The Confidential’s ACC Standings Poll: Week 11
It is now November. The season is down to its final month of regular season games. The ACC has identified a few teams that are weak (Wake Forest and Syracuse), and several that are mediocre (Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pitt, North Carolina, and perhaps North Carolina State). Still, that leaves eight teams that are something more than mediocre and let’s see how they stand in the correspondents poll.
10.Pittsburgh (4-5), 5 points. Apparently, beating Duke counts for something in the Coastal. This one perplexes me, as Pitt has lost to Akron and four other teams. North Carolina State’s 5-4 is more impressive. But, alas, someone has to be #10 and it is the Panthers. Next up: @ North Carolina.
9. UNC (4-5), 7 points. See above. Again, someone has to be in these #9 and #10 spots. The Tar Heels have Pitt, Duke, and NC State remaining, with only Duke being an away game. Two more wins is possible, certainly. But two losses is also quite possible. Stay tuned. Next up: Pitt.
8. Boston College (6-3), 13 points. That loss to Colorado State is looking less unreasonable, while Boston College just keeps on winning anyway. Despite losing a lot of talent, the Eagles are going bowling this year. You saw the coaching acumen when BC played FSU and Clemson tough last year. This year, the Eagles are building on that. This WEEK, however, is a battle royale between the 6-3 Eagles and the Louisville Cardinals with the same record. Next up: Louisville.
7. Georgia Tech (7-2), 21 points. The Yellow Jackets are 7-2, but folks just aren’t sold yet. Well, the rest of the season will prove it. With games against 5-4 NC State, Clemson, and a now-reeling Georgia, a 10-2 record would quiet some folks down. Even winning 2 of those games would go a long way towards showing that the Paul Johnson system works in the ACC. Next up: @ NC State.
6. Miami (6-3), 25 points. At 6-3, Miami is going bowling. At 6-3, Hurricanes fans are eager for this team to turn the corner and get to 8 or 9 wins. They get two weeks off to prepare for Florida State, and then it is Pitt and Virginia. The Seminoles will be a tough game, but 8-4 would be progress. Next up: Florida State.
5. Louisville (6-3), 29 points. The Cards played very well against Florida State. A few plays here and there… and, well, you know. This season has not been what Cardinals fans wanted, but in another sense the program is showing that it is going to be a player for a long time. This week is a battle for 3rd place in the Atlantic (behind Clemson and Florida State). Next up: @ Boston College.
4. Clemson (6-2), 36 points. If folks are not sure about Georgia Tech, they are REALLY unsure about Clemson. And part of that is the QB play. The Tigers were a different team with Watson than with Stoudt. This week is Wake Forest, who could not do anything against Syracuse (who hasn’t done anything all season). Clemson may make this one very ugly. With 10-2 a possibility, the Tigers need to take care of business in a Thursday game. Next up: @ Wake Forest.
3. Duke (7-1), 40 points. Duke is starting to make some serious noise about going 11-1. But they do have 4 conference games left. This week is a trip to Syracuse, where the Orange must win to have any chance of bowl eligibility. The Blue Devils have been playing with fire, but Syracuse’s injuries make it unlikely that they will supply the spark. Duke is the middle of a stretch where it is playing teams with current records of 4-5, 4-5, 3-6, 4-5, 4-5, 2-6. And with Kansas and Tulane anchoring the OOC schedule, it is easy to question the Blue Devils true worth. Next up: @ Syracuse.
2. Notre Dame (7-1), 43 points. The Fighting Irish beat Navy, but they did not do so with the “style points” necessary to impress the committee. This gets interesting. If Notre Dame finishes 11-1, it may miss the playoffs because of its schedule. With Michigan, Stanford, and USC down, there is not much opportunity to showcase the talent. They may not be “names,” but the remaining games against Arizona, Arizona State, and Louisville will be tough. Next up: @ Arizona State.
1. Florida State (8-0), 50 points, 5 first place votes. The Seminoles were lackluster against Louisville for most of the first half. But credit Jameis Winston for making huge plays, while injured, down the stretch. And the Seminoles defense tightened up considerably too. Florida State continues to play with fire also, but they also continue to survive. Next up: Virginia.
Others receiving votes: NC State 4 and Virginia 2. Va Tech, Syracuse, and Wake Forest were shutout.
What do you think? Did we hit/miss?