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ACC Football Staff Predictions: Week 12

Time is winding down to claim the crown, and this week likely won’t change much

NCAA Football: Virginia at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve made it, folks. it’s the last week of the College Football Regular Season.

We come into this weekend scratching our heads because we really are in the Upside Down when it comes to the ACC Divisions. The normal Coastal Chaos fizzled out as Pittsburgh grabbed control of the division early and never let go. The Panthers sealed up their spot in Charlotte last weekend with a win over Virginia, and now they get to coast into the weekend against Syracuse with no stress.

In the Atlantic? Chaos reigns.

It turns out that when one school, Clemson, completely dominates a division it masks the fact that everything below them gets wild. It looked like Wake Forest had a date with destiny themselves, but they still had to face the aforementioned Tigers in Clemson...and Clemson finally figured out what they were doing. NC State, meanwhile, realized they had something to play for still and blew the doors off Syracuse. It’s led to a fascinating scenario:

Wake Wins, they take the Atlantic

Wake loses, State Wins, State heads to Charlotte

Wake loses, State loses, Clemson heads to Charlotte.

Clemson is actually done with their ACC slate so Wake has to win in order to go, there’s no scenario that allows them to lose and go. That also means State actually has something to play for besides normal bragging rights on Friday night, so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle it. Either way, by the time Clemson kicks off against South Carolina on Saturday night, they’ll know if they are going to Charlotte or if this is their last game before the bowls. If the ACC can’t keep Clemson from the NY6 this season, then it may never happen.

Speaking of titles, let’s see how the THB staff did last week:

The game that was going to be a big decider for the staff, FSU/BC ended up breaking to our leader, Max, and he used that to go 7-1 last week (ignore the fact I didn’t cross off Joe’s BC pick, when you do the math you’ll see I credited him with a wrong answer). It’s led to some separation from a couple of folks, but Joe also went 7-1 thanks to him believing in Clemson.

Thus, in the week before Championship Sunday the top five look like this:

Max: 66-23

Joe: 65-24

Al: 64-25

Jake: 63-26

Tanya: 62-27

Five people are separated by four games, and we have a full slate of nine games this week thanks to some of the traditional ACC/SEC rivalries. Are we seeing some chances being taken?

Max is stepping out on a bit of a limb by taking State if only because if he’s wrong, he gives the three under him a chance to get closer, but it’s also the safe play in that they are heavily favored. If he’s right he likely seals the crown. Florida/FSU has the biggest disagreement, despite the Gators firing their coach and FSU beating BC last weekend to get one game within bowl eligibility. Jake is stepping out to see VT and Syracuse win despite the crowd going the other way.

It should be interesting to see how it rolls out. In the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving everyone!