High expectations seem to always follow the Clemson Tigers, whether justified or not. Season after season, Clemson seems to always be looked at as one of the best teams in the ACC, only to sink under the weight of those expectations. At the beginning of the season, rumors were out that coach Dabo Sweeney would be on the hot seat if Clemson didn’t have a successful season. However, through five weeks, Clemson has become the conference surprise-now having beaten three ranked teams in succession in Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech this past Saturday. With those wins, the Tigers have once again raised expectations of what might be a special season down in South Carolina. However, what often happens with Clemson is that somewhere, someway, they will find a way to lose a game everyone expects them to win. There are several candidates remaining on the schedule, including this week’s game against Boston College. BC has been one of the worst teams in the conference through the first weeks of the season; a win over presumably the current best team would give their season new life.
As of right now, the Tigers are on a collision course with Georgia Tech, the current leaders of the Coastal Division. The Yellow Jackets are also 5-0, and if form holds for both teams, it sets up a great matchup between the two on October 29 in Atlanta. The first step toward that game is a home game against Maryland. It’s been a up and down road so far for the Terrapins who pulled away late to defeat Towson last week. The Terps face a gauntlet of their own in the next few weeks-after the Yellow Jackets, they face Clemson at home and travel to Tallahassee to face Florida State, the former best team in the conference. It’s safe to say we will know where Maryland stands after those three games.
Two other conference games take place this weekend: Wake Forest (2-0 in conference) meets Florida State (0-1). The Demon Deacons’ two wins are over Boston College and N.C. State; the Seminoles represent a step up in class; and Florida State has had an extra week to prepare coming off an open date last week. The other conference match pits Miami (0-1) at Virginia Tech (0-1). The Hokies offense was the weak link against Clemson; it will have to do a better job against Miami’s defense if it wants to get a victory. For Miami, avoiding turnovers is key against an opportunistic Hokie defense. The Hurricanes have been up and down this year; it will be interesting to see which Miami team shows up in Blacksburg.
Rounding out the week 6 schedule are two non-conference games. The North Carolina Tar Heels welcome in the Louisville Cardinals of the Big East, while the Wolfpack of N.C. State hosts Central Michigan to try and get back on the winning track. Duke and Virginia get the week off.