And Then There Were Three: Florida State, Clemson, and Miami are 5-0
The ACC came into Saturday with four undefeated teams. With two of them (Florida State and Maryland) playing, they were certain to have no more than three. But with Miami and Clemson living up to their rankings, the ACC will finish Saturday, October 5, 2013, with the maximum number of 5-0 teams possible–three.
The big matchup of the day was, on paper, Florida State-Maryland. Maryland was 4-0, having beaten West Virginia 37-0. And then West Virginia went out last week and beat a very good Oklahoma State team (after playing pretty well against a good Oklahoma team too). So, logically, Maryland was a legitimate 4-0 team. Well, either Maryland is not legit… or Florida State is really really good. Because the Seminoles destroyed Maryland, 63-0. The Confidential is of the opinion that Maryland may be one of the best 5 or 6 teams in the ACC… it’s just that Florida State is that good. 614 yards of offense for the Seminoles, 234 for Maryland. To be sure, Maryland lost CJ Brown during the game. But the writing was on the wall long before that. Jameis Winston is a beast and Florida State is a top 10 team. Florida State moves to 5-0.
Miami’s 4-0 record was given legitimacy with their win over Florida. But that game was one with few style points, as Miami did not exactly move the ball at will against Florida. It was a defensive battle won by the team making the least mistakes. Today’s test was a Georgia Tech team hungry to right the wrongs of its last game against Virginia Tech. And the Yellow Jackets did what they normally do, rushing for 300+ yards and scoring 30 points. But Miami’s passing attack came up big, with Stephen Morris passing for 324 yards. Duke Johnson gave the Hurricanes balance by rushing for nearly 200. With all that offense, Miami put up 45 points and got the win, 45-30. Miami moves to 5-0.
The best team in the ACC so far has been Clemson. They have the best win–the opener against a very good Georgia team. You know Clemson–they have Heisman candidate Tajh Boyd and speedster Sammy Watkins. But it was the secondary receivers that did the early damage for Clemson at Syracuse (playing its first ACC game), with Adam Humphries, Stanton Steckinger, and Martavis Bryant getting three of the first four touchdowns, as Clemson rolled to a 35-7 lead at the half. Boyd and Watkins connected for a 91-yard touchdown in the second half that stifled a Syracuse comeback and made the score 42-14. Boyd ended up with a career high 455 yards and 5 touchdowns, as Clemson went on to win 49-14. Clemson moves to 5-0.
So, as the calendar approaches mid-October, the ACC still has three unbeatens… Florida State, Miami, and Clemson. Want to know the last time all three were 5-0 to start the season? Never in a year where all three were in the ACC. Never in a year going back as far as 1981 (stopped researching). This is what the ACC has wanted and expected for many years. Jim Swofford and all ACC fans should be happy. The best football teams in the ACC need to play like the best teams in the country. It is good for the league as a whole.