As we head into Week 13, the ACC seems like the most unstable place to be for a Division I college team. Maryland has decided to bounce into the Big 10, ready to never again have a winning football season, Miami has pulled from the post-season, Carolina has no post-season, and Georgia Tech is going to the ACC Championship Game. What in the world?
Let’s start with the big dogs of the conference: the Florida State Seminoles and the Clemson Tigers. The No. 10 Seminoles have their place in the ACC Championship secured. One would almost like to say FSU has the conference championship secured; however, they have a much closer to challenge to home left in the season: The Gators. FSU and Florida match-up for the “state” championship on Saturday. Florida State heads into Saturday as the favorite with a 7.0 point spread. The Orange Bowl is almost a certainty for the Seminoles.
The Clemson Tigers have proven to be a much better team than last season when they lost 4 of their last 6 games. Clemson has proven to be an offense to be counted on that will be the Gamecocks undoing on Saturday night. The Clemson Tigers will go to the Fiesta Bowl as the at-large opponent to the Kansas State Wildcats.
Here is where the ACC Bowl dilemma goes haywire. Originally, Miami was the team to take the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against the SEC’s number two (three) team. However, Miami has self-imposed a post-season ban on themselves, and Georgia Tech is very lightly to get a smackdown in their “state” championship by the Georgia Bulldogs. So where does that leave the ACC’s third ranking bowl game?
With a win on Saturday over Boston College, the North Carolina State Wolfpack could secure the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Ga., on December 1st. This is quite the outcome to a very disappointing Pack season which is likely to end with a 7-5 (4-4) season record. A week ago, the Wolfpack were headed most likely to the Music City Bowl game in Nashville. Now, they are headed to Atlanta for a New Year’s head-to-head against the South Carolina Gamecocks, the Georgia Bulldogs, or the Florida Gators. Wow.
Where does this leave the rest of the ACC bowl competition? It’s pretty impossible to tell; however, this weekend should clear up a lot of the clutter around the BCS Bowls and the rest of the bowls. One thing should be in our prayers, though: God bless the ACC.