The battle to see which teams will meet in Charlotte the first week of December to play for the ACC Championship is underway.
TCI brings back a popular feature to discuss the contenders for the division titles and the pretenders. Lets look at how things stand after the first six weeks of the season.
Going into the season most had the Atlantic being a three team race that included Clemson, Florida State and Boston College. After sixe weeks it appears to be a two team race and one of those teams is a surprise.
The Terps sit at 4-1 on the season and 1-0 in the ACC, but have lost their only game against a quality team. The lone ACC win is over Duke in a game that was very close. The Terps and Tigers will battle Saturday. Until the Terps beat a quality ACC team they will remain a Pretender for the Atlantic Division title.
After starting 2-0 the Deacs has lost four in a row. Wake Forest is already 0-2 in the ACC and a loss this weekend at Virginia Tech will end any hopes of the Deacs reaching Charlotte for the ACC Championship. This is not a good Wake Forest team right now. After six weeks the Deacs are Pretenders for the Atlantic Division title.
Boston College was one of the preseason favorites for the Atlantic by some, but after six weeks they are all but done with any chances to win the division. Sitting at 0-2 in the ACC after being throttled by NC State Saturday the Eagles must beat Florida State Saturday to remain in the race. That won’t happen and the Eagles will be done. After six weeks the Eagles are Pretenders for the Atlantic Division title.
After just two ACC games the Tigers have used both of their mulligans and must run the table in the ACC to have a shot to win the division. The Tigers must start with a win over Maryland Saturday in Death Valley. The Terps have given the Tigers fits lately so the task won’t be easy. Clemson has the talent to run the table, but it is hard to predict that at this point. If the Tigers can win a couple we will move them back to the Contender list but for now they are a Pretender for the Atlantic Division.
The Blue Devils appear to be the worst ACC team after six weeks. Duke stands at 1-4 and 0-2 in the ACC. The Blue Devils played Wake and Maryland close, but lost both games. Duke has no chance in the Coastal Division. Don’t expect that to change as the season progresses.
Virginia sits at 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the ACC after six weeks. The Cavs played well earlier this year when they traveled to LA and battled Southern Cal for four quarters. After losses to Florida State and Georgia Tech the Cavs are back to reality. This team is improved but after six weeks they are clearly a Pretender for the Coastal Division.
The Heels have won three in a row and sit at 3-2 on the year and 1-1 in the ACC. After defeating Clemson Saturday the Heels appear to be on the verge of being a Contender. Monday it was announced that Little, Quinn and Austin are done playing football at UNC. It will be difficult for North Carolina to become a Contender without those three future NFL stars. We will watch the Heels to see if they continue to improve, but for now we will leave them as a Pretender for the Coastal Division.
North Carolina State
The Pack stands at 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the ACC after six weeks. NC State is the surprise team of the ACC so far. The Atlantic Division could be settled on Thursday, October 28 when Florida State travels to Raleigh. Russell Wilson already has 1802 yards and 17 touchdowns this year. Clemson and North Carolina are the only other real tests that remain for the Pack. NC State is clearly a Contender for the Atlantic Division after week four.
The preseason favorite is playing like the favorite after six weeks. After being dominated by the Sooners Florida State has rallied back with four straight wins and sit at 5-1 on the year and 3-0 in the ACC. Last week the Noles went into Miami and dominated the Canes 45-17. The only tough league games remaining are the road trip to NC State and home games against Clemson and North Carolina. The Noles appear to be the team to beat in the Atlantic right now.
The Canes looked dominant at Death Valley beating the Tigers, but are only 3-2 after being whipped by the Noles last week. Miami is 1-1 in the conference and will have their chance to make another statement when they play North Carolina on October 23. The Coastal Division may not be settled until Miami battles Virginia Tech on November 20. After six weeks Miami is clearly a Contender for the Atlantic Division.
After starting 0-2 the Hokies have rallied for four straight wins. Virginia Tech is 2-0 in the ACC after victories over Boston College and NC State. The Hokies are playing better defense and appear ready to make their normal push for the Coastal Division title. The next test for the Hokies comes on Nov. 4 when they battle Georgia Tech. After six weeks the Hokies remain a Contender for the Coastal Division.
Last year’s ACC Champ stands at 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the ACC. The Jackets appear to be improving after victories over Wake Forest and Virginia. The Jackets will need to find a passing game to be a serious Contender. The next test for Georgia Tech will be when they travel to Clemson. After six weeks the Jackets remain a Contender for the Coastal Divsion, but improvement is needed.