There is Florida State, and there is everybody else. Who the everybody else is doesn't seem to matter much from week to week; right now the biggest drama in the conference is whether all the third-tier teams are going to beat each other up enough to knock a few out of bowl contention. As for FSU, they're clearly the class of the league, but with the rest of the ACC gone all squishy, they're BCS goners unless either Alabama or Oregon loses. In a year when pundits bragged the ACC was as strong as it's ever been, football-wise, the weakness of Florida State's schedule is what's going to let Oregon potentially leapfrog them into the championship game.
BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE
At this point in the season, Al Golden is probably the conference coach of the year. He took a team with an NCAA investigation hanging over its head and somehow dragged it this far into the season unbeaten and in the top 10. That being said, Miami was a Penelope Pitstop of a team, and sooner or later they were going to run into the football equivalent of Rufus Ruffcut's sawblade on wheels.
The reckoning came Saturday, 41-14. Miami kept it close until halftime, but when you're ultimately out-gained by nearly 2-1, there's not a lot you can do. So kudos to the 'Canes for a noble effort, and the Coastal Division title will make a nice consolation prize in a year that's gone better than anyone could have expected.
As for Florida State, they've got Wake, the 'Cuse, Idaho in a payout game, and an eerily Zook-like Florida team, then the conference championship game where they'll most likely clobber Miami again. There are no resume builders left. Without help, this is as good as it gets for them.
BUSINESS AS USUAL
Clemson 59, Virginia 10 - You knew Clemson was going to take it out on somebody, right? Virginia had one bullet this year and they fired it opening week. How embarrassed are the folks at BYU right now?
Syracuse 13, Wake Forest 0 - Wake had less than 200 yards of total offense. They get Florida State next week. I'll just leave that right there where I found it.
Georgia Tech 21, Pittsburgh 10 - Georgia Tech is now bowl eligible. Pittsburgh, if it splits its last two games, will be as well. They are currently 67th in Points Allowed, 70th in Passing Yards, 81st in Points Scored, and 104th in Rushing Yards. Good thing they were able to hang 58 on Duke, isn't it.
Boston College 34, Virginia Tech 27 - Remember when everyone was talking about the Hokies as a stealth BCS candidate? Remember when BC was getting clubbed like a hanging Michael Wacha curveball by UNC? Seems like so long ago, doesn't it?
UNC 27, NC State 19 - The most exciting thing in this snoozefest was UNC co-opting NC State's over-optimistic "This is OUR State" slogan. At this point, guys, it's either Duke's state or East Carolina's, and Appalachian might give both of you trouble. UNC QB Bryn Renner is out the rest of the year with a busted shoulder, which means their odds of picking up 3/4 from UVa, Duke, Old Dominion and Pitt just got a little longer. Not impossible - of those four, only Duke is playing well - but don't be surprised if ODU, whose offense looks a lot like ECU's, pulls the upset. As for State, well, first years under new coaches are always tricky. But they're on a 4 game losing streak and the worst team they're facing the rest of the way is Boston College. Wait til next year, fellas. Wait til next year.