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Is the ACC Race Already Over?

Matt Hinton thinks so:

Unlike virtually every other team in this conference, the Hokies don’t just lose at random: since they came into the ACC in 2004, four of their five regular season conference losses have come against teams with future top five draft picks on offense (Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan – twice – and Calvin Johnson). Other than Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey, I'm not sure any of the last six teams on Virginia Tech’s schedule have a future draft pick on offense, period. Not that the Hokies have much firepower, either, but until Tyrod Taylor implodes into an incurable turnover machine – he has two interceptions in five starts, both in the win over UNC -- nobody knows how to choke the life out of a conference race like Frank Beamer. They can’t protect the quarterback, the leading receiver has eight catches at midseason, they’re uncharacteristically middle of the pack on defense and aren’t even playing special teams all that well – but the only way the Hokies miss another ACC Championship game, realistically, is to lose to Virginia and/or Duke. You might as well call this one now for the tortoises.

The "Hokies don't lose at random" point is one I haven't heard before. Of the five in-conference losses for Virginia Tech, three opponents were ranked (both at the time and at the end of the season), but the Hokies were the favorite in all but one of them. All those teams also had multiple conference losses, so either Virginia Tech is unique in that an individual offensive threat can kill, or they do lose to lesser opponents. 

So I'm going out on a limb here - Virginia Tech will lose two games in conference. They may still advance to Tampa, since I can't guarantee UNC or Georgia Tech will finish out the season without a loss, but between BC, Miami, and Duke (all three improving), a reasonably strong FSU and bafflingly erratic Maryland and Virginia, there are two losses there. Tech isn't winning strong and they're not playing dominant teams. They'll drop a couple of games before the season's out.