ACC (#goacc) Power Rankings Week 12

Grant Halverson

Duke is ranked in football and thanks to Virginia Tech losing, the Coastal is now more confusing than multi-variable calculus. Let's try and make sense of just what in the world is going on in the ACC.

1. Florida State (10-0, 8-0 ACC) Last Week 1
Result: (W 59-3 vs. Syracuse)
This Week: vs. Idaho

Another week, another 59-3 win for the Noles. FSU has been so dominant that some of their starting defensive players are playing hangman during the game. (h/t @TomahawkNation) Jameis Winston had as many touchdown passes, two, as incompletions. I'm absolutely not going to get into the allegations against Winston, but I will say that he and the team did not appear to be distracted. If they were, then I don't want to see what else they could do to Syracuse. I've been high on Florida State all season and I'm now of the opinion that they are the best team in the country. Florida State now takes on Idaho, who is 1-9 on the season. #Pray4Idaho I'll go out on a limb and say Florida State moves to 11-0 after this one.

2. Clemson (9-1, 7-1 ACC) Last Week 2
Result: (W 55-31 vs. Georgia Tech)
This Week: vs. Citadel

Dominant showing by the Tigers in this one as they move to 9-1 overall and finished their ACC slate at 7-1. Martavis Bryant had 176 receiving yards, including a long of 76 yards, and Sammy Watkins chipped in 104 receiving yards and two touchdowns. They'll crush the Citadel next week, but can they go to 2-0 vs. the SEC this season when they travel to Columbia to take on South Carolina?

3. Duke (8-2, 4-2 ACC) Last Week 4
Result: (W 48-30 vs. Miami)
This Week: at Wake Forest

Duke must listen to a lot of Drake given where their program started. Duke is now ranked. In football. The Blue Devils are ranked #24 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and #25 by the Associate Press, after finishing the 2011 campaign just 3-9. This week marks the first time that Duke has been ranked since 1994, when Bill Clinton was still serving his first term as President. It sounds weird to say, but Duke's offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage on their way to 358 rushing yards. Brandon Football Connette had five total touchdowns on the day and was Tebow-esque in his ability to serve as a battering ram when the Blue Devils got near the end zone. Duke will now travel to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest, and it's tough to see Wake emerging victorious. David Cutcliffe has done an exceptional coaching job this season and has my hypothetical vote for coach of the year.

Outstanding breakdown of Coastal Division Scenarios.

There are 32 different scenarios. Virginia Tech wins 11, Duke wins 10, Georgia Tech wins 9, Miami wins 2.

In all of Duke's 10 scenarios, they have to beat North Carolina.

4. North Carolina (5-5, 4-3 ACC) Last Week 6
Result: (W 34-27 at Pittsburgh)
This Week: vs. Old Dominion

It wasn't too long ago that North Carolina was 1-5, but the Tar Heels have won four straight and now are one win away from bowl eligibility, which I believe they will clinch when they play Old Dominion this Saturday. Marquise Williams has stepped in very nicely for Renner and Williams' ability to run (79 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Pittsburgh) has added an extra dimension to this Carolina offense. In two weeks the Heels will take on Duke. I don't think Carolina could envision a better ending to their regular season than to end Duke's chances at winning the Coastal.

5. Boston College (6-4, 3-3 ACC) Last Week 8
Result: (W 38-21 vs. North Carolina State)
This Week: at Maryland

Andre Williams doesn't take breaks; he just breaks records. Williams rushed for 339 yards against the Wolfpack and now has 1,810 rushing yards on the season with three more games to play. Congratulations to the Eagles for becoming bowl eligible. Coach Addazio has done a spectacular job there so far this season. His work and this team's work have gone largely unnoticed in ACC circles. It's very possible this team could go 8-4 and what an accomplishment that would be for a team who won just two games last season.

6. Virginia Tech (7-4, 4-3 ACC) Last Week 3
Result: (L 27-24 vs. Maryland)
This Week: BYE

This is why we can't have nice things. All you had to do was beat Maryland (VT was a 17 pt favorite) and then beat woeful Virginia. Instead, you lose to Maryland, mass chaos ensues, and we're all left begging Patrick Stevens to explain Coastal Division scenarios to us. The Hokies can still win the Coastal, but they need Duke to lose. The Hokies simply could not run the ball against Maryland; Virginia Tech had just 54 yards on 38 carries.

