Penultimate Football Weekend

With two weekends left of ACC football, only one half of the conference championship is set. Georgia Tech wrapped up the Coastal Division last weekend (and yes, I have to look up the names each time. It’s going to take a few years to get used to this divisional thing.), but Wake Forest, Maryland and Boston College all still have a shot at the Atlantic title.
Wake has the most control of their destiny. If they beat Maryland next weekend, they win go on the championship regardless of what they do tomorrow against Virginia Tech.
For Maryland to make it, they need to beat both BC and Wake in the next two weeks. Actually, they could also squeak in with a loss to BC, a win over Wake and a BC loss to Miami.

Boston College has the most distant shot because they are one game behind both the Terps and Deacons and they already lost to Wake. For them to advance, they need to beat both Maryland and Miami and have Wake lose both of their remaining games.
A quick look at the standings:

(As Of November 14)
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Wake Forest 5-1 .833 9-1 .900
Maryland 5-1 .833 8-2 .800
Boston College 4-2 .667 8-2 .800
Clemson 5-3 .625 8-3 .727
Florida State 3-5 .375 5-5 .500
NC State 2-5 .286 3-7 .300
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Georgia Tech 6-1 .857 8-2 .800
Virginia Tech 4-2 .667 8-2 .800
Virginia 3-3 .500 4-6 .400
Miami 2-4 .333 5-5 .500
North Carolina 0-6 .000 1-9 .100
Duke 0-6 .000 0-10 .000

And now a quick preview of the weekend’s games…
NC State @ North Carolina – 12:00 PM – I’ve been telling everyone who would listen for weeks that UNC was going to win this game. My envisioned scenario was that State would continue to play well (remember when that sentence actually made sense?), but would fall again to their rivals. The second part of my prediction was that Carolina would turn around and lose to Duke in the last game of the season. I’m sticking with that even though it’s not quite the bold call it was a few weeks ago. You don’t need to be Nostradamus to foresee an embarrassing loss by either the Wolfpack or Tar Heels.
BTW, remember when this was an interesting, anticipated game? Yeah, me neither, but still the fans get pretty fired up about it, or at least the State fans do. Carolina fans certainly don’t want to lose to their red neighbors, but it means considerably less to them than to the Wolfpackers.
Considering just how these teams have managed to lose in so many different ways, the only good thing to write about this game is that someone has to win. And it’s going to be the lame duck coach.
Maryland @ Boston College – 12:00 PM – Can Maryland keep it going? They are working on one of the best lucky streaks in the nation. It’s not that they haven’t deserved to win their games, they have, but that they just as equally deserved to lose. It’s tough to pull off five games in a row like that. It would probably be best for the conference if the Terps went on to win this one too to run their record to 9-2. Probably not going to happen though. The ACC just seems destined for disappointment this football season.
Miami @ Virginia – 12:00 PM – Earlier this year, this game seemed like an absolute no-brainer. The only question was just how badly the Hurricanes would humiliate the Cavaliers. Now, Virginia has improved quite a bit and I honestly wonder if the Canes even care anymore. I get the feeling – and granted, I’m not close the program at all, so I could be way off base – that the Miami players wouldn’t mind if this season ended today. It’s been a frustrating year for a program that’s not really used to much frustration. Bullies don’t usually take failure well.
Duke @ Georgia Tech – 1:30 PM – The Blue Devils have slowly, almost imperceptibly, improved this year. But not this much. They aren’t winning this. Their big win comes next week.
Western Michigan @ Florida State – 2:00 PM – Not really a great test for the new FSU offense (you don’t really think Jeff is still working do you?), but hey, they have to start somewhere. As much as I don’t like the Seminoles, I beg of them – don’t lose this game. Just don’t.
Virginia Tech @ Wake Forest – 7:00 PM – Yet another nobody-saw-this-coming game-of-the-week involving Wake Forest. The Deacons have been involved in more important ACC football game this year than in the past two decades combined. Like in most of their other recent games, they appear to be the underdog here, but I would never bet against them. I hope they keep this thing rolling. Go Deacs!

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