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Saturday links

With November almost here, the stakes are high around the country on Saturday. Yet for Virginia Tech, it won't be a fun day off to watch football. And that's not just because the team practices; there's still a sour mood in Blacksburg after the 20-17 loss Thursday to North Carolina.

Speaking of that loss, the Atlantic Coast Conference is still trying to pick up the pieces after it. The whole league is sort of a muddled mess. Why is the league so unpredictable? It's because these teams are so inconsistent and the conference lacks a great team, says Heather Dinich of She's absolutely right. There's no Florida or Alabama here, no team that has won week in, week out with a metronome-like predictability. Until then, the ACC will continue to look like it does, and it will not much respect nationally.

I didn't see this because I was busy hammering away on my keyboard in the moments after North Carolina's upset, but Ken Tysiac of the Raleigh News & Observer noticed that Tar Heels linebacker Quan Sturdivant walked over to Virginia Tech's sideline to console running back Ryan Williams, who fumbled at the Hokies' 24-yard line to set up North Carolina's game-winning field goal as time expired. That was a classy move by Sturdivant.

Looking ahead, the Hokies will play another Thursday night game next week. They head to Greenville, N.C., to face East Carolina. The Pirates romped Memphis on Tuesday night, 38-19, and they left an embarrassed program in their wake. Virginia Tech hopes to avoid similar shame.

By Mark Viera  |  October 31, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
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