So we have about four games left and this is how the road to Jacksonville looks.
1. Boston College, 7-1 overall, 3-1 in the ACC
This past week BC stepped out of the conference and might as well have played a high school team in MA considering the way they trounced Buffalo, 41-0. The best part of BC's weekend came before it even started when Clemson lost in Blacksburg and handed the Eagles a one game lead in the loss column over Clemson over whom they also hold the tiebreaker. So at this point BC has a two fold task. The first is to finish the season with a 3-1 record to get to 6-2. The second part is to make sure that one loss is not Wake Forest next week since the Deacons are also in the Atlantic division and only have one loss. If Wake wins they would hold the tie breaker on BC but not on Clemson creating the potential for a three way tie which could be get very dicey. BC has Duke and Maryland at home before going to Miami. I think a win in Winston-Salem seals the deal as much as it can be sealed with game still left on the schedule.
Wake Forest, 7-1 overall, 3-1 in the ACC
Wake got past a trap game in Chapel Hill and now host BC for the Atlantic division lead or a share of it if Maryland wins at Clemson which is not likely. If Wake wins they will be 4-1 and hold the tiebreaker over BC but not Clemson. The Demon Deacs would then need run the table which includes winning at FSU, beating Va Tech at home, and then at the aforementioned Terps, who appear to be vastly improved. Call me skeptical but I see more of chance that Wake will slip up more so than Boston College.
Maryland, 6-2 overall, 3-1 in the ACC
The Terps put in a gutsy performance against FSU and are now the surprise team in the Atlantic division at 3-1. The game at Clemson, especially with the way the Tigers lost last week, is not going to end well for Maryland. They also must play Miami, at BC, and then Wake Forest. It is possible they could lose every game they have left to end up 6-6 and 3-5 in the ACC. I think they will pull one of those out however the dream of an ACC title game is looking bleak if the upcoming games break they way most people think they will.
Georgia Tech, 6-2 overall, 4-1 in the ACC
The win over Miami this weekend ensured GT two things. A one game lead in the lost column over Miami and Virginia Tech. They also own the tiebreaker over both teams. This means GT would have to lose twice with both Miami and VT winning out for them not to win the Coastal division. And since Miami and VT have to play each other, the Yellow Jackets only need to concern themselves with one of those teams. GT's schedule is favorable: at NC State, at UNC, home to Duke. They should be 9-2 heading into the game with Georgia prior to their date in Jacksonville.
Teams Needing Help
Clemson, 7-2 overall, 4-2 in the ACC
The Virginia Tech loss was shocking on a variety of levels. Not only did they put themselves out of control of their own destiny but it squashed the idea that Clemson had arrived as a top 10 team. Now Clemson needs BC to lose twice(Wake and Miami?) and then for Wake to lose at least once in order to get to Jacksonville. All of this is possible, though I honest believe BC at least wins three of their last four sending Clemson on to the bowl season.
Virginia Tech, 6-2 overall, 3-2 in the ACC
VT did themselves a huge favor by beating Clemson and now look forward to next week's showdown at Miami in a Coastal division elimination game. The loser of that game will have three losses and be on the wrong side of the tiebreaker with the two teams above them. Long odds to be sure as though the odds of overcoming GT with the Jackets' schedule was not bad enough.
Miami, 5-3 overall, 2-2 in the ACC
Miami missed their chance to get control of the Coastal and now face do or die at home with VT. Even after that the Canes still face a tough road going to Maryland and a better-each-week Virginia. They conclude the season by hosting BC. Miami's play this season offers little evidence that they will be able to run the table and even if they did, GT has to lose twice which is not going to happen.
Teams Needing A Lot of Help Just to Get to a Bowl
Virginia, 4-5 overall, 3-2 in the ACC
Two weeks ago Virginia had a nice fork sticking out of them now after beating the UNC and NC State in consecutive weeks the Cavs are two wins short of bowl eligibility. UVa's only problem is their schedule looks like this: at FSU, Miami, at Virginia Tech. It is possible they could win two of those three. FSU is looking pretty pale right now, Miami is inconsistent, and VT is a rivalry game. However, I would not place one red cent on a 2-1 mark to finish the season. It looks like UVa will come up short.
NC State, 3-5 overall, 2-3 in the ACC
You remember when NC State beat BC and FSU on national television bringing forth the idea that by this point the Pack could be 5-0 in the ACC barreling towards a showdown with Clemson? No, that must have been a mistake because the wheels have officially come off in Raleigh. In fact, as far as the offense goes, they may have never been on. The offensive line is suspect, the play calling is suspect, the QB is smart and will continue to gain experience while the two talented running backs cannot get going because of the aforementioned O line. State needs to go 3-1 to get to a bowl. Clemson and GT are on the schedule, UNC is playing for fun and will be dangerous despite the Pack's offensive woes and ECU is on the rise. No, Amato will not be on the hot seat, but at the same time Wolfpack nation will not be happy, especially if they do not beat UNC.
Florida State, 4-4 overall, 2-4 in the ACC
The fact that FSU has four ACC losses makes me think I have wandered into some Bizzaro ACC. Of course a Bizzaro ACC would probably have UNC at 8-0 so I guess that is not the case. FSU should beat Virginia and Western Michigan to get bowl eligible. They have WF at home, but could easily lose that one. And Florida? The Gators will probably smack them around though rivalry games are nothing to be trifled with to say the least.
Teams That Need Serious Professional Help
North Carolina, 1-7 overall, 0-5 in the ACC
I have been through this more times than I can count. Just read the blog, I am not going over it again.
Duke, 0-8 overall, 0-5 in the ACC
Before this week's game there was a lot of thought that Duke might get the best of Vanderbilt. Then the Commodores came in and won 45-28, so much for that thought. Of course just when it seems like Duke might find a way to win or be at place where they can win the next game they end up laying an egg. So you can expect an 0-11 Duke versus 1-10 UNC on November 25th. Loser finishes last in the Coastal division.
Last Week: 5-2
This Season: 51-17