If we learned anything this week, I think it was the fact that it's not over yet. Virginia Tech had their second impressive win in a row, and Georgia Tech showed some vulnerability. Given those two turn of events, all of a sudden the Coastal Division is up for grabs. Meanwhile in the Atlantic, Clemson mounted a furious comeback. I still think they'll be fine moving forward, but it proves that they can be beaten. I'm moving the rankings around a fair amount this week, so please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Many writers believe Dabo Swinney will win ACC Coach of the Year
1. Clemson (7-0) Last Week 1
Result: W (56-45) at Maryland
This Week: vs. North Carolina
Just when we thought Clemson was going to pull a Clemson, they made an incredible 18 point comeback to win 56-45 over Maryland in College Park. Skill position players, Andre Ellington and Sammy Watkins were absolutely spectacular. Andre Ellington had 212 rush yards, and Sammy Watkins had 345 all-purpose yards. Given their talent and schedule remaining, I don't think it's too early to start wondering if they can run the table.
If given enough time, he can be a serious threat
2. Virginia Tech (6-1) Last Week 4
Result: W (38-17) at Wake Forest
This Week: vs. Boston College
Virginia Tech has been incredibly impressive in their last two performances. With Georgia Tech's recent loss, Virginia Tech is suddenly back in contention in the Coastal Division. Logan Thomas is an accurate passer when given time, and very difficult to tackle if he gets in the open field. Virginia Tech should win their next two games, and which will really put the pressure on Georgia Tech to keep pace. That loss to Clemson seems like a long time ago.
He's back and ready to play
3. Florida State (3-3) Last Week 6
Result: W (41-16) at Duke
This Week: vs. Maryland
This is the Florida State team that should show up every week. Florida State fans must be so frustrated with the incredible talent on this team, yet equally incredible inconsistency. EJ Manuel's four total touchdowns clearly indicate that he is healthy again. They could win their next three games fairly easily, but the losses to Clemson and Wake will end up being just too much to overcome.
4. Georgia Tech (6-1) Last Week 2
Result: L (24-21) at Virginia
This Week: at Miami
Just when I thought Georgia Tech was going to run away with the Coastal, they go and lose to Virginia. Now, looking at their upcoming schedule (at Miami, vs. Clemson, vs. Virginia Tech) there are no gimmes. The triple option offense is beginning to get too predictable. Georgia Tech had 53 rushing attempts against Virginia, and Tevin Washington accounted for 26 of them. I know some of those were sacks, but Washington is going to have to make better reads if this offense is going to thrive as they did earlier in the season.
Chris Givens has been sensational this season
5. Wake Forest (4-2) Last Week 3
Result: L (38-17) vs. Virginia Tech
This Week: at Duke
Maybe the homer in me put us a little too high last week. Virginia Tech was just better than we were. I'm still thrilled that we were able to go 1-1 in the past two weeks. The main thing is that this team just needs to beat Duke to get to 5-2. That will still keep us in solid position to contend for the Atlantic Division title, and will almost ensure us of a bowl bid. Chris Givens continued to be a stud again this week, and against Duke I expect him to keep up his averages of 100+ yards and a touchdown.
6. Miami (3-3) Last Week 7
Result: W (30-24) at North Carolina
This Week: vs. Georgia Tech
I'll have to hand it to Jacory Harris, his decision making is dramatically improved from last year. He has 12 touchdown passes to just three interceptions. This team is better than their 3-3 record indicates. Their close losses against Kansas State and Virginia Tech are looking more impressive by the day. This team will definitely find a way to get a bowl bid. What happens with NCAA sanctions will be decided later. This could be Miami's last bowl game for quite some time.
7. North Carolina (5-2) Last Week 5
Result: L (30-24) vs. Miami
This Week: at Clemson
This game was over after the first quarter. Carolina is a team that thrives off of their running game and a smart and efficient passing game. Getting down 17-0 takes the Tar Heels out of their game. They will most likely lose at Clemson, and then they have a very important game against Wake Forest. A loss for either team would essentially mean elimination from title contention.
8. Virginia (4-2) Last Week 10
Result: W (24-21) vs. Georgia Tech
This Week: vs. North Carolina State
Well I look pretty dumb for inexplicably flipping Virginia and Duke last week even though they both had byes. Virginia got up to an early lead and managed to hold on for dear life. Outside of William
& Mary, they haven't been blowing anyone out, but they've been finding ways to win games. With games remaining against Duke and N.C. State, Virginia has a very legitimate chance to make a bowl. Mike London
has been a great hire for this program.
9. Maryland (2-4) Last Week 8
Result: L (56-45) vs. Clemson
This Week: at Florida State
They made this one pretty interesting. Even though Maryland lost, it appears as though Randy Edsall has found his quarterback in C.J. Brown. Brown had four total touchdowns and ran for 162 yards against Clemson. His completion percentage was below 50%, but he didn't make turnovers that Danny O'Brien is prone to having. Brown's mobility adds an interesting element to Maryland's offense. It will be interesting to see how he performs against Florida State, who will have an entire week to prepare for him.
10. N.C. State (3-3) Last Week 11
This Week: at Virginia
N.C. State may be 3-3, but remember it's really like only being 2-3 given that they beat two FCS teams. This upcoming game at Virginia suddenly looks to be very difficult. At least the Wolfpack fans have Tyler Lewis and Rodney Purvis to look forward to in 2012.
11. Duke (3-3) Last Week 9
Result: L (41-16) vs. Florida State
This Week: vs. Wake Forest
Duke lost this game as soon as Florida State appeared on the schedule. They were down 24-3 at halftime, and it was never really close. This week they face the Demon Deacons who should come out with a sense of urgency. Their win over F.I.U. may have been their last win of the season. Thankfully for Duke fans, it's almost basketball season.
12. Boston College (1-5) Last Week 12
This Week: at Virginia Tech
If you are a Boston College fan you might just want to hide your eyes until around 2013. These next several years could be awful for both football and basketball. They are seeking a medical redshirt for Montel Harris, so that could be a bright note for next year, but Chase Rettig is a far cry from Matt Ryan. With games remaining against Florida State, Notre Dame, Miami, and Virginia Tech, it could just get downright embarrassing for this program.