Death Valley saw quite possibly a bitter end to the Kyle Parker era in Clemson Saturday night. (Per OrangeandWhite.com, by Nathan Gray)
Ranking the ACC 1-12 as we close out the regular season…
1)..(1)..Virginia Tech Hokies…………………10-2 (8-0 ACC)
The Hokies finished off a great ACC run to Charlotte with a 37-7 win for the Commonwealth Cup. You all had Virginia Tech running the table after the JMU loss, right? I know I did(n’t) and I’ll be in Charlotte to see if they can make it 11 and another Orange Bowl bid this Saturday.
2)..(3)..Florida State Seminoles………….9-3 (6-2 ACC)
FSU is starting to get that swagger back – as the ‘Noles took a 24-7 lead into the half, cameras caught Christian Ponder doing a demonstrative “gator chomp” into the locker room, and the players didn’t even know the half of it with Maryland taking care of business against the Wolfpack. After an odd finish in the Atlantic, the Seminoles represent the division Saturday night – I picked them preseason to win the ACC …we’ll see if they can do it.
3)..(5)..Maryland Terrapins……………………8-4 (5-3 ACC)
Maryland couldn’t make it an ACC Division title game last week, but came out focused and finished the season well against the Wolfpack. Ralph Friedgen answered the bell on a season where he needed to bring some results, and now, they will see if the bowls reward them or let them slip down the scale.
4)..(2)..North Carolina State Wolfpack………..8-4 (5-3 ACC)
Ouch. It was all right there – 14-0 lead on the road, but they couldn’t finish Maryland off and Torrey Smith absolutely burned them for 4 TDs. In one game, the season went from one of the best in a while – back to another disappointing season. Eight wins are nice, but it’s still only good for third in the Atlantic.
5)..(7)..North Carolina Tar Heels…………7-5 (4-4 ACC)
The tumultuous season ended with a win for the Heels at Duke. Hard to assess this season for UNC with so much controversy.
6)..(8)..Boston College Eagles………………….7-5 (4-4 ACC)
Five-game winning streak – after a five-game losing streak – after preseason expectations that went as high as double-digit wins (like mine). Saturday had to be encouraging to BC fans with freshman Andre Williams delivering a Montel Harris-esque performance of 42 carries for 185 yards and a TD…and another freshman in Chase Rettig commanding the offense in the 16-7 road win at Syracuse.
7)..(4)..Miami Hurricanes………………………7-5 (5-3 ACC)
Wow. Loss to USF. Shannon gone. Gruden hired then not hired then talking to Miami. Crazy week in Coral Gables.
8)..(6)..Clemson Tigers………………6-6 (4-4 ACC)
Dominated at home by a rival they are used to dominating. Benching the starting QB after a reported exchange between Parker and Swinney with 25:17 to go in the second half and down 26-7. It was a rough night for Dabo’s Tigers and all eyes are on the QB situation going into the bowls.
9)..(9)..Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets…………..6-6 (5-3 ACC)
So close, yet so far – the Jackets battled to the end, but an errant extra point killed momentum in a 42-34 road loss at Georgia. Tough year for last year’s ACC Championship participants.
10)..(10)..Duke Blue Devils…………………………3-9 (1-7 ACC)
Duke continued their run of close losses against the Heels as the winless streak at home continues against their rival. Mixed bag of a season for Duke this year – no real progress will come without some development on D.
11)..(11)..Virginia Cavaliers…………………..4-8 (1-7 ACC)
Another ugly loss to Virginia Tech – but it’s not like it wasn’t expected in a season that saw its positives for a rebuilding year in Charlottesville.
12)..(12)..Wake Forest Demon Deacons…3-9 (1-7 ACC)
Wake won! Take that SEC! In all seriousness, good for the Deacs to not carry a 10-game losing streak into the offseason – solid road win in a tough year for Grobe’s Demon Deacons.
Thoughts on the week in the ACC? ACC Championship coverage coming this week and we’ll be tweeting live from the ACC Championship Game this Saturday!
Wilson and the Pack's comeback puts them a win away from Charlotte.
Ranking the week in ACC football, but first, our weekend wrap up at Southern Pigskin…
What’s that I see? Clarity in the ACC picture? Why yes, there is.
The Hokies forced six turnovers against Miami (and Jacory Harris didn’t even play!) to punch their ticket to Charlotte with a 31-17 win.
