The ACC took a week off last Saturday, with two teams stepping down to take on FCS level foes. North Carolina played transitioning FBS member Old Dominion; FSU took on Idaho of all teams. There were still some good nuggets, though, as Duke’s comeback win put them on the verge of the ACC title game. Pitt became bowl eligible with a road win in upstate New York. Lastly, Boston College notched their seventh win, as the nation may have gained a new Heisman leader in Eagle’s running back Andre Johnson, who hit the 2,000-yard mark.
So I don’t have to repeat it for every Coastal team, here are the scenarios for making the ACC title game:
Duke – Win and in
Miami – Win and Duke Loss
Virginia Tech – Win and Duke/Miami lose
Georgia Tech – Duke, Miami and Virginia Tech all lose
Boston College – Sure, Maryland is doing their best impersonation of the horror classic Night of the Living Dead, but a league road win is still a league road win. Boston College can get win number eight at Syracuse this weekend, and cap a fantastic five-game winning streak. What a debut season for Coach Addazio. Week thirteen grade: B
Clemson – The Tigers played and crushed the Citadel. A win against South Carolina all but locks down an at-large BCS bid. Week thirteen grade: A
Duke – Let’s assume the worst and say UNC beats them, and they don’t make the ACC title game. This has still been a brilliant season. Nine wins, a good bowl, a boost in recruiting and a nice young group of players makes this season a possible appetizer to bigger things. If I was a Duke mega-booster, I would rip up the track in Wallace Wade. I’m sorry, but I just can’t think of any bigger sign of “We don’t care about football!” than having a track at your stadium. Week thirteen grade: B
Florida State – Idaho is one of the five worst teams in FCS, so little was learned from the beat-down. The biggest news for FSU regards the investigation into the Jameis Winston allegations. Week thirteen grade: A
Maryland – They actually played BC pretty well, losing on a 52-yard field goal as time expired. The Terps will be bowling and can get win number seven if they take down NC State. Injuries made a potentially good-to-great season appear mediocre to outsiders, but this program was pegged for a dismal finish. Making a bowl isn’t half bad. Week thirteen grade: C
Pittsburgh – The one point win against Syracuse was enough to get the Panthers to six wins. It will be a second consecutive bowl for Paul Chryst’s team. Considering they knocked off Notre Dame, and might upset Miami this week, this team has shown growth during year two of the Chryst regime. Week thirteen grade: C+
Georgia Tech – Their ACC title hopes still have a little life, and now, with the Aaron Murray injury, the odds of an eight-win season look pretty good. Everything is coming up Jackets now. As for last Saturday, they predictably killed Alabama A&M. Week thirteen grade: A
North Carolina – The ODU win gets them to a bowl, and they can spoil Duke’s season. Is the drop from eight wins, down to six or seven in Larry Fedora’s second year, a success? I’m still pretty soured by this team. Week thirteen grade: A
Syracuse – They get one more crack at a bowl against red-hot Boston College this week. Even if they lose, I think 5-7 and still a decent season, considering they lost their quarterback and coach to the NFL. Week thirteen grade: C-
Miami – Everyone beats Virginia. Let’s see if they can continue the improved play at frigid Pittsburgh and possibly make the ACC title game. Week thirteen grade: A
NC State – Their game with Eastern Carolina turned ugly in favor of the C-USA Pirates. Despite the differences in league name and school size, the ECU is a really good team, whereas NC State is a really bad team. Week thirteen grade: D-
Virginia – They stink. Please fire Mike London – or don’t, so I can keep writing about how awful the Cavs are next season. Week thirteen grade: D
Virginia Tech – Idle
Wake Forest – The game against Duke was the last gasp of a talented team fighting a rash of injuries. Like several games this year for the Demon Deacons, it was close, but no cigar. Week thirteen grade: C+
Buy That Kid Dinner (if the NCAA allowed it)
Andre Williams (RB, Boston College) and Anthony Boone (QB, Duke) – Two clutch performances for these kids, as the Williams went for 263 yards on 32 carries for an 8.2 average, two scores and a long of 72. Boone connected on 24 of 29 passes for 256 yards (8.8 avg) and three scores for a 95.6 QBR. Boone also added 57 rushing yards on 7 carries to lead the team.
Aaron Donald (DL, Pitt) – The out of this world talent had a monster game. He racked up 9 tackles (8 solo), 3.5 TFL, 1 block (on a PAT that proved very costly for the Orange), 2 QB hits. Donald wasn’t alone. Ray Vinopal, Jason Hendricks and Anthony Gonzalez also had fantastic games as the Pitt D came up large.
Nate Freese (K/P, Boston College) – 3/3 FG, long of 52 and 2/3 PAT for 11 points – the 52 yarder was the game winner, too. He also had 5 punts for 217 yards, 43.4 avg, 1 TB, 0 in the 20, long of 59
Honorable mention: Pat O’Donnell (P, Miami) – 7 kicks, 344 yards, 49.1 avg, 0 TB, 5 in the 20 and a long of…get this folks…71. Now that is a punt.
Dunce of the Week
Hats of to Florida State for putting themselves in great shape to make the title game, but for all the Ohio State haters who complain about the Big Ten being down, have they looked at FSU’s schedule?
They have non-conference wins over 4-7 Nevada, FCS Bethune-Cookman and 1-10 independent Idaho. In league play, only Clemson remains ranked. A ranked Duke team can make the title game, giving FSU another ranked foe, but this has been a historically weak schedule.
As to the comparison with Ohio State, the Buckeyes have two bowl-bound teams in the non-conference (Buffalo and SDSU) to go along with two dogs. Of their league wins, only Wisconsin remains ranked, but Michigan State will be another ranked foe.