Several weeks ago I thought there was a legitimate chance that the ACC would have ten bowl eligible teams. Well, clearly I was incorrect with that assessment. As it stands now, I definitely see seven teams being eligible, with Virginia being the wild card. Wake v. North Carolina and Clemson v. Georgia Tech will be very telling games this week.
1. Clemson (8-0) Last Week 1
Result: W (59-38) vs. North Carolina
This Week: at Georgia Tech
Clemson played their most impressive game of the year in their victory over North Carolina. The lopsided score was still not representative of just now dominant the Tigers were. The Tigers forced six turnovers, had 450 yards of total offense, and committed just three penalties. Tajh Boyd redistributed the wealth and threw five touchdowns to five different receivers. Given Georgia Tech's recent struggles and Marcus Lattimore's injury, it is looking more and more likely that Clemson's horizons could be beyond the ACC. Dabo Swinney must have been thrilled with formerly unbeaten Oklahoma and Wisconsin going down last night.
2. Virginia Tech (7-1) Last Week 2
Result: W (30-14) vs. Boston College
This Week: at Duke
This wasn't the prettiest of games, but this was a methodical domination by Virginia Tech. Tech dominated time of possession, total yards, yards per play, and the turnover battle. By the week it is appearing more and more likely that Virginia Tech is headed back to the ACC Championship. David Wilson is a special player and is showing why he was so highly touted coming out of high school.
3. Florida State (4-3) Last Week 3
Result: W (41-16) vs. Maryland
This Week: vs. N.C. State
Another week, another 41-16 victory. The past two weeks, Florida State has looked like the team that was picked to win this conference going away. Unfortunately for them, their losses to Clemson and Wake Forest will in all likelihood be too much to overcome, and they will be unable to win the division. They should easily win their next two games as they face North Carolina State and Boston College, respectively. After that is a November 12th matchup against Miami, which promises to be energetic and exciting.
They're baaaaaack? Not just yet, but they are showing positive signs
4. Miami (4-3) Last Week 6
Result: W (24-7) vs. Georgia Tech
This Week: vs. Virginia
After alternating wins and losses, Miami has won consecutive games. This team now appears to be playing their best football of the season, and with their next two games coming against Virginia and Duke, Miami should have bowl eligibility locked up before they travel to Tallahassee to take on the Seminoles. I never thought I'd say this sentence, but Jacory Harris has been very solid this year. Lamar Miller also was his usual self going for nearly 100 yards and a score.
Chris Givens is just a man. 886 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns through 7 games.
5. Wake Forest (5-2) Last Week 5
Result: W (24-23) at Duke
This Week: at North Carolina
Whew! After jumping out to what appeared to be a commanding 17-0 lead over Duke, the Deacs surrendered 23 unanswered points, before Chris Givens decided to take his talents to the end zone again. I'm thrilled the Deacs are 5-2, but the execution in the middle 30 minutes of the game yesterday was just awful. We couldn't get first downs, and we couldn't stop Duke on third downs. Thankfully Carolina has not looked as impressive as they did early on in the season.
Washington needs to make better reads
6. Georgia Tech (6-2) Last Week 4
Result: L (24-7) at Miami
This Week: vs. Clemson
Is it possible this team could lose 4 games in a row? With their next two games coming against Clemson and Virginia Tech, it is certainly a possibility. Tevin Washington is going to need to play better if they want to beat those teams. Through his first five games, he threw just one interception. In their last three, he has thrown five. It also appears that he is keeping the ball too many times on option plays. In their six wins, Washington has averaged 15.83 rushes per game, in their two losses, Washington has averaged 23 rushes per game. This is a problem that Paul Johnson must fix moving forward.
7. North Carolina (5-3) Last Week 7
Result: L (59-38) at Clemson
This Week: vs. Wake Forest
North Carolina has yet to beat a good football team this year. Their best win is a 24-22 win over Rutgers at home. Bryn Ranner's completion percentage has steadily dropped as the season has gone on. Giovani Bernard has been great all season, but has recently shown signs of being a mere mortal. Their turnover margin of -6 on the year is also a serious concern moving forward. This team is not good enough to give away possessions and solid field position to the opposition.
8. N.C. State (4-3) Last Week 10
Result: W (28-14) at Virginia
This Week: at Florida State
State impressed me this week by winning a road game by two touchdowns. This team could easily win two more games, but their decision to schedule two FCS teams could ultimately cost them a bowl appearance. I don't know who makes the final non-conference scheduling decisions, but that potentially costly decision,both from a revenue and recruiting standpoint, cannot go unnoticed.
9. Virginia (4-3) Last Week 8
Result: L (28-14) vs. N.C. State
This Week: at Miami
If they would have won this game it would have been huge for bowl eligibility. A win over the Wolfpack would have put them at 5-2, and would have allowed them to split with Maryland and Duke and still make a bowl. As it is, a game at Maryland is not a gimme, and the rest of their schedule is against three of the top four teams in my power rankings.
10. Maryland (2-5) Last Week 9
Result: L (41-16) at Florida State
This Week: vs. Boston College
Maryland fans were very excited for this season on Labor Day, but since then it has just been a train wreck. Since their opening night win over Miami, their only win of the season has been against Towson. Their schedule hasn't been easy, but a 38-7 loss to Temple at home is just not acceptable. Over the past two weeks, they've given up 97 points. They should beat Boston College, and they might beat Virginia, but Notre Dame and Wake Forest should put up plenty of points against this Maryland D. They certainly don't protect this house as well alumnus and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank would like.
Duke fans are happy it's basketball season again.
11. Duke (3-4) Last Week 11
Result: L (24-23) vs. Wake Forest
This Week: vs. Virginia Tech
12. Boston College (1-6) Last Week 12
This team is just awful. It looks like two wins is best case scenario for this team. Their only winnable remaining game remaining is when they play N.C. State at home. Boston College fans should just exclusively watch Patriots games. Unfortunately, I don't think they'll be able to watch the Celtics in the winter to cure their woes.