Who to cheer against: Week 9


With last night’s game between UNC and Pitt being a “six of one, half-dozen the other” situation in the Coastal, there wasn’t anything to be gained or lost with a result either way. The same holds true for almost every game this weekend in regards to the Coastal race (just beat Miami and it’s pretty much a two-horse race anyway), Duke’s eyes are on the national scene.

18th ranked Ole Miss plays Auburn in a game that sounds like it could be a potential loss for the Rebels, but Auburn has largely been garbage this season. Still, it would be nice to get an overrated SEC team out of the way before the first College Football Playoff poll comes out next week. 11th ranked Florida plays Georgia in a game that Vegas expects to be close, and 12th ranked Oklahoma State is only a 2.5 point favorite over Texas Tech. Losses by either or both of those teams could move them down behind the Blue Devils in the polls. Florida State isn’t going to lose to Syracuse, even without Dalvin Cook, but a Noles collapse down the stretch would be nice for bowl selection. Lastly, cheer your hardest against NC State. It would be a disaster for Duke, UNC, and all other high-profile bowl contenders for Clemson to lose.

North Carolina

As counterintuitive as it sounds, you’ll want to cheer against Miami. A Duke win puts both teams at 7-1 heading into next weekend’s game which could definitely be attractive to ESPN’s College Gameday. Plus, Pitt looks like a team ripe for a collapse down the stretch, and it’s hard out here for those teams hovering around the “also receiving votes” and 25th-23rd range to move up without good wins. But you don’t need me to tell you that. In more comfortable territory, cheer against State for the same reasons listed above for Duke.

Nationally, you get to eye the polls this week! You took care of Pitt, but you’ll have to jump over Texas A&M who will likely pound the South Carolina team you lost to. Southern Cal (right behind you in poll points) plays Cal, and we know how much voters love the PAC-12. I’m not sold that the Pitt win is enough to get into the Top 25, but if Notre Dame knocks off Temple (please, please, please get Temple the hell off of my Top 25 list), you’ll get that elusive number by your name this week. Cheer against the Owls.

NC State

So you guys probably want Louisville to lose tonight in Winston-Salem to help stay in that Pool 1 bowl range. And you DEFINITELY want Duke to lose because the last thing you want is to sit through a week of ESPN hyping Duke/UNC for College Gameday, an event that you’ve wanted so badly to host in Raleigh. Like, it would be crushing. The worst ever. Be very afraid of Gameday to Chapel Hill.

Here’s the other funny thing. You might want to cheer against your own team this weekend. If you beat Clemson, boom, you’re in the thick of the ACC’s Pool 1 bowl picture. Great. Awesome. Except you’ve completely eliminated any chance of the ACC double-dipping on New Years Six games. If Notre Dame should lose one game for the rest of the year, they’re taking an ACC bowl slot, which pushes everyone else down a peg. You’ll be behind the loser of the ACC Championship Game, whichever team out of Clemson, FSU, Duke and UNC that doesn’t win their division, potentially Pitt, probably Louisville, and definitely Notre Dame in the fight for five bowl slots. A State win, in true NC State fashion, could knock you out of a really good bowl game.


I still don’t even know. But definitely Duke. Always cheer against Duke.