7. Miami (7-3, 3-3 ACC) Last Week 5
Result: (L 48-30 at Duke)
This Week: vs. Virginia

This Miami fan's expression pretty much sums up Saturday. (h/t @InTheBleachers) I believe we can definitely say The "U" is not back just yet. The Hurricanes are losers of three straight and have lost by at least 18 points in each of those three games. They performed well on the ground, averaging 6.4 yards/carry, but they only ran it 29 times compared to 49 passing attempts. It was questionable to say the least. Now Miami must defeat both Virginia and Pittsburgh in order to even have a shot at the Coastal. The Hurricanes also need Duke to lose to North Carolina and Virginia to beat Virginia Tech. It's not likely that all four of those things will happen.

8. Georgia Tech (6-4, 5-3 ACC) Last Week 7
Result: (L 55-31 at Clemson)
This Week: vs. Alabama A&M

This wasn't Georgia Tech's best performance of the year, but it's tough to criticize a team for losing in Death Valley at night. The player of the game for the Yellow Jackets was easily Robert "Because I" Godhigh. Give Lauren Brownlow all of the hat tips in the world for that nickname #BecauseIGodhigh. Back to sports, Godhigh had 229 total yards and two touchdowns. Georgia Tech's ACC regular season is over and now they play the waiting game. Georgia Tech will win the Coastal in nine of the 32 possible scenarios. In all scenarios Virginia must defeat Virginia Tech, Miami must lose to at least one of Virginia or Pittsburgh, and Duke must lose to either Wake Forest or North Carolina.

9. Pittsburgh (5-5, 2-4 ACC) Last Week 9
Result: (L 34-27 vs. North Carolina)
This Week: at Syracuse

Pittsburgh's special teams blew it and I'm not talking about their kicker. The Panthers, led by Fred Ben Tom Savage, came all the way back from a 27-3 deficit to tie the game at 27 with nine minutes remaining, but then they allowed a a 61 yard punt return in what was ultimately the game winning touchdown. Now the Panthers will travel to Syracuse on Saturday, and the winner will become bowl eligible. If they lose that one, don't be shocked if Pittsburgh finds a way to beat a struggling Miami team the day after Thanksgiving.

10. Syracuse (5-5, 3-3 ACC) Last Week 10
Result: (L 59-3 at Florida State)
This Week: vs. Pittsburgh

Syracuse fans, Wake fans feel your pain as we have also lost to this Florida State team by the score of 59-3. At least you guys only threw one interception. Syracuse has an excellent opportunity to become bowl eligible this season when they take on Pittsburgh in the Carrier Dome on Saturday. If they don't win that one, then they'll have another opportunity when Boston College visits the following week.

11. Maryland (6-4, 2-4 ACC) Last Week 12
Result: (W 27-24 at Virginia Tech)
This Week: vs. Boston College

Congratulations to Maryland for becoming bowl eligible by winning an improbable game. This is a team who has simply been decimated by injuries and it's good to see a team with more than enough talent to make a bowl not fail to do so because of injuries. I know I'm supposed to hate Maryland, but it was actually kind of nice to see Randy Edsall very happy.

12. Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5 ACC) Last Week 11
Result: BYE
This Week: vs. Duke

We've finally come to the first actual "must-win" game of the season for the Deacs. A loss to the Blue Devils means that Wake Forest is guaranteed a losing record in the regular season, and therefore eliminated from bowl consideration. Duke opened up as 5.5 point road favorites, so clearly the Deacs have their work cut out for them. I don't know what Wake Forest's game plan is for Saturday, but they better not hold anything back. Break out every trick play you have, and then go find some more to run. It will be an emotional senior day for Tanner Price, Nikita Whitlock and company, so hopefully that can give the Deacs a lift.

13. North Carolina State (3-7, 0-7 ACC) Last Week 13
Result: (L 38-21 at Boston College)
This Week: vs. East Carolina

If North Carolina State wants to claim #OurState, then I'd recommend they least beat East Carolina, since they haven't been able to beat any of the other teams from the state of North Carolina. The problem for the Wolfpack is that East Carolina opened up as a 6.5 point favorite even though the game is in Carter-Finley Stadium. For the past six weeks they've been far more like the team who barely beat Richmond, than the team who played well against Clemson.

14. Virginia (2-8, 0-6 ACC) Last Week 14
Result: BYE
This Week: at Miami

Virginia didn't lose this week, so I can't criticize them too much. I'm just thankful they don't play North Carolina State this year so that no one is forced to watch that abomination. Of course, it would probably be the most #goacc game in history and would provide a tremendous amount of unintentional comedy. Now Virginia has to travel to an angry Miami team where they will undoubtedly play in front of tens of people and then they will host Virginia Tech who will be coming off a bye. Hello, 2-10. Goodbye, Mike London.

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