Around the ACC: November 18, 2011

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Virginia Tech’s big Thursday night win over North Carolina has put the Hokies
one game away from the ACC Championship Game. If Florida State beats Virginia on
Saturday, then Tech will clinch the Coastal Division. If not, then the Hokies
will have to beat their in-state rivals head to head.

Here’s a look at the results from around the ACC since last week’s update.

Clemson 31, Wake Forest 28
BC 14, NC State 10
Virginia 31, Duke 21
Florida State 23, Miami 19
Notre Dame 45, Maryland 21
Virginia Tech 24, UNC 21

BC beating NC State was an upset, and now the Wolfpack will have to win their
last two games of the season to qualify for a bowl.

The ACC standings look like this …

Atlantic Coastal
Team Conf. Overall Team Conf. Overall
Clemson 6-1 9-1 Virginia Tech 6-1 10-1
Florida State 5-2 7-3 Virginia 4-2 7-3
Wake Forest 4-3 5-5 Georgia Tech 4-3 7-3
NC State 2-4 5-5 Miami 3-4 5-5
Boston College 2-5 3-7 UNC 2-5 6-5
Maryland 1-5 2-8 Duke 1-5 3-7

It would be terrific for the ACC if Virginia Tech and Clemson meet in Charlotte
for the league championship as two 11-1 football teams ranked firmly in the top
10. That would be a big game, it would be a sellout, and it would draw an
excellent TV audience.

Going Bowling

The ACC has six bowl eligible teams thus far, with three of them still in
contention for the ACC Championship and a trip to the Orange Bowl.

Clemson: The Tigers are 9-1, and they’ve clinched the Atlantic Division
thanks to their close victory over Wake Forest this past weekend. Their
remaining games are against NC State and in-state rival South Carolina.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies have now won 10 games for the eighth consecutive
season. They are in contention for the Orange Bowl or the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and
there is also an outside chance that the loser of the ACC Championship Game
could receive an at-large berth to the BCS.

Florida State: Things still seem to be trending towards Florida State meeting
Notre Dame in Orlando for the Champs Sports Bowl. That would be a big game for
the ACC, and it would be one of the highest rated bowl games from a television

Virginia: The Hoos can win the Coastal Division by closing with wins over
Florida State and Virginia Tech. If they don’t win the Coastal, the Sun Bowl is
a possible destination.

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets are 7-3 on the season, with games against
Duke and Georgia remaining on the schedule. We could see Georgia Tech in the
Music City Bowl or the Belk Bowl.

UNC: The Tar Heels are 6-5, and likely will finish 7-5 by beating Duke this
weekend. They will head to one of the ACC’s lesser bowls.

Still in the Hunt

Three ACC programs are still trying to win enough football games to get
eligible for a bowl game.

Miami: The Hurricanes are a disappointing 5-5 on the season after their most
recent setback against Florida State. The "U" plays South Florida this
weekend, and then closes their season with Boston College.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons have lost three games in a row, but they’ll be
eligible for a bowl game if they beat the ACC’s worst team, Maryland, this
weekend. They will close the season with Vanderbilt.

NC State: Tom O’Brien’s team has five wins on the year, but two of them were
against 1-AA opponents. Only one of those wins counts towards bowl eligibility,
so the Wolfpack will have to beat both Clemson and Maryland to qualify for
postseason play.

Right now, the best guess is that the ACC will finish the season with eight
bowl eligible teams, while Maryland, Duke, Boston College and NC State will be
sitting at home for the Holidays.

Upcoming Games

A big conference clash between Virginia and Florida State highlights the
weekend in ACC football. That game will be seen in primetime on national TV.

Weekend Games



Georgia Tech at Duke 12:30 The ACC Network
Maryland at Wake 3:00 RSN
Clemson at NC State 3:30 ABC/ESPN
Miami at USF 3:30 ESPNU
BC at Notre Dame 4:00 NBC
Virginia at Florida State 7:30 ESPN2

The Clemson-NC State game is big as well. The Tigers want to get back to
playing good football, and they want to be 11-1 when they get to Charlotte. If
NC State doesn’t win on Saturday, their chances of going to a bowl game are

Last week I went 5-1, missing on Boston College’s upset of NC State. That
gives me a record of 60-22 on the season. Here’s how I expect this week’s action
to go.

GT over Duke
Wake over Maryland
Clemson over NC State
Miami over USF
Notre Dame over BC
Florida State over Virginia

I’m not calling any upsets this week, though there usually is at least one. I
believe that by around 11pm on Saturday night, Virginia Tech will be Coastal
Division Champions.

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