I'm still not over the Wake loss on Saturday, but we must move on. After impressive performances by over the past several weeks, I have moved Virginia Tech and Florida State to #'s 1 and 2 respectively.
Should be electric on Thursday night
1. Virginia Tech (9-1) Last Week 3
Result: W (37-26) at Georgia Tech
This Week: vs. North Carolina (Thursday on ESPN)
Virginia Tech's performance at Georgia Tech was the best performance I've seen by an ACC team yet this season. Frank Beamer has his team playing excellent football right now, and I fully expect them to win the Coastal and beat Clemson in the ACC Championship. Logan Thomas has matured throughout the season and is now playing at a very high level. This team will slow down Clemson's offensive playmakers, and will now be able to score enough points to beat them.
2. Florida State (7-3) Last Week 1
Result: W (23-19) vs. Miami
This Week: vs. Virginia
The Seminoles are finally ranked again, and it's about time the media decided to give them the credit they deserve. I know their schedule has been easy post-Wake Forest, but it is not easy to beat teams in the manner they have been. They have won 5 games in a row by a combined margin of 177-58. The scary thing about this team is that they are still very young and are getting a top 3 recruiting class in the country next year. Look for them to win out the rest of this season, and then make a legitimate national championship run next season.
Congratulations to Clemson on winning the division
3. Clemson (9-1) Last Week 2
This Week: at N.C. State
Clemson won on Saturday, but I wouldn't say they outplayed Wake Forest. They should win at N.C. State on Saturday, and should probably beat South Carolina. South Carolina may have an impressive record, but they have played what appears to be the easiest SEC schedule of all-time. I'm not sure the extent of Sammy Watkins' injury, but if he is out for a while, they lose arguably the most explosive player in the nation. Tajh Boyd has been awful lately. Wake should have had about 6 interceptions on Saturday. It truly seems like he does not know how to read a defense, and greatly benefits from outstanding receivers who can catch it if it's within the same zip code that he throws into.
4. Georgia Tech (7-3) Last Week 4
Result: L (37-26) vs. Virginia Tech
This Week: at Duke
Georgia Tech is still a solid football team, but they have been struggling of late, losing 3 of their last 4. Georgia Tech should easily handle Duke this weekend, but their last game of the season against Georgia will prove to be very challenging. Aaron Murray has greatly improved this year, and Georgia won the SEC East. Several weeks ago, Paul Johnson was in consideration for ACC COY, but he is now no longer in contention. I hope GT is able to represent us well in the ACC.
5. Virginia (7-3) Last Week 5
Result: W (31-21) vs. Duke
This Week: at Florida State
They still control their own destiny to win the Coastal, and if they win out they will certainly have earned it. Having to beat Florida State and Virginia Tech in consecutive weeks is no easy task. If Virginia can do that, then Mike London absolutely deserves to be coach of the year. That being said, I expect Virginia to lose out, but 7-5 is still an outstanding improvement over last season. Virginia fans have a lot to be excited for moving forward, especially considering how well they've done recruiting as of late.
6. Miami (5-5) Last Week 6
Result: L (23-19) at Florida State
This Week: at South Florida
Miami played a very a close game against a very impressive team in Florida State. the Hurricanes should defeat South Florida and Boston College to end the regular season at 7-5. Lamar Miller is a fantastic running back for the Canes. he has over 1,100 rushing yards on the season and averages 5.7 yards/carry. Tommy Streeter is also an excellent receiver who averages over 20 yards per catch, and has 8 touchdowns on the season. Al Golden is doing a very nice job in Coral Gables, but it will be interesting to see how this team does moving forward given the sanctions that are inevitably coming due to the Shapiro investigation.
Price should have a phenomenal game against Maryland
7. Wake Forest (5-5) Last Week 8
Result: L (31-28) at Clemson
This Week: vs. Maryland
8. North Carolina (6-4) Last Week 7
This Week: at Virginia Tech (Thursday on ESPN)
Now that North Carolina's had 2 weeks to mourn their embarrassing performance against State, they will face Virginia Tech in a Thursday night matchup on ESPN. I would look for Virginia Tech to just roll through this team. If UNC struggled moving the ball against State, they will definitely struggle against Virginia Tech on Senior Night. The offseason could be a difficult one for Carolina as they await a decision as to what sanctions will be imposed on this program.
9. N.C. State (5-5) Last Week 9
Result: L (14-10) at Boston College
This Week: vs. Clemson
I'm keeping the Wolfpack at 9, even though they lost to Boston College this past Saturday. Quite frankly, I still think State is better than Duke, Boston College, and Maryland even though they have lost to two of the three. All State had to do to make a bowl was beat Boston College and Duke. Now they are faced with the very difficult task of having to beat Clemson. Clemson may not play as hard because they have the division locked up, but Clemson has too much talent and should prevail in this contest. Looks like the decision to schedule two FCS opponents is going to come back to haunt them.
10. Boston College (3-7) Last Week 11
Result: W (14-10) vs. N.C. State
This Week: at Notre Dame
11. Duke (3-7) Last Week 10
Result: L (31-21) at Virginia
This Week: vs. Georgia Tech
It appears as though a missed FG by Boston College is going to be the difference between Duke going winless and having managed one win in the ACC. Their remaining games are against Georgia Tech and North Carolina, respectively. Duke gives up 4.71 rush yards/attempt. This should translate into a dominant victory by the Yellow Jackets.
12. Maryland (2-8) Last Week 12
Result: L (45-21) vs.Notre Dame (FedEx Field)
This Week: at Wake Forest
This Maryland team has quit. Look for them them come out absolutely flat in their final two contests against the Deacs and the Wolfpack respectively. Maryland has faced a very difficult schedule this year, but when you only lose to Georgia Tech by 5 on the road, and 11 to Clemson at home, it's obvious that you've quit when you lose to Boston College by 11 at home.