NC State rallied from down 19-10 late in the third quarter by grabbing a Hail Mary (basically), a punt return TD, a FG, and a safety to pull off the 29-25 road rivalry win to put themselves in prime position in the Atlantic.
The ‘Noles eliminated Maryland from the divisional race in a close game to the finish, where FSU safety Nick Moody galloped down the field with a 96-yard interception return for a TD to give FSU a two touchdown advantage, 30-16.
In the bowl eligibility battles, BC and Georgia Tech struggled to wins over Virginia and Duke respectively – while Clemson took care of business on the road at Wake Forest 30-10. <Read the rest>
ACC Blogger Power Poll – Week 12
1)..(1)..Virginia Tech Hokies…………………8-2 (7-0 ACC)
The Hokies wrapped up the Coastal with another dominating fourth quarter where they scored twice and forced 3 turnovers in the 31-17 win at Miami. When know one else would step up, the Hokies took hold of the ACC and have a really good shot at going 8-0 next week against Virginia.
2)..(2)..North Carolina State Wolfpack………..8-3 (5-2 ACC)
NC State has been fortunate and unfortunate this season at times – Saturday, they were very fortunate. Down 19-10 late in the third quarter, a deflected pass that finds Spencer’s hands just before hitting the ground – a punt return by Graham tip-toeing along the sidelines to the endzone, and the defense stepping up for big 3-and-outs to grab an 8-point lead that they barely hung on too. Anyway you slice it, the Wolfpack are a win away from Charlotte and having their best season in a loooooong time.
3)..(3)..Florida State Seminoles………….8-3 (6-2 ACC)
The ‘Noles pulled a tough one out of College Park Saturday night, 30-16 with a 96-yard INT return sealing it late. FSU hopes for an NC State loss this weekend, but foremost on their minds will be exacting revenge on the Gators who have bested them every season since 2003.
4)..(4)..Miami Hurricanes………………………7-4 (5-3 ACC)
For 3 quarters, Miami had Virginia Tech right where they wanted them, but it’s 4 quarter game and the ‘Canes wilted late. They try to grab 8 wins again against South Florida.
5)..(5)..Maryland Terrapins……………………7-4 (4-3 ACC)
The Terps had their chance, but could not close the deal and fall back a bit to reality. All is not lost though as they get 8 wins and go into postseason with some momentum by spoiling the Pack’s ACC Championship trip.
6)..(6)..Clemson Tigers………………6-5 (4-4 ACC)
Clemson finally exorcised their road demons with a win over Wake Forest, 30-10, that could have been worse if the Tigers didn’t call off the dogs. They get a little momentum from this one into a night tilt with the rival Gamecocks – where the roles are reversed from last year where the Tigers won the division and had to go on the road.
7)..(7)..North Carolina Tar Heels…………6-5 (3-4 ACC)
This looked like the year that UNC would finally get over the hump against NC State, but their 2-point conversion went awry and their last chance to drive on the Pack ended in a safety. They can play for bowl positioning against Duke Saturday in another rivalry matchup.
8)..(9)..Boston College Eagles………………….6-5 (4-4 ACC)
BC just keeps winning and this week was a squeaker over Virginia in a 17-13 win. Montel Harris sustained a knee-injury though which could be big going into the Carrier Dome this weekend.
9)..(8)..Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets…………..6-5 (5-3 ACC)
The Jackets became the ACC’s ninth bowl-eligible team after struggling to a win over Duke. Their rival Georgia apparently had some players in the stands on a bye week and those Bulldogs are over 2 TD favorites this week.
10)..(10)..Duke Blue Devils…………………………3-8 (1-6 ACC)
Duke continued their string of close calls, but lost again.
11)..(11)..Virginia Cavaliers…………………..4-7 (1-6 ACC)
The ‘Hoos almost pulled it out on the road at BC and now get rival Virginia Tech on the road in a noon start.
12)..(12)..Wake Forest Demon Deacons…2-9 (1-7 ACC)
The streak grew to nine against Clemson and their last shot comes at Vandy who are on a 6-game losing streak and also 2-9.
Big weekend in ACC football where the Hokies clinched and the ‘Noles/Pack moved a step closer to Charlotte…thoughts on the games?
