Mark Schlabach (ESPN) – Miami vs. Louisville
Brad Edwards (ESPN) – Virginia Tech vs. Louisville
Scout.com/CollegeFootballNews.com – Virginia Tech vs. Louisville
Jerry Palm – Virginia Tech vs. Louisville
ESPN ACC – Miami
SB Nation– Duke vs. Louisville
Athlon Sports– Miami vs. Louisville
Sporting News– Miami vs. Louisville
Orlando Sentinel– Georgia Tech vs. Louisville
Stewart Mandel/SI– Miami vs. Louisville
USA Today– Miami vs. Louisville
According to the experts the Russell Athletic Bowl will feature Louisville against a team from the ACC Coastal Division as Miami and Virginia Tech lead the way in this week’s projections, with Duke and Georgia Tech also making appearances.
Duke (8-2, 4-2 ACC) controls its own destiny in the Coastal Division as it has a chance to win its first conference championship since 1989. The Blue Devils upended Miami (7-3, 3-3 ACC), 48-30, this past weekend. Duke rushed for 358 yards and five scores including four touchdowns from quarterback Brandon Connette in the win. Duke will hit the road for the final two weeks heading to in-state rivals Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5 ACC) and North Carolina (5-5, 4-3 ACC), while Miami closes out the season hosting Virginia (2-8, 0-6 ACC) before heading to Pittsburgh (5-5, 2-4 ACC).
Virginia Tech (7-4, 4-3 ACC) dropped a 27-24 decision to Maryland at Lane Stadium this past weekend. The Hokies allowed over 100 yards passing and rushing from quarterback C.J. Brown (135 and 122 respectively) including a three-yard overtime touchdown that ultimately sealed the game. While the Hokies will need help to make it to Charlotte for the ACC Championship game there are actually 11 of 32 possible scenarios remaining in the Coastal Division that would come out in Tech’s favor. All of those scenarios rely on the Hokies beating Virginia on the road next weekend.
Georgia Tech (6-4, 5-3 ACC) finished up its ACC schedule with a 55-31 defeat at Clemson Thursday night. Tajh Boyd threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns and helped the Tigers jump out to a 20-0 lead that the Yellow Jackets couldn’t recover from. Georgia Tech hosts FCS-foe Alabama A&M this weekend before closing out the year against in-state rival Georgia (6-4, 4-3 SEC).
Louisville (9-1, 5-1 American) remains in the driver’s seat to represent the American in this season’s Russell Athletic Bowl thanks in part to a 20-13 win over Houston this past weekend. Running back Dominique Brown rushed for 137 yards and two scores for the Cardinals, and the Louisville defense held the Cougars scoreless in the second half. The Cardinals host Memphis (3-6, 1-4 American) this weekend.