Brian: Today we play a game of Toss Up as we consider 5 intriguing football matchups for this coming football season. These games don't feature Boston College, however, they will be telling of the types of teams the Eagles will face in 2008. We picked games that happen prior to BC playing one or both of the teams in each of these games.
Tip of the hat to the Clemson website Sporting Gnomes for this gem - the 2008 ACC mini helmet schedule.
Toss Up - Who ya got? Week 7 Notre Dame @ North Carolina
Brian: Has North Carolina football arrived again under second year coach Butch Davis? That is the question. This is a statement game for the ACC as Notre Dame should come into Chapel Hill with a record of 5-0 or 4-1 (the Irish have a weak, front-loaded schedule; meanwhile the Heels have a tough first stretch of games but could finish up 4-0). If the Tar Heels can knock off the Irish, this will go a long way towards righting the national perception of ACC football. I predict the Heels will be 3-2 or 2-3 going into this game so this UNC really needs this game to keep bowl hopes alive. I'm taking Notre Dame though in a close one.
Jeff: Did you mean the Irish will be 0-5 or 1-4 heading into this game? You think they will beat Michigan and Purdue at home and Michigan State on the road? The Big Ten might be down still but not that far down. But, back to the game in question, I am going with Notre Dame as well. UNC certainly has a good chance of winning this one especially because it is a home game for them, but I just can't predict them winning a big nationally covered game yet. Give them another year or two.
Toss Up - Who ya got? Week 1 Clemson vs. Alabama (Georgia Dome)
Jeff: Well, just to not disappoint you or ATLeagle, I am going with Clemson here. Clemson and its fans have been to Atlanta and the Georgia Dome many times recently while Alabama has not been to Atlanta to play in the SEC championship in a long time. Also, Clemson was a good team last year that should be a very good team this year while Alabama stunk last year so they have a long way to go.
Brian: Jeff, let me remind you of how Clemson's last trip to the Georgia Dome went ... oh, that's right. yet another overtime, let down loss for Tommy's Tigers and the ACC. There are questions about Alabama next season and looks like their defense will be pretty spotty next year (another LB was dismissed from the team yesterday). I'm torn on this one and will reluctantly go with Clemson, although it wouldn't surprise me if the great, white ACC hope goes down in Week 1.
Toss Up - Who ya got? Week 4 Wake Forest @ Florida State
Brian: Outside of Clemson, this game will likely determine who will step up in the Atlantic Division race. This game is in late September and is the first ACC matchup for both teams. We see these teams in consecutive weeks in late November. Florida State will still be reeling from last year's suspensions when Wake Forest comes to town and I think Wake's offensive experience will be the deciding factor in this game. Wake wins by 7 in Doak Campbell.
Jeff: Gotta take FSU at home. Wake has a chance but I expect both teams to be about 5-3 in conference so I'll give the 'Noles the edge since they're playing at home.
Brian: Jeff, at least 20 Florida State players will still be suspended for the Deacon-Seminole game. Even in Tallahassee, I think you have to give the edge to a healthy Riley Skinner and Wake Forest.
Toss Up - Who ya got? Week 1 Georgia Tech vs. Jacksonville State
Jeff: Former LSU QB Ryan Perrilloux plays for Jacksonville State which will bring a lot of attention to this game, but still does not give Jax St a chance in this game. Perrilloux's finest moment will remain his start for LSU in the SEC championship game last season where they came back to beat Tennessee which then allowed them to move up in the BCS ranking and play in the national championship game.
Brian: Perrilloux won't have the weapons to pull this game out, however, this is a warm up game for Georgia Tech and the new Paul Johnson-led offense. I also am taking Georgia Tech in this game, but I think it will be closer than most people think.
Last one, Toss Up - Who ya got? Week 7 Clemson @ Wake Forest (Thursday night)
Brian: Another heavyweight Atlantic division game that has all sorts of implications on the divisional race. Wake will have revenge in mind as they got smacked around last year in Death Valley 44-10. If Wake can get past Florida State in week 3, and Clemson can overcome the week 1 Crimson Tide hurdle, both teams could be undefeated heading into this matchup. I am going to go out on a limb here and say Wake Forest eeks out a win at home and ruins any Clemson national title run hopes.
Jeff: This game has Clemson letdown written all over it. Between this game and there trip to Chestnut Hill, their national title hopes and ACC title hopes will be ruined. I disagree though that Wake might be undefeated heading into this game primarily because of that earlier date at FSU.
Brian: Because of the Florida State suspensions, Wake will get past the Seminoles and will be 4-0 heading into their matchup with the Tigers.