Clemson literally threw away their shot in the division and FSU was there to take it Saturday. (Per OrangeandWhite.com, by Nathan Gray)
As always, we do the ACC Power Poll in conjunction with ACCRivals.com – thought I’d feature the whole post today on the site…
First, check out my weekend wrap up on Southern Pigskin…
When FSU’s Dustin Hopkins launched a cruise missile through the goalposts Saturday night, the Atlantic race was set.
It’s Maryland and NC State in control after wins over Virginia and Wake Forest respectively – and FSU, still has a good chance to knock out Maryland this coming weekend, while hoping for help against NC State from UNC and the Terps.
On the flip side, Virginia Tech rode a dominating second half to a 26-10 road victory to get a stranglehold on the Coastal – they just need a win either at Miami or back home with Virginia to clinch their trip to Charlotte.
The Hurricanes did keep their hopes alive though with a dominating 35-10 win on the road at Georgia Tech. They find themselves in the same position as FSU with a big game this weekend against the Hokies and rooting hard for Virginia the next week.
BC inched a win closer to bowl eligibility with a squeaker over Duke and have two shots to make it in starting with Virginia this weekend then a trip to Syracuse to close it out. <See the rest>
ACC Blogger Power Poll – Week 11 (Can find this and more on ACC Rivals)
After 11 weeks, we’re starting to see some consistency among the inconsistency as only Clemson and Maryland moved this week. Check out what our panel of bloggers had to say about the week in ACC football…
Rk) (LW) Team……………Poll AVG
1) (1) Virginia Tech Hokies – 1
Glass ½ Full: They can play with the lead and they can play from behind. The Hokies have two games to win one game and go to Charlotte for the ACC title. Tyrod Taylor has been the best player in the ACC all season, and he continues to impress every week, and the Hokies are beginning to get all of their running backs healthy as well, which will only help them win their third ACC Championship in four years. – Justin Cocchiola
Glass ½ Empty: N/A…can’t say much against a team that’s on an 8-game winning streak.
2) (2) NC State Wolfpack– 2.6
Glass ½ Full: State’s defense came alive against a weak Wake Forest team holding the Deacons to just three points on Saturday. The Pack are in the top 30 in the country in scoring offense and scoring defense, but they will have to be efficient on Saturday if they are going to go in to Chapel Hill and beat the Heels for the fourth straight year. – J.J. Greenstein
Glass ½ Empty: The loss at Clemson really hurt, especially after FSU’s win over Clemson. That pretty much leaves no room for error for the Pack as they go into a rivalry game at UNC and finish up with the surprise team in the ACC. - Jordan
3) (3) Florida State Seminoles – 3.3
Glass ½ Full: A feel-good ending for kicker Dustin Hopkins as his 55-yard bomb won the game for the Seminoles, as they escaped Clemson’s upset bid on Saturday. The Seminoles stayed alive (and technically in front) in the Atlantic Division race, but still need help if they’re going to play in the ACC Championship Game on December 4th. – J.J. Greenstein
Glass ½ Empty: FSU won a crucial game without Christian Ponder on Saturday, and the ‘Noles will travel to College Park to take on Maryland in an Atlantic division elimination game. – Griffin Wong
4) (4) Miami Hurricanes – 4
Glass ½ Full: I think we just saw the next Miami quarterback. Heck, even if Jacory Harris was healthy, I would play Morris right now. The Canes ran through a bad Georgia Tech run defense and contained the Yellow Jacket’s offense. While their chances at a Coastal Division championship are slim, they are still alive and a win over VT would help their chances. - Jordan
Glass ½ Empty: The Hurricanes beat down Georgia Tech 35-10 on Saturday and are back in the top 25. Backup quarterback Stephen Morris lead the Hurricanes to a second straight win as he fills in for the injured Jacory Harris. Unfortunately, Miami will need Harris to have a chance against the Hokies on Saturday. – J.J. Greenstein
5) (7) Maryland Terrapins – 5.1
Glass ½ Full: Maryland did what Miami couldn’t do, beat Virginia. I know, I know. Miami beat the Terps but you have to give credit to Ralph Friedgen. He is in contention for ACC Coach of the Year and if he can win these final two games of the year and advance to the ACC championship game, the guy deserves National Coach of the Year. Not very likely but 7 or 8 wins is a pretty nice accomplishment. – Jordan
Glass ½ Empty: Despite only 1 win over a team with a winning record (Navy), the Terps kept themselves alive with a win against UVA. The Terps will host FSU this Saturday in a massive game. Maryland still controls its own destiny.
