By Tommy Keeler Jr. -- firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm not shy about my love for the Atlantic Coast Conference. I have grown up as an ACC fan, especially for the Duke Blue Devils in men's basketball.
However, there comes a time when you have to put your love aside and face reality. When it comes to football, the ACC is no match for many of the other conferences. If only I would have figured this out a week earlier.
Last week it was the ACC that put me in an early season hole and in last place in the forecast. Losses by Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest led me to a dismal 11-9 record, including 4-7 in college games.
The Virginia Tech-Alabama game was clearly my biggest mistake. I believed the early season hype about the Hokies even after they lost starting tailback Darren Evans to a season-ending knee injury. I simply should have known better. After all, they were playing a Southeastern Conference team, clearly the best conference in the country.
Wake Forest lost at home to Baylor, again the Big 12 is a much better conference and I probably should have seen it coming. The Virginia loss was the most disappointing. William and Mary is a quality Football Championship Subdivision school, but still they aren't D-1.
On the bright side I did manage to pick Duke to lose to Richmond. As former U.Va. men's basketball coach Pete Gillen used to say "Duke is Duke." The Blue Devils are as bad in football as they are good in basketball. Of all the ACC teams that were on our picks last week the only team that won was Miami, and that was because the Hurricanes were playing fellow-ACC school Florida State. I couldn't even pick that game right.
So from here on out I'm vowing to use my head and make the smart picks when it comes to ACC schools.
Here's this week's picks:
Loudoun County at Warren County
The Raiders made it to the playoffs last year, and former Handley football coach and athletic director Todd Hill has had two weeks to prepare for Warren County.
Loudoun County 32, Warren County 17
Spotswood at Millbrook
The Pioneers have a chance to get back over .500 with a win. Millbrook has defeated the Trailblazers the last two years.
Millbrook 27, Spotswood 20
Sherando at Washington (W.Va.)
The Warriors will continue to rack up the wins even without the graduated Ross Metheny.
Sherando 28, Washington 7
James Wood at Musselman (W.Va.)
Brock Lockhart had 300 yards rushing in a win last week, he'll have a chance to have another big game against the Applemen.
James Wood 21, Musselman 14
Fauquier at Skyline
The Hawks looked impressive against single-A Strasburg. Look for Skyline to get off to a strong 2-0 start.
Skyline 34, Fauquier 17
Stonewall Jackson at Clarke County
The Eagles have been an offensive machine so far this season. The Generals gave up 26 points to Wilson Memorial last week. Not a good sign for Dick Krol's squad.
Clarke County 42, Stonewall Jackson 28
Central at Strasburg
The Falcons could easily be 2-0 after this week. I think the Falcons are liking their move back to Group A.
Central 27, Strasburg 14
Briar Woods at Handley
The Judges were able to beat a quality Harrisonburg team, despite Leonard Grant going down with an injury. Grant is doubtful for this week, but the Judges will still christen their new turf field with a win.
Handley 27, Briar Woods 21
Bridgewater at Shenandoah
The Hornets beat the Eagles last year, which means Bridgewater will be out for revenge.
Bridgewater 23, Shenandoah 20
USC at Ohio State
The Buckeyes have a chance to make an early season statement. However, this is the team that barely beat Navy.
USC 35, Ohio State 33
Redskins at Giants
Same old Redskins ... same old result.
Giants 35, Redskins 21
Eagles at Panthers
Michael Vick won't be able to play in this game, but I don't think it would matter.
Panthers 27, Eagles 21