Around the ACC: November 3, 2011

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In a big weekend in the ACC, the league’s final remaining unbeaten team was
finally knocked off. A showdown for the Coastal Division title between the two
Techs is shaping up, as usual, and though they lost this past weekend, Clemson
is still the frontrunner in the Atlantic Division.

Here’s a look at the results of last weekend’s games …

Virginia 28, Miami 21
FSU 34, NC State 0
Virginia Tech 14, Duke 10
Boston College 28, Maryland 17
UNC 49, Wake Forest 24
Georgia Tech 31, Clemson 17

Georgia Tech jumped out to a big lead on Clemson, and the Tigers failed to
rally. Miami had a chance to stay in the Coastal Division race, but lost at home
to Virginia. In the Atlantic Division, Boston College picked up their first
conference win of the season.

ACC
Standings
Atlantic Coastal
Team Conf. Overall Team Conf. Overall
Clemson 5-1 8-1 Virginia Tech 4-1 8-1
Wake Forest 4-2 5-3 Georgia Tech 4-2 7-2
FSU 3-2 5-3 Virginia 2-2 5-3
NC State 1-3 4-4 UNC 2-3 6-3
BC 1-4 2-6 Miami 2-3 4-4
Maryland 1-4 2-6 Duke 1-3 3-5

Clemson and Wake Forest are the only two teams with a legitimate shot in the
Atlantic Division. Florida State is only a game behind Clemson in the loss
column, but the Noles have lost head-to-head matchups to both Clemson and Wake.

In the Coastal Division, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and UVA still have a
chance. UVA holds the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Yellow Jackets.

As Usual, the Battle of the Techs Likely Will Decide Coastal Division

The ACC began their divisional format at the beginning of the 2005 season.
Ever since, the winner of the Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech game has gone on to
play for the ACC Championship. In the ACC Championship Game, those two teams
have combined for four victories in six games.

Though Georgia Tech has already lost to UVA, the Hoos still must play Florida
State and Virginia Tech, and are likely to suffer at least one more conference
loss. If the Yellow Jackets beat Virginia Tech next Thursday night, then all
they’ll have to do is defeat Duke the following week to win the league, assuming
UVA doesn’t win out.

If Virginia Tech beats Georgia Tech, they will effectively knock the Yellow
Jackets out of the race. At that point all the Hokies will have to do is win one
of their final two games against UNC and UVA, assuming the Hoos don’t run the
table and win the head-to-head matchup with the Hokies.

In other words, it’s a longshot that anyone but Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech
will represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game. Their opponent
will be Clemson, unless the Tigers find a way to completely blow it in games
against Wake Forest and NC State.

Earlier this week, only 700 public tickets remained for the ACC Championship
Game in Charlotte. The game was a big success last year with the Hokies and
Florida State facing off, despite the terrible weather. It would be a smashing
success with a Virginia Tech-Clemson rematch and some decent weather. That game
would get people in the stadium, and it would get TV viewers. It would be good
for ACC branding.

Hokie Offense Setting Record Marks

Virginia Tech has put up over 400 yards of total offense in each of their
last four games, averaging 467.5 yards per game in the process. That marks the
first time since 1999 that Tech has put up 400+ yards per game in four straight
games. The Hokies did it five times in a row with Michael Vick at the helm, from
October 2 against Virginia through November 6 at West Virginia. Finally, Miami
held Tech below 400 yards (399 yards to be exact) on November 13.

400+ Yard Games
 Since 1999


Year

Games
1999 8
2011 7
2000 6
2003 6
2009 6
2010 6
2001 5
2002 5
2005 5
2004 4
2007 4
2006 1
2008 1

Virginia Tech already has seven 400+ yard games this season, out of nine
games total. In 1999, they had eight 400+ yard games during an 11-game regular
season (bowl games didn’t count in statistics back then). If the Hokies can gain
400+ yards in their next two games, then they’ll have nine such games out of 11
total games played. That would surpass the great 1999 offense.

The 2011 offense certainly hasn’t been perfect, but it’s a lot better than
what Tech fans have been used to in recent memory.

Upcoming Games

There is another Thursday night ACC game tonight, with Florida State visiting
Boston College. With Virginia Tech playing the next two Thursdays, that will
give the ACC four consecutive Thursday night games.

Upcoming Games


Game

Time

TV
FSU at BC (Tonight) 8:00 ESPN
UNC at NC State 12:30 ACC Network
Virginia at Maryland 12:30 ACC Network
Duke at Miami 3:00 RSN
Notre Dame at Wake 8:00 ABC

North Carolina will try to beat NC State on Saturday, which is something they
haven’t been able to accomplish for the last four seasons. Virginia and Maryland
is always a good border rivalry game, though the Hoos seem to have the distinct
advantage this season. Notre Dame at Wake Forest is the big matchup for the ACC
this week, but the Fighting Irish hold a significant advantage in that matchup.

Last week I went 4-2 to bring my yearly total to 51-19. Here are this week’s
picks …

FSU over BC
UNC over NC State
Virginia over Maryland
Miami over Duke
Notre Dame over Wake

Though there aren’t many compelling matchups in the ACC this weekend, there
are a number of big games around the country.

Texas Tech at #21 Texas, Noon, FX
#15 Michigan at Iowa, Noon, ESPN
Texas A&M at #6 Oklahoma, 3:30, ABC
#9 South Carolina at #7 Arkansas, 7:15, ESPN
#1 LSU at #2 Alabama, 8:00, CBS
#14 Kansas State at #3 Oklahoma State, 8:00, ABC
#8 Oregon at Washington, 10:30, FSN

Obviously there are huge games in college football on Saturday night, but
there are plenty of big names in the afternoon to keep you occupied until South
Carolina and Arkansas kick off.

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