Miami Hurricanes Take on Clemson Tigers in First ACC Test

Even before these season started we would have been happy for the Hurricane's first ACC championship and a win in the Orange Bowl to ice the cake. Maybe then we could start clearing room, in our minds at least, for that elusive sixth national championship. With their loss to Ohio State, baring BCS turmoil, even fans with heads high in the clouds are going to have to change gears to that goal. And the road to the Orange Bowl starts Saturday in Clemson's Death Valley. 

No one forgets that Clemson played a part in derailing Miami's ACC hopes last year in a devastating 40-37 overtime loss at what was then called, ugh, Landshark Stadium. This rivalry goes far further back than that, and the last three time the teams have met the games gone into overtime. Two of those were Clemson wins. 

It's revenge time now, and despite Clemson having the home field advantage this go around  they're with out the player that made all the difference for them in last year's game: Miami native CJ Spiller. Miami meanwhile returns the improved core of last year's team. 

They're also preparing to unleash highly touted almost-Trojan Seantrell Henderson as a major force. 

The Tigers are coming off an overtime loss to #15 Auburn, and two wins over a Sun Belt team and a Division I-AA team. 

Despite being ranked number 17 in the nation, Miami doesn't come into the game as overwhelming favorites. 3 out of 5 of CBS's "expert" predictors are calling for a Clemson win. Most odds makers have Miami as the slight three point favorites. 

Of course this game, as it almost always does, depends on the promising but still unpredictable arm of QB Jacory Harris (who, unlike Clemson's QB is not a millionaire). Then again Coach Randy Shannon claims that only one of the interceptions Harris has thrown this year were his fault. 

A win here makes Miami ACC favorites. Granted a loss doesn't exactly derail those hopes either giving that Coastal division competitor UNC, VT and GT look like peewee teams.

Kickoff time is at Noon, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.