The Miami Hurricanes are certainly a national contender, entering Saturday’s game with Pitt ranked as the No. 13 team in the country.
But are they a serious contender for the ACC title? After getting roughed up by Clemson last week, the Canes are now 2-1 in league play and in a four-way tie for fifth place. Though being 13th in the country after four games is certainly an accomplishment, they’re just the fourth-highest ranked team in the ACC following the No. 1 Tigers, No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 5 North Carolina. With all three of those squads significant favorites on Saturday, that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon.
There’s also the question of exactly what to make of Miami’s 2-1 league record. Everyone can be embarrassed by Clemson, but early season wins over Florida State and Louisville have lost a little bit of luster as the weeks have gone on.
That make the Hurricanes test against the Panthers, which beat Louisville fairly easily, a strong one in determining exactly how good Manny Diaz’s squad is.
No. 1 Clemson will vists Georgia Tech at noon on ABC, No. 4 Notre Dame hosts Louisville at 2:30 p.m. on NBC and No. 5 North Carolina will head to Tallahassee in prime time to take on Florida State at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.
ALL TOGETHER NOW
All 15 ACC teams will be in action on the same day for the first time — well, ever, as this is the first season that there have been 15 squads.
After weeks of byes and COVID-19 related cancellations, there are seven league games on the docket, as well as one non-conference contest.
One of the big winners of that arrangement is the ACC Network, which will get a triple header of solid action. After Pitt and Miami at noon, the league’s network will air Virginia at Wake Forest at 4 p.m. and Boston College at No. 23 Virginia Tech at 8 p.m.
ENTER THE FLAMES
The ACC welcomed Notre Dame into the fold thanks to the pandemic, but there’s another team that’s usually on the outside of things that will have a larger-than-usual impact on the ACC this season.
Three ACC teams will use their single non-conference game by hosting Liberty, starting this week, as the Flames visit Syracuse. They also have shorter trips from Lynchburg, Va. to Virginia Tech and NC State scheduled for later this season.
The Flames are FBS neophytes, having just made the transition in 2018, but they’re already making themselves familiar with their ACC neighbors. They played Virginia in 2018 and 2019 and this will be the second of three straight seasons they’ll face Syracuse.
Get used to them being around, as Liberty will place Virginia Tech in 2022, Virginia in 2023, North Carolina in 2024, Wake Forest and Duke in 2025 and 2026, Duke, Virginia and Virginia Tech in 2027, Virginia Tech and North Carolina in 2028, Virginia and Virginia Tech in 2029 and 2030 and North Carolina in 2031.
Saturday’s game against the Orange kicks at 12 and will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh and the rest of the ACC’s regional sports networks.
AROUND THE ACC
Clemson 2, Duke 1, 2 OT
Louisville 2, Syracuse 2
11 a.m., Notre Dame at Virginia Tech, ACC Network Extra
6 p.m., No. 3 North Carolina at No. 1 Wake Forest, ACC Network Extra
7 p.m., Navy at NC State, ACC Network Extra
8 p.m., No. Pitt at No. 5 Virginia, ACC Network Extra
Miami 3, Florida State 0
Syracuse 3, Boston College 0
Virginia Tech 3, Virginia 1
Notre Dame 3, Pitt 2
North Carolina 3, NC State 0
5 p.m., Boston College at Syracuse, ACC Network Extra
1 p.m., North Carolina at NC State, ACC Network Extra
3:30 p.m., Pitt at Notre Dame, ACC Network
5:30 p.m., Virginia at Virginia Tech, ACC Network
11 a.m., Duke at Syracuse, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh
1 p.m., Clemson at Notre Dame, ACC Network Extra
1 p.m., North Carolina at Boston College, ACC Network Extra
1:30 p.m., Miami at Pitt, ACC Network
2 p.m., Louisville at Virginia Tech, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh
3 p.m., Florida State at Virginia, ESPNU