We have made our way to Part V of the Blogger So Dear Roundtable. It is officially game week, as we are a mere three days away from watching Tulane take on Wake Forest on Thursday night. Most of the rest of the week will be focused on normal game-prep and Tulane, but we wanted to go ahead and finish this up with a look at the schedule, with an eye towards the most important game.
Q: What is the most important game on the schedule for Wake Forest this season?
Ned: The most important game on the schedule in my opinion is UVA at home on November 5. After a fairly easy start to the season, Wake encounters a difficult stretch of opponents with road games at Indiana, NC State, and FSU. They also will face a Syracuse squad that has had the Deacs' number over the last couple of years despite not fielding a very talented squad themselves. Prior to embarking on a highly difficult two game road stretch at UL and Clemson late in the year, the UVA game might be a huge chance for Wake to get win #5 and give them a "Win and you're in" bowl scenario against BC in Week 13. And even if Wake has five wins by Halloween, losing the UVA game could lead to some bad momentum in November when the Deacs truly can't afford it. This is a mandatory W on the calendar.
Marc: The most important game in my mind is Syracuse on 10/8. The Deacs should be no worse than 2-3 heading into this game. If that's the record, then a win against Syracuse preserves the path to 6-6 with home wins over UVA, Army, and BC. If the team managed to pick up a win at Duke, Indiana, or NC State and is sitting pretty at 3-2, then beating Cuse means closing out the regular season 2-4 earns bowl eligibility, and also makes it much more likely that the team will actually go over .500 in the regular season for the first time since 2008.
Adam: The most important game to me is Syracuse. If the Deacs want to get to a bowl, their best chance is the 6 non-Clemson home games. I feel that the Deacs will start 2-0 at home with wins over Tulane and Delaware, and I feel like Army and UVA should be wins as well. The Syracuse game may very well determine whether we can get to a bowl with a win over BC at home, which is very doable. If the Deacs can find away to pick up a road win against Indiana, Duke, or State, then beating Syracuse give us 4 wins, needing to win only 2 more games with Army, UVA, and BC at home. If we lose all 3 of those away games, and then to Syracuse as well, we'll have to beat FSU or Louisville on the road or Clemson at home to make it to a bowl. I don't like those odds. In my mind, making it to a bowl will revolve around the Syracuse game.
Chris: The game at Duke in week 2 sticks out as a very important game early in the season. There are a lot of winnable games this year, but the difference between a 5 win season and a 7 win season hinges on games we are either a small underdog or a pick'em in. Plus, it's always important to beat Duke.
Riley: I believe the most important game of the season will be the regular season finale when Wake Forest welcomes Boston College back to Raleigh (errr) Winston-Salem for #TheRivalry. After last year’s magnificent game, I can only imagine what both squads have in store for an encore. On a more serious note, I have a feeling the Deacs will be 5-6 at that point and will need a win to go bowling. The Duke game is also very important from a recruiting standpoint. Wake needs to right that ship so they can point to wins vs. in-state teams moving forward. Combining that with it being the second game of the season, as well as news that their starting QB Thomas Sirk will be out, and that makes it a big one early.