6) (6) North Carolina Tar Heels – 6.1
Glass ½ Full: They have all Seminole fans on their side against NC State this week. – admiNOLEstrator
Glass ½ Empty: Despite all of the distractions, North Carolina has had a very solid year. It’s hard not to think what could have been if it hadn’t been for all of the suspensions. That being said, the Tar Heels were blown off the field Saturday in the second half against the Hokies. They will need to play more consistently to finish these last two weeks strong. – Justin Cocchiola
7) (5) Clemson Tigers – 6.7
Glass ½ Full: You almost feel bad for Clemson, they out-played Florida State for most of Saturday night’s game, only to lose on a 55 yard field goal as time expired. The Tigers are a good team, and although they won’t be competing for an ACC championship this year, they should beat Wake Forest this week to become bowl eligible. – J.J. Greenstein
Glass ½ Empty: What a disappointing team. This team is too talented to be sitting at 5-5. They will likely become bowl eligible this weekend against Wake Forest and then the big game against South Carolina is the next week. Remember, this team probably should have beaten Auburn so there is no reason they can’t beat South Carolina. - Jordan
8) (8) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets – 8
Glass ½ Full: Without starting quarterback Joshua Nesbitt (possibly for the season) the Jackets seem to be just going through the motions as the season winds down. They’ll need to beat either Duke or rival Georgia if they are going to become bowl eligible. Duke did a nice job against Navy’s option, and I would expect them to give Georgia Tech some problems this Saturday. – J.J. Greenstein
Glass ½ Empty: This team is worse than I thought. Joshua Nesbitt wouldn’t have helped in this one. Tevin Washington actually played pretty well but he didn’t get any help from his blockers, defense, special teams, receivers, etc. There are lots of problems with this Georgia Tech team and it doesn’t look like anything is going to change this year. - Jordan
9) (9) Boston College Eagles – 8.7
Glass ½ Full: Boston College was given a gift with their November schedule. After losing five in a row earlier in the season, the Eagles have bounced back and won three straight. I would expect them to become bowl eligible by beating Virginia at home this Saturday. – J.J. Greenstein
Glass ½ Empty: The Eagles survived against Duke, and now have three wins in conference. No title hopes in their future anytime soon. – Justin Cocchiola
10) (10) Duke Blue Devils – 10.3
Glass ½ Full: A valiant effort came up short against Boston College. This Duke team under Cutcliffe has improved the last few weeks and could derail Georgia Tech’s bowl hopes this weekend. - Jordan
Glass ½ Empty: Duke is the only FBS team to lose to Wake. Ouch. – Griffin Wong
11) (11) Virginia Cavaliers – 10.7
Glass ½ Full: The Cavaliers’ upset bid against Maryland fell short on Saturday when they were outscored by 21 points in the fourth quarter. The positive thing for Virginia? They are 25th in the nation in passing yards per game, that is near the top of the ACC. – J.J. Greenstein
Glass ½ Empty: The Cavaliers gave up 21 unanswered points on Saturday in a loss to Maryland. This has us Maryland fans saying, “Wahoowhat?” – Griffin Wong
12) (12) Wake Forest Demon Deacons – 12
Glass ½ Full: There’s nothing good to say about Wake Forest. Even their basketball team is disappointing. – Justin Cocchiola
Glass ½ Empty: Wake absolutely laid an egg on Saturday against NC State. Not only did they get beat badly on both sides of the ball, but seemed to not be trying to win on a few plays. Multiple times on third and long the Demon Deacons chose to run the ball leading to a punt. Running backs Josh Harris and Josh Adams will continue to be the only bright spots for this team if they continue run he ball on third and long. – J.J. Greenstein
admiNOLEstrator – ACCRivals.com
Lambeth Field – LambethField.com and ACCRivals.com
J.J. Greenstein – ACCRivals.com and First and Short
Jordan – ACCRivals.com
Justin Cocchiola – ACCRivals.com, Virginia Tech Raycom Blog
Brandon Rink – ACCBlogger.com, OrangeandWhite.com, Raycom ACC Blog.
Griffin Wong – ACCRivals.com