Around the ACC: November 11, 2011

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Thursday night’s huge battle in Atlanta propelled Virginia Tech one step
closer to the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. Georgia Tech has been
eliminated from the Coastal Division race, and it will be either the Hokies or
the Virginia Cavaliers who will take on an Atlantic Division team for the ACC
crown. If Clemson beats Wake Forest this weekend, the Atlantic team will be set.

Here’s a look at last week’s ACC results, and we’ll also throw in last
night’s big win by the Hokies.

Florida State 38, BC 7
NC State 13, UNC 0
Virginia 31, Maryland 13
Miami 49, Duke 14
Notre Dame 24, Wake Forest 17
Virginia Tech 37, Georgia Tech 26

The Hokies and Tigers have things under control in their respective
divisions. If Clemson beats Wake Forest on Saturday, they will lock up the
Atlantic Division. The Hokies still have a threat from UVA, but if the Hoos lose
to Duke (unlikely) or FSU (likely), then VT will only have to win one of their
final two games to head to Charlotte.

ACC
Standings
Atlantic Coastal
Team Conf. Overall Team Conf. Overall
Clemson 5-1 8-1 Virginia Tech 5-1 9-1
FSU 4-2 6-3 Virginia 3-2 6-3
Wake Forest 4-2 5-4 Georgia Tech 4-3 7-3
NC State 2-3 5-4 Miami 3-3 5-4
BC 1-5 2-7 UNC 2-4 6-4
Maryland 1-5 2-7 Duke 1-4 3-6

Six ACC teams are already bowl eligible. Three other schools are right on the
cusp. The ACC is hoping to send nine of their 12 teams to bowl games this
winter.

Bowl Focus

Let’s take a closer look at the ACC teams who have already qualified for
bowls, or who are close to doing so.

Clemson: The Tigers are likely headed to the ACC Championship Game. If they
win, they’ll get the Orange Bowl. If they lose, they’ll have a nice consolation
prize in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies are going bowling, as usual. It will likely be
either the Orange Bowl or the Chick-fil-A Bowl, as usual.

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets will have a chance to make the Chick-fil-A
Bowl if they win their final two games, but their likely destination is either
the Champs Sports Bowl or the Sun Bowl.

Florida State: The Noles have played good football recently, but they dug
themselves into a hole early in the season. If they finish the season strong,
they could end up with a great matchup in the Champs Sports Bowl against Notre
Dame.

Virginia: The Hoos are bowl eligible, but still looking to compete for the
ACC Championship. A Music City Bowl berth could be in their future, or perhaps
the Independence Bowl as well.

UNC: The Tar Heels haven’t played well recently, but they will be going
bowling. They would be a popular choice for the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, or they
could also end up in the Military Bowl in DC.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons need one more win to become bowl eligible.
They probably won’t get it this weekend against Clemson, but they still have
home games remaining against Maryland and Vanderbilt.

NC State: The Wolfpack have beaten two 1-AA teams, and only one of those
victories will count towards bowl eligibility. Therefore, they have to win two
of their last three games to go bowling. Fortunately they have Boston College
and Maryland still on the schedule.

Miami: It’s November, and "The U" still hasn’t qualified for a bowl
game. They have three remaining games against Florida State, South Florida and
Boston College, so they should be playing in the postseason.

Charlotte Awaits Big Time Matchup

173 miles separate Blacksburg from Charlotte. Its 132 miles from Clemson to
Charlotte. We’ve got the two best teams in the ACC and two of the top three fan
bases of the ACC bracing for a collision in the Queen City. Last year’s matchup
between Florida State and Virginia Tech was great, but a possible VT-Clemson
game is exactly what the league has been waiting for.

Not only is it a matchup of two schools with big fan bases, but it has the
potential to be a top 10 matchup as well. The current rankings have Clemson #9
in the BCS and the Hokies #10. If both teams manage to win out and finish in the
top 10 (or possibly top 5), then the game will generate a lot of interest on the
national level. There would even be an outside shot of the ACC getting a second
team selected by the BCS, depending on what happens to other teams around the
country.

Upcoming Games

The ACC has five games on tap for this weekend, including one that could
decide the champion of the Atlantic Division.


Weekend Games

Game

Time

TV
Wake at Clemson Noon ESPNU
NC State at BC 12:30 ACC Network
p>Duke at UVA 3:00 RSN
Miami at FSU 3:30 ABC/ESPN
Maryland vs. Notre Dame 7:30 NBC

Wake at Clemson is the biggest game, as far as the ACC standings go. However,
Miami and Florida State should be the most entertaining matchup of the day. If
you want to watch the worst team in the league, tune in to NBC on Saturday night
and watch the Irish take Maryland to the woodshed. Could this be a preview of a
future conference game?

I went 4-2 since last week’s article, missing on the UNC/NC State and VT/GT
games. That puts me at 55-21 on the season. Here are the predictions for this
week’s action.

Clemson over Wake Forest
NC State over BC
UVA over Duke
FSU over Miami
Notre Dame over Maryland

Assuming UVA beats Duke this weekend, that will set up a matchup between the
Hoos and Florida State the following weekend. If UVA manages to knock off the
Noles, then this year’s Virginia Tech-Virginia game will be for the Coastal
Division, just like the 2007 matchup.

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