It's not Hokie, Tech will take out 'Canes

KEVIN LEE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

Familiar foes will face off tomorrow in Miami, as the 11th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies battle their longtime nemesis, the ninth-ranked Hurricanes. Both teams battle it out for a conference title, year after year.

The only difference this season is that both teams are squaring off for the ACC title and a berth in one of the four major BCS bowl games. Both schools left the Big East following last season for greener pastures and a chance to compete in a tougher conference.

The ACC is still one year away from having an official conference title game when longtime Big East member Boston College joins the ACC. At that time it will bring the ACC affiliation to 12 teams and therefore the NCAA will allow the conference to have an additional game at the end of the season to determine the conference champion, like the current situation in the SEC and Big 12 conferences.

Only problem is nobody told tomorrow's rivals that they would be playing in an unofficial conference title game as both have identical 6-1 records in conference play.

Whenever these two teams meet, special teams have been the difference and this year will be no different.

The Hokies have a huge edge in this area and are coached by one of the nation's most consistent coaches in Frank Beamer.

The picks are:

No. 1 USC (-22.5) at UCLA: The Bruins are coming off their bye week, while the Trojans are a slow-starting team and coming off an emotional win over Notre Dame ... USC 34-17.

Colorado (+21.5) vs. No. 2 Oklahoma at Kansas City (Big 12 championship): The Sooners are looking to avenge last year's loss in the title game to Kansas St., but Colorado won't roll over ... Oklahoma 31-20.

No. 3 Auburn (-13) vs. No. 15 Tennessee at Atlanta (SEC championship): The Tigers need to win convincingly and hope they move up in the polls to get into the national title game ... Auburn 35-13.

No. 4 California (-24) at Southern Miss: Cal is not a strong road team and Southern Miss plays tough at home ... Cal 29-20.

No. 8 Louisville (-29) at Tulane: The Cardinals have been unbeatable and can score at will. This game will be no different ... Louisville 46-20.

No. 11 Virginia Tech (+7) at No. 9 Miami: Hurricanes have been overrated all year and the Hokies will win in my upset of the week and claim the ACC title ... Virginia Tech 24-21.

No. 12 Pittsburgh (-7) at South Florida: Panthers need this win to go for the Big East title and a berth in a BCS bowl game, but it won't be easy for a Pitt team that has struggled on the road ... Pittsburgh 23-20.

Army (+13) at Navy: The Midshipmen are on their way to another bowl game this year while Army is looking at this as its bowl game ... Navy 32-17.

Michigan St. (-6.5) at Hawaii: Look for a shootout on the island as most games are in Hawaii. Hawaii needs this win for a bowl game ... Hawaii 42-37.

Last week -- 8-4 straight up (167-43), 7-5 ATS (113-86-2).

Best Bet -- Auburn (7-5-1 on the season).

Upset of the week -- Virginia Tech (6-7 on the season).


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