1. Conference play has arrived for Virginia Tech and Virginia. The Hokies head to Georgia Tech for a Thursday night showcase, while the Cavs travel to Pitt for a 12:30 p.m. Saturday game. I’ll be at both games — with a planned stop at the Rivers Casino to make a happy withdrawal on Friday — and am greatly looking forward to them.
2. The Yellow Jackets (3-0) have opened as a 7.5-point favorite over the Hokies (3-1). GT is already 2-0 in the ACC and sitting atop the Coastal Division.
3. Pitt (2-1, 1-1) is the only other Coastal team that has won a conference game. The Panthers are a 7-point favorite over UVa (2-1, 0-0), which is playing its first road game of the year.
4. What should we make of Maryland? The Terps haven’t played a killer schedule, but Saturday’s rout of West Virginia moved them to 4-0. Statistically, they feature the ACC’s top passer (C.J. Brown), top receiver (Stefon Diggs) and two sacks leaders (Marcus Whifield and Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil). Maryland is off this week before opening conference play at FSU on Oct. 5.
5. Week 3 in the NFL stood out for who lost. The Giants (stomped by Carolina), Redskins (beaten at home by the Lions) and Steelers (handled at home by the Bears) all fell to 0-3. Green Bay is 1-2 after losing at Cincy. Defending NFC champion San Francisco is 1-2 after losing to Indy.
6. Surprises on the positive side include Miami (3-0 after beating Atlanta) and the Bears. And my favorite “Team o’ Zen” is also 3-0 after crushing Jacksonville. Let us all meditate on their greatness.
7. Matt Kenseth is 2-for-2 on Chase races after his win at New Hampshire. He’s won a series-high seven times this year. Cup Series heads to Dover this weekend.