I think it's fair to say that Florida State has not lived up to the preseason hype. 2 months ago they were being anointed the runaway ACC Champions. Yet, on October 11, they have yet to win a conference game. Instead, a Wake Forest team coming off a 3-9 season is now 3-0 in the conference and controls their own destiny to win the conference. What a story, and what a different look at the conference we have now than we did even 3 weeks ago.
1. Clemson (6-0) Last Week 1
Result: W (36-14) vs. Boston College
This Week: at Maryland
Clemson is already bowl eligible and running on all cylinders. Tajh Boyd left the game with a hip injury, but it has been reported that he is fine and will most certainly play at Maryland this weekend. It would be a very Clemson thing to do to lose at Maryland this weekend, but I just don't see how Maryland's offense is going to score against the Tigers. The Clemson and Georgia Tech game should be a battle of the unbeatens.
2. Georgia Tech (6-0) Last Week 2
Result: W (21-16) vs. Maryland
This Week: at Virginia
They got out to an impressive 21-3 lead, and then gave up 13 4th quarter points. This offense is getting very focused around Tevin Washington. Maybe he is just making the correct reads, and that's why he's keeping it, but maybe moving forward his struggle to read the defenses properly will hold this team back.
3. Wake Forest (4-1) Last Week 6
Result: W (35-30) vs. Florida State
This Week: vs. Virginia Tech
What a phenomenal win for Jim Grobe and his staff this past Saturday! The defense was very opportunistic and was able to force 5 turnovers. Our offense also played so smart and did not turn the ball over once all game. Those extra possessions were the critical part of the game. We had an excellent gameplan and it was executed to perfection. I would argue that was the most important win for this program since the bowl win over Navy in 2008. It may be even greater than that. Not only did this win put the Deacs in excellent position to make a bowl game, it put the Deacs in great position to move back into the top 25, and win the ACC. If Wake can beat Virginia Tech at home this weekend, look for them to return to the top 25 for the first time since 2008. At that point they'd be 4-0 in the conference, and the November 12th game at Death Valley would probably determine the Atlantic Division Champion.
4. Virginia Tech (5-1) Last Week 4
Result: W (38-35) vs. Miami
This Week: at Wake Forest
It looked like they were about to live up to their Chokies nickname again this past weekend, but Logan Thomas' touchdown run with under a minute to go put Virginia Tech back on top for good. Logan Thomas was a very impressive 23/25 against Miami. Also, David Wilson had another strong performance finishing with 128 yards on 23 carries.
5. North Carolina (5-1) Last Week 5
Result: W (14-7) vs. Louisville
This Week: vs. Miami
I'm impressed with North Carolina's defense, but their offense needs to play better against Louisville. Led by Charlie Strong, Louisville's defense has been very good this year, but Carolina did not even accumulate 300 yards of offense. This should be a very interesting game against Miami. Miami has been very close in their 2 ACC losses, so I look forward to seeing if they can seal the deal this weekend.
6. Florida State (2-3) Last Week 3
Result: L (35-30) at Wake Forest
This Week: at Duke
I don't mean to sound like Colin Cowherd, but Florida State should very rarely lose to Wake Forest. Instead, they've lost 4 of the past 6. If Jim Grobe were their coach, they'd be contending for national championships every year. FSU teams continue to have great athleticism, but continue to lack discipline. This team was just not ready to play. They didn't take Wake Forest seriously, even though Wake was undefeated in conference play. That just falls on their coaching staff. Instead of blaming themselves, the coaching staff just bans Twitter. No wonder the high school defensive end chose to decommit. I will never consider Florida State an ACC Title contender again until they start taking these types of games seriously.
7. Miami (2-3) Last Week 7
Result: L (38-35) at Virginia Tech
This Week: at North Carolina
This will be a battle of two very solid running backs. Lamar Miller and Giovani Bernard have both been outstanding this season. Both backs over 100 yards/game and are also threats to catch the ball out of the backfield. Miami played Virginia Tech very tough, so we will see if Al Golden can get his team to play at a high level again this week. If Miami wants to make a bowl this year, it will be very critical that they win this game. If not, they'll have to beat either FSU, Georgia Tech, or South Florida.
8. Maryland (2-3) Last Week 8
Result: L (21-16) at Georgia Tech
This Week: vs. Clemson
Can you say quarterback controversy? Danny O'Brien was finally pulled in Saturday's loss against Georgia Tech. C.J. Brown took over for O'Brien in the second quarter and added a new dimension to the Maryland offense. While he was only 4/17 passing, he managed to run for 124 yards on just 9 carries, including one 77 yard touchdown run. Whoever the quarterback is will have a difficult task not only this week, but for the remainder of the season. With games remaining against Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame, and Wake Forest it's looking less and less likely that Maryland will make a bowl game.
9. Duke (3-2) Last Week 10
This Week: vs. Florida State
Duke has been solid their past 3 games. They've won 3 in a row, and would really like that Richmond game back. Duke is better than last year, but because their conference schedule is difficult, it won't necessarily be reflected in their record. Thankfully for them it was their year to be matched up against Boston College.
10. Virginia (3-2) Last Week 9 Result: BYE This Week: vs. Georgia Tech 11. N.C. State (3-3) Last Week 11 Result: W (38-24) vs. Central Michigan This Week: BYE Congrats, State, you finally know what it feels like to beat an FBS opponent. Hopefully soon they figure out how it feels to beat a BCS opponent. Their defense is just unimpressive. They have a bye week, so maybe they can get some things figured out, but after each passing week, State fans realize how much Russell Wilson meant to this team. 12. Boston College (1-5) Last Week 12 Result: L (36-14) at Clemson This Week: BYE No one needed a bye more than Boston College. It has been a very rough season so far, and it appears that it's only going to get worse. Their schedule thus far has been very easy, so I just don't see much hope moving forward that Boston College will even be that competitive in their remaining games. ESPN is going to regret putting them in a Thursday night game against Florida State.
10. Virginia (3-2) Last Week 9
This Week: vs. Georgia Tech
11. N.C. State (3-3) Last Week 11
Result: W (38-24) vs. Central Michigan
This Week: BYE
Congrats, State, you finally know what it feels like to beat an FBS opponent. Hopefully soon they figure out how it feels to beat a BCS opponent. Their defense is just unimpressive. They have a bye week, so maybe they can get some things figured out, but after each passing week, State fans realize how much Russell Wilson meant to this team.
12. Boston College (1-5) Last Week 12
Result: L (36-14) at Clemson
This Week: BYE
No one needed a bye more than Boston College. It has been a very rough season so far, and it appears that it's only going to get worse. Their schedule thus far has been very easy, so I just don't see much hope moving forward that Boston College will even be that competitive in their remaining games. ESPN is going to regret putting them in a Thursday night game against Florida State.