Here is what we know about North Carolina: They can’t stop anybody. The fewest points they have allowed this season is 27, to a SDSU team that’s ranked 98th in the country in scoring. Notre Dame just hung 50 on them to run their PPG allowed to 43.3, which, I’m pretty sure, is more than Tulane has scored all year. They may have finally figured out that going with just one quarterback is a good idea, but it’s too late for this season. They’ll have to win 4 out of 6 to be bowl-eligible, and I don’t see them knocking off Duke, Virginia or Miami. Only Pitt and a suddenly vulnerable NC State, both at home, look like solid possibilities, and that’s for a team that started the year ranked.
Here is what we know about Miami: Not much. Ohio State mugged Cincinnati, took their wallet and car keys, gave them a swirlie and then left a flaming bag of poo on their doorstep three weeks ago, and they haven’t recovered yet. As such, Miami and Cincinnati had what really looked more like a glorified speed drill – the score of the 4th quarter alone was 21-14 – than a game.
Here is what we know about NC State: they fired every bullet in their gun against Florida State and there’s no telling when they’ll be able to reload. I mean, speaking as a BC alum, they’ve certainly surpassed expectations this year, but they should not have handled NCSU that easily. Before the season, all the local buzz was how NCSU’s schedule was constructed from marzipan and Fluffernutters; the three game slide once they got done with the Presbyterians of the world would seem to bear that out.
Here’s what we know about Duke: Their defense has no business being as good as it is, but as long as it holds up, they’re sticking around. Wisdom going into the season was that the Duke D, ruptured by injuries and hit hard by graduation, was simply going to get ground down. Georgia Tech and its triple option where precisely the sort of team that could run a thin Duke D into the dirt. Instead, the Blue Devils held off a last-minute rally and knocked Tech from the ranks of the unbeaten. It was an impressive rebound from what was a frankly awful performance against Miami.
Here’s what we know about Georgia Tech: They’re not designed to play from behind.
Here’s what we know about Florida State: They’re not number 1 any more, largely because they’ve been playing bored. Letting Syracuse actually score 20 points, even if most of them were in garbage time, is all the excuse voters need to kick you out of the aerie; more Jameis Winston nonsense doesn’t hurt with the coup, either. That being said, they’re the same team they were all year and pretty much the same team they were last year. Unless a miracle happens and the NCAA finds a way to make a charge against Winston stick, FSU will be hanging around waiting for the Mississippi footbal-ness of the flavors of the week to reassert itself.
Here is what we know about Clemson: They’re still Clemson, which is to say they play much better when the bright lights are off.