1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Rank: 6 | Opponent: 24 Virginia Tech Hokies | Start Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Given that the Virginia Tech Hokies were upset by Old Dominion and lost their starting quarterback two weeks ago, it would have to be assumed crazy to pick them to knock off one of the best teams in all of college football through five weeks, right? Well, there are reasons for both sides of that debate, but the fact that you can make the case at all means that you have to start by putting the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on upset alert.
It’s no secret that we can write that loss down to Old Dominion as a anomaly. With no Josh Jackson after essentially the first half and then with that being a road game for the Hokies, it was the perfect set of circumstances for some madness like that to happen. However, if you want to see the real Hokies without Jackson, they could look much more akin to the team that previously unbeaten dominated Duke last week.
What we have in this game now is a matchup between two relatively inexperienced quarterbacks. Both Ian Book for Notre Dame and Ryan Willis for Virginia Tech, despite how good they’ve been when on the field, haven’t been on the field much for their careers. And we know both of these defenses are capable of stepping up with big performances.
All of that is to say, the lack of sample size for both quarterbacks, even with their obvious talent, makes this game one with a high degree of variance. Things could get a bit defense-heavy and, if that happens, the Hokies could be in it to pull off an upset.