After back-to-back stops in the SEC, the ESPN College GameDay crew heads to ACC territory for a meeting between the No. 2 Clemson Tigers and No. 17 Boston College Eagles.
The week prior, ESPN's traveling show stopped to watch Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide once again claim superiority over the SEC with a 29-0 dismissal of LSU in Death Valley.
On Saturday, a two-loss Boston College team will look to throw a wrench in the national-title plans of an undefeated Clemson squad that currently seems like one of the only threats to SEC dominance.
College GameDay Week 11 Info
Date: Saturday, November 10
Time (ET): 9 a.m. to noon; game is at 8 p.m.
Location: Alumni Stadium
Live Stream: WatchESPN
On paper, this looks set to be an ugly, lopsided contest.
Oddsmakers like the undefeated Tigers by a spread of 20.5 points, according to OddsShark.
It's not hard to see why, with Clemson entering the contest coming off a 77-16 victory. It has also won the past seven in this ACC series. But that's not all, as the Tigers have tallied four gigantic wins in a row by the following margins:
Putting up college basketball numbers against college football programs, including a ranked NC State team and on the road at Florida State, is impressive. So too is a ground game that's averaging 6.9 yards per carry with 31 touchdowns already.
Publicly, at least, the Tigers aren't underestimating the opposition.
"I think they've got a number of quality backs," Tigers defensive coordinator Brent Venables said, according to Stats LLC (via ESPN.com). "[Running back AJ Dillon has] missed a few games, and yet they are still playing for a division championship on the line this week. That speaks to the depth that they have and their ability to use guys in different ways."
Boston College star Dillon has 897 yards and eight touchdowns on a 5.5 per-carry average but has struggled to stay healthy as of late.
For now, the Eagles' approach is of the wait-and-see variety:
It's no coincidence Dillon couldn't suit up for a loss against NC State and had his worst rushing average of the season during a road loss to Purdue. The backs behind him on the depth chart are talented, but better teams can force the Eagles to the air. There, Anthony Brown is completing less than 60 percent of his passes, with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions.
The Tigers are good enough to force the issue, having let up more than 20 points just three times this season. A blend of explosive-when-necessary scoring offense and the ability to slow it down and chew clock benefits one of the nastiest defensive lines in the game.
Whether the Eagles can get a big day out of Dillon while dictating pace in front of a friendly crowd will have a massive say in the postseason outlook for a big chunk of the collegiate landscape.
It's hard to ignore a 20-point spread.
Boston College is a great turnaround story and deserves the spotlight. The program is a long way past being the three-win doormat from a few seasons ago. The Eagles are going bowling again either way, but downing a top-10 team like Clemson isn't in the cards.
Superior at most positions and not overlooking the opponent, Clemson should have another typical performance here, getting a comfortable lead before hitting cruise control.
While the venue is a bit more dramatic, the usual outcome between these two—and for Clemson as a whole this year—shouldn't deviate much from the mean.
Prediction: Clemson 35, Boston College 10