Ranking them 1-12 after week 7…here’s what will be my lead for the Southern Pigskin column coming later…
Imagine that, the best team in the ACC actually winning after being adorned with praise.
Though reminiscent of the ACC as a whole this season, it wasn’t pretty with the 24-19 meatgrinder over BC.
Speaking of not pretty, I give you the spectacular out-of-conference effort – this time by NC State, who turned it over four times – most prominently an interception in overtime to seal the loss to intrastate rival East Carolina.
In other news, UNC ended the 29-year winless streak in Charlottesville with an exclamation mark 44-10.
Virginia Tech wiped Wake Forest off the face of the earth – leading 49-14…at half!
Miami slugged out a 28-13 win on the road at Duke with seven turnovers, but did not score in the opening or final quarters in a sloppy game.
And the Jackets took care of business against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, 42-14 – Josh Nesbitt is now just 44 yards from eclipsing Woody Dantzler’s ACC rushing record for a QB.
On to the rankings…
1)..(1)..Florida State Seminoles………….6-1 (4-0 ACC)
Oh, so FSU isn’t going to win every game by 4 TDs now? Well then, Ponder struggled with 3 interceptions and the ‘Noles trailed in the fourth quarter quite surprisingly after being 3 TD favorites. This game just serves as a reminder that no ACC team is safe week-to-week, but give FSU credit, they pulled out the big play when they needed it and got the win.
2)..(4)..Virginia Tech Hokies…………………5-2 (3-0 ACC)
Just wow. 605 yards. 52 points. 41+ minutes of possession. It just doesn’t get more dominate than that. The Hokies are hitting their stride going into Coastal clashes with Duke and Georgia Tech in Lane coming up.
3)..(3)..Miami Hurricanes………………………4-2 (2-1 ACC)
They won – there’s your positive in a 28-13 win over Duke. Miami had the definition of balance on offense with 224 yards rushing and passing, but didn’t start or finish well with no points in the first and fourth quarters. The Blue Devils kept it close, but seven turnovers gave the ‘Canes the edge.
4)..(2)..North Carolina State Wolfpack………..5-2 (2-1 ACC)
So here’s the plan, 11-game conference schedule – contract with Presbyterian to play the other game in the schedule…you don’t really want me to talk about a loss to ECU, right? Letdown game, Wilson bad, ECU good, OT loss – there ya go.
5)..(5)..Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets…………..5-2 (4-1 ACC)
Yellow Jackets didn’t skip a beat against Middle Tennessee in a 42-14 win. Huge game this Saturday for Georgia Tech at Clemson – win and take momentum into the Lane Stadium Thursday-nighter – lose and the rest of the ACC schedule is must-win.
6)..(6)..North Carolina Tar Heels…………4-2 (2-1 ACC)
The Heels got over whatever voodoo that Virginia was doing to them in Charlottesville with an emphatic 44-10 win. They lose Zack Pianalto though to injury (again, again) who had 54 yards and a TD in the game. Yates continues to impress with another 300-yarder and 3 TDs. Two huge ACC road games coming up with Miami Saturday night and FSU in 3 weeks.
7)..(8)..Clemson Tigers………………3-3 (1-2 ACC)
Won 31-7 over the Terps – game seemed closer than that, but the emergence of Clemson’s special teams with an Andre Ellington 87-yard TD return and Jaron Brown 46-yard punt return to setup the nail-in-coffin-score to make it 24-7 in the third quarter. We’ll find out more about these Tigers against Johnson’s Jackets who are 3-0 against Dabo over 2 seasons.
8)..(7)..Maryland Terrapins……………………4-2 (1-1 ACC)
The game had all the makings of your classic Tigers/Terps battle – the sluggish offensive start for Clemson and Maryland jumped on them with a 7-3 lead…for 12 seconds as Andre Ellington ran up the gut of their kick coverage to take the lead Clemson would never relinquish. Missing the tying FG kick a drive later pretty much sealed their fate as Clemson would score on their next two drives.
9)..(9)..Virginia Cavaliers…………………..2-4 (0-3 ACC)
Streak is done and the ‘Hoos are coming back down to what we thought preseason after the surprising effort at Southern Cal. Have a gimme with Eastern Michigan coming this week.
10)..(10)..Boston College Eagles………………….2-4 (0-3 ACC)
No one really saw BC having a lead in the fourth quarter, but they did after making some big plays on D – FSU made one more play for the win. Now at 0-3 in ACC play, they try to get on track against the Terps.
11)..(11)..Wake Forest Demon Deacons…2-5 (1-3 ACC)
Obliterated. They have a bye week to lick their wounds before the trip to College Park.
12)..(12)..Duke Blue Devils…………………………1-5 (0-2 ACC)
Gotta give it to the Blue Devils’ D – they kept Duke in it as the offense really let them down with 7 turnovers. Doesn’t get easier this week as they walk through the rubble of Wake Forest into Lane Stadium.
What do ya think? Do you think FSU can hold on all the way out?