No Yellow Jackets? No Clemson running the inevitable risk of Clemsoning? And where's Virginia Tech? (probably outside smoking). NO PROBLEM! The ACC might have lost its favorite cast members for a week, but there's plenty of storylines we just made up below to go around. How will Duke lose by less than six points this week? If a three-loss Florida State team scores 70 points in every game for the rest of the year, do they make a sound? And RUSSELL WILSON RUSSELL WILSON YOU LET RUSSELL WILSON GO RUSSELL WILSON SOMEWHERE ELSE.
Florida State at Boston College (Thursday, 8pm ET, ESPN) The Seminoles' defense has allowed 10.6 points per game in their three wins post-implosion, and have found their offensive rhythm with the return of quarterback E.J. Manuel. Not that it matters much for anyone outside of FSU - the 'Noles were picked by many to finally, finally make the jump back to national prominence this season, and again proved their not quite there yet. BC is hapless on both sides of the ball, and State should roll easily.
North Carolina at North Carolina State (Saturday, 12:30pm ET, ACC Network) Easily the hardest conference game to predict on the week's slate. The Tar Heels have been respectable but largely unpredictable under interim head coach Everett Withers, while Tom O'Brien's Wolfpack are constructing another magnificently mediocre campaign (REQUISITE RUSSEL WILSON MENTION IS REQUISITE). But hey, at least there's a war of words between the two coaches about... academics? Oh, ACC. (so cute!)
Virginia at Maryland (Saturday, 12:30pm ET, ACC Network) The Terps' last win was against Towson, and since then they've given up 150 points in various manners of morale crippling error. Virginia is surging - SURGING! - through conference play, but enough about this football, let's dish fashion! Head coach Randy Edsall announced this week the Terps would don a relatively understated ensemble of red jerseys, white pants and somewhat understated helmet. That' disappointing to read, as for a rivalry game we were hoping Under Armor would somehow attach live crabs to the facemask of each player.
Duke at Miami (Saturday, 3pm ET, RSN) MORAL VICTORY UPSET ALERT: The Blue Devils have stunned the nation the past two weeks, putting up unusually potent "valiant efforts" in 23-24 loss to Wake Forest and a 10-14 home loss to Virginia Tech that literally defined the ethos of Duke football ("Your near-miss is our bullseye!). Any other team visiting Miami Gardens would be ready to expose to The U's lackluster offense, whereas David Cutcliffe's Blue Devils are at this moment masterplanning a 3 point loss that will be talked about in passing during bathroom breaks at Cameron Indoor for years to come, or the next 10 days.
Notre Dame at Wake Forest (Saturday, 8pm ET, ABC/ESPN2) Jim Grobe's bore-you-to-death pro style offense is most effective in the hands of upperclassmen, which Wake has a boatload of this season. That makes Saturday's game against the Irish a land mine for Notre Dame and a potential nuke for college football's media circus. Wake's consistent and never flashy lost in the ACC's vanilla shuffle, yet if they beat Notre Dame, they'll be a traditionless giant killer striking a blow to this sport's very identity. Then next year the Irish will start 3-0 and those same scribes will try and pun "Wake up the echoes" into 300 September headlines. Like the changing of the seasons, Notre Dame coverage never fails.
For more on Saturday's games, check on SB Nation's college football news hub.