Back and forth in the ACC: Weeks 12/13

Here we go …

The good: Bowl-eligible teams. Congrats to the ACC for filling its quota and avoiding the embarrassment of not having enough bowl-eligible teams to fulfill the eight agreements with its bowl partners. Clemson, Georgia Tech and Boston College all earned their sixth wins this past weekend and have some breathing room heading into their season finales. That was particularly important for Georgia Tech and Clemson, which close the season with SEC rivals.

The bad: My picks. I know, I know. Crow. Eating. I honestly thought the Blue Devils had a chance at Georgia Tech, and for a half, I felt kinda smart. And then reality set in. And Virginia Tech proved me wrong with its win at Miami. What can I say? It's a good thing my trip to Charlotte doesn't go through Blacksburg?

The ugly: Wake Forest. Oh those Deacs. Just dreadful. Nine straight losses. Just two touchdowns in the past three games, and one was on a trick play. Wake now owns the second-longest active losing streak in the FBS. The Deacs can thank 0-11 Akron for stealing their thunder.

The streak: NC State coach Tom O’Brien has now won four straight against Butch Davis. If NCAA sanctions don’t hurt, that certainly will.

The underappreciated: UNC quarterback T.J. Yates. The guy threw for more than 400 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s had a fantastic season, a record-setter, been one of the best in the ACC. And yet his career is coming to a close with no fanfare.

Top three games of Week 13

NC State at Maryland – This one takes precedence over the ACC-SEC rivalry games because it will determine the Atlantic Division winner. If NC State wins, it will advance to the ACC championship game for the first time in school history. If the Wolfpack loses, Florida State will win the division. It will be a challenge for Maryland to rebound from the home loss to Florida State knowing its championship hopes are now gone, but coach Ralph Friedgen said he is confident his players will bounce back.

Florida at Florida State – The Seminoles have a chance to accomplish their goal of winning the unofficial “state title,” having already defeated Miami. Florida State is the lone team from the state in the BCS standings this week, and if ever there were a time to get the Gators, this would be it. Florida has lost four games this year, but the Gators haven’t lost to Florida State since 2003.

South Carolina at Clemson – This one gets the nod over Georgia Tech-Georgia because unlike the Bulldogs, the Gamecocks are ranked, bowl-eligible, and have won their division. Clemson has won two of the past three and 10 of the past 13, but couldn’t get it done last year when it was favored to. Can the Tigers surprise South Carolina this year when few are expecting them to?