The Confidential’s ACC Standings Poll: Week 14
It is now the end of November. The regular season is down to its final week. The Conference Championship Game is set–all that is left is for some rivalry games. Here is how the correspondents view the top 10 in the ACC:
10.North Carolina State (6-5), 6 points. At 6-5, Dave Doeren’s squad will be going bowling. First things first, they play a rivalry game against the suddenly-surging Tar Heels. This is not a must win, but it is a rivalry game all the same. Next up: @ North Carolina.
9. Miami (6-5), 11 points. Miami just cannot get any traction. All of the season results to date were justifiable… losses @ Louisville, Nebraska and Georgia Tech are defensible. The home loss to Florida State is understandable. Losing to Virginia–a desperate, but flawed Virginia team–is a step in the wrong direction. Al Golden has to win these games to take the next step. And keep his job long term. Next up: Pitt.
8. Boston College (6-5), 17 points. The Eagles did what everyone who knows them expected–the hung with Florida State right to the end. You know the talent does not match up, so it must be coaching. This week is a breather, as an injured but seemingly-disinterested Syracuse team will come to town with nothing to play for. It could get ugly. Next up: Syracuse.
6. Notre Dame (7-4) and North Carolina (6-5), tied with 21 points. These two teams played very close in Notre Dame’s last win. That game turned into a springboard for UNC to win 4 of their next five, while Notre Dame has lost 4 of its next five. This week, the Tar Heels get a rivalry game against North Carolina State, while Notre Dame travels to Southern California to play a similarly-fading Trojan team.
5. Duke (8-3), 27 points. Duke’s special season has gone off-the-rails, as a loss to rival North Carolina on Thursday launched Georgia Tech into the Coastal title and a spot in the ACC Championship game. Duke has a good chance for a 9th win against Wake Forest–even though the Demon Deacons did to Virginia Tech (win) what Duke could not do the week before. Next up: Wake Forest.
4. Clemson (8-3), 36 points. At 8-3, Clemson has had a decent season. After last year, it is a disappointment. But that disappointment would melt considerably if Dabo and company can beat South Carolina. The Gamecocks are 6-5 and vulnerable. The game is at Clemson. If not this year, when? Next up: South Carolina.
3. Louisville (8-3), 40 points. The Cardinals probably should be behind Clemson, given the head-to-head results. But Louisville gets the edge as the win over even a struggling Notre Dame team is more impressive than beating Georgia State. And folks still have doubts about Clemson’s offense. Louisville gets to play its first rivalry game against Kentucky as an ACC/SEC tilt this year. Kentucky needs a win for bowl eligibility. The Cards would like to deprive them of that. Next up: Kentucky.
2. Georgia Tech (9-2), 43 points. The Yellow Jackets did not play a tough schedule early on. Most recently, they beat #19 Clemson. Next up is a trip to Georgia to face the #10 Bulldogs. After that, it is Florida State (win or lose). The ACC would love to see Georgia Tech win this game and set up Florida STate with one more chance to impress the committee. Next up: @ Georgia.
1. Florida State (11-0), 50 points, 5 first place votes. Just stop. The score matters, but it really does not. As the last undefeated team in a P5 conference, the Seminoles should be #1. Winning is the goal. The goal has been met all eleven times this year. The schedule gets tougher, as Florida will want to send Will Muschamp off on a high note. Next up: Florida.
Others receiving votes: Virginia 3. Pitt, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, and Wake Forest were shutout.
What do you think? Did we hit/miss?