Among the many duties of a college football handicapper is looking for a team’s potential trouble spots on the schedule. This could be a rough patch of games where a team could struggle and not cover spreads or fall in the dreaded “sandwich game”, losing as a favorite when expected to win. Almost always this happens in conference play and that where we will focus our attention, starting in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
We will trot out our usual disclaimer as teams can rise and fall for a variety of reasons and these chosen conflicts are chosen in the heat of the summer, long before any conference action ever heats up.
Florida State Seminoles
10/27 Clemson, 11/3 at N.C. State and 11/10 at Notre Dame
This is one nasty period for the Seminoles as they have to adjust new coach Willie Taggert. There is every reason to think this will be a good offensive team, but on defense, Florida State does not have the look of a dominating group and this should be their undoing against this power trio.
9/29 Florida State, 10/5 Georgia Tech and 10/13 at Boston College
With Lamar Jackson gone, coach Bobby Petrino might still be deciding on a quarterback in late September, though sophomore Jewon Pass looks like the real deal. He will have to grow up in a hurry against this trio. Though the Cardinals will be home, preparing for Georgia Tech’s option in less than a week is troubling and a trip to Chestnut Hill is seldom simple.
N.C. State Wolfpack
10/20 at Clemson, 10/27 at Syracuse and 11/3 Florida State
At least N.C. State still has quarterback Ryan Finley and they will need him because the defense is missing several key performers from last year and will need time to grow. For their sake, one has to hope the Wolfpack’s defense has figured everything by late October or this period will be even more treacherous than it looks.