could have a miserable season on all fronts. After UNC and Duke next, the following three games are against Clemson, Miami and Florida State.
In other words, it’s must-win time and time again in Beamertown.
I just cannot bring myself to believe they won’t Tom-up. VaTech, 20-17.
•Virginia (2-3) at Duke (4-1), Saturday 3 p.m.
The most remarkable thing about the Blue Devils’ win at Wake Forest last week was that Duke was darn near handing out purple heart badges before the game started.
The most remarkable thing about Virginia’s 2-3 record is that it should be 1-4. The Cavs were freakishly fortunate in that 17-16 win over Penn State.
Duke, 31-30, and the Belk Bowl dream lives on.
•ECU (3-2) at Central Florida (2-2), Thursday 8 p.m.
The Knights obviously should win this one with ease, which is why they’re 14-point favorites.
But it’s not as simple as it looks and particularly by Conference USA standards. With the Pirate offense in a state of duh, the tempo could be more like the Big 10 of 1982 than the wacky arcade atmosphere normally associated with CUSA.
UCF still wins, 24-17, but only if the Pirates don’t get off to hot start. Bucs can take a huge East lead with a win and with UCF in NCAA jail.
•Wake Forest (3-2) at Maryland (2-2), Saturday 3:30 p.m.
OK, so here we are mid season and the Terps’ Randy Edsall, Duke’s David Cutcliffe and Miami’s Al Golden are the frontrunners in the race for ACC coach of the year.
Let’s see, Mike London of Virginia won last season …
Deacs, 28-24, even though Maryland did limit West Virginia to a lot less than 70 points.
•Miami (4-1) at Notre Dame (4-0), Saturday 7:30 p.m.
The craziest part of all this is that the Irish have a lot of winnable games ahead _ Stanford, BYU, Pitt, BC and Wake.
The hard outs will be at Oklahoma and at Southern Cal. Neither side can possibly be for real but Notre Dame is closer than the Canes. Gold Caps, 23-14.
•Georgia Tech (2-3) at Clemson (4-1), Saturday 3:30 p.m.
Stand by for one of the wildest games of the season. Tigs, 41-39
•Last week: 3 wins, 2 losses. Season 19-7.