Good afternoon! Our staff has convened again for another iteration of the BSD Roundtable.
Today we were posed this question: what do you believe the biggest game for Wake Forest is this football season?
There are a few different ways that you could view this question, so let’s jump right into it!
Riley: To me, and this may be a different answer than others come up with, it is Boston College in Winston-Salem in week three. The Deacs will hopefully be 2-0 with wins over Tulane and Towson, and host an ACC opponent on Thursday night on national television. At this point either Jamie Newman or Sam Hartman will have two games under their belt as the starter and it gets real.
This is a massive game against a possible Heisman candidate in A.J “SAUCE” Dillon, and an incredible offensive line. If Wake can get the win to get to 3-0 then it would set the tone for the season, likely be undefeated welcoming the Notre Dame Fighting Irish into Winston-Salem, and have a leg up on making a bowl game and the race for second in the Atlantic Division. It doesn’t get much bigger than that in my opinion.
Elijah: I believe the biggest game of the year for Wake Forest Football is Florida State. While Florida State has historically been a powerhouse, it is a new era in Tallahassee with a new coaching staff, giving Wake Forest a chance to possibly score an upset.
Back in 2006 when Wake Forest was at the peak of their football success, victories over Florida State in consecutive years gave the program motivation to finish the conference slate of games strong.
While games against Clemson, Notre Dame, and Louisville are also potentially huge games for the program, Florida State seems to be an ideal situation for an upset with the Demon Deacons having an extra week to prepare with the bye week.
Ned: The Boston College matchup seems to have all the qualities of a game that will define how the rest of the season plays out, much like how I felt App State did last season. If we can get to Week 4 against Notre Dame undefeated, Wake very much could be receiving votes in the AP Poll and be playing for a spot in the Top 25 against the Irish. It won’t be easy given BC is as talented as its ever been in the 2010s and the Deacs will be without starting QB Kendall Hinton, but given how strong the ACC Atlantic is, you really can’t afford to be dropping “50-50” games at home this early in the season. Did I mention the fact that it’s on ESPN and will have a huge TV audience? Yeah, this game is going to be important.
Ed: The biggest game is the Notre Dame game at home. A winnable game against a nationally known opponent that would give the team some major recognition on the national stage. It could be that extra win needed to get us into one of the Florida bowls.
Cam: Notre Dame. I feel like BC is going to be a popular pick here but I just can’t see it like that. Do i think BC poses an intriguing test without Hinton? Absolutely, but i still think with the weapons Wake has, there’s still an imbalance between the two that Wake capitalizes on and wins. ND? Different story. I think Wake comes into this like they did against FSU last year: Undefeated, playing well, at home in a good TV slot, it could be fantastic. The Irish lost two starting offensive linemen to the top 10 of the NFL draft. Regardless of who’s behind that hurts. Brandon Wimbrush is still pretty raw after he got benched on national TV, they lost 3 huge playmakers as well.
Wake has a few extra days to prepare for this matchup and if Wake wants to take that next step they need to start beating one of FSU/Clemson/ND. This is the best opportunity on the schedule to do so.
*Rafael*: From a rivalry and history standpoint this would not been my pick. But, I believe the *Notre Dame* has the potential to be a huge one for Wake. If the Deacs are 3-0 by the time that the Fighting Irish come to town, a win could mean a top 25 ranking for this team. This would be huge for Wake Forest’s national exposure and would give this program a huge signature win. Last year, Wake proved it could compete with ND by putting up 37 points on the road. Now, it is time for the Deacs to take the next step and get it done at home.