Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich
Here are the top five lessons learned from Week 5 in ACC football:
1. Miami is a top-10 team. The Hurricanes have knocked off three ranked opponents in four tries, including the No. 8 team in the nation. Any questions? There shouldn’t be, because a 3-1 start against that gauntlet proves Miami is one of the best teams in the county and in the ACC. Saturday night's win over Oklahoma was monumental for the program and the conference, and it capped off an impressive winning record some thought would leave the Canes 0-4. The key for the Hurricanes now is to stay grounded, humble and consistent, because their toughest competition is behind them.
2. You’re never too old to play quarterback -- as long as you still have eligibility, of course. At 25 years old, Boston College quarterback Dave Shinskie has proven he can be a starter in the ACC after having thrown nothing but a baseball in a game until he arrived in Chestnut Hill. Flawless? No. Better than expected? Definitely. He has enough of a supporting cast in that all he has to do is manage the game without turning it over, and he did that in a key Atlantic Division win over Florida State. The more comfortable Shinskie gets in the offense, the more uncomfortable opposing defenses will become.
3. Virginia and Maryland aren’t done yet. The Terps and Cavaliers rallied this weekend when it mattered most -- against conference opponents. After a bumbling start that included one suspect win over James Madison, Maryland overcame the talent and speed of Clemson in a 24-21 win. Virginia, after a dreadful 0-3 start that had many screaming the annual “Groh must go” chant, beat UNC in its own stadium by stifling the Tar Heels’ already inept offense. Despite their embarrassing starts, neither team can be counted out after early division wins.
4. Anyone can win the Atlantic Division -- if anyone wants to. Any takers? Clemson has a division loss now. So does Wake Forest. And Boston College. And now Florida State. And NC State. Heck, the only team in the division without a loss is Maryland, which wouldn’t have beaten the Tigers had Clemson not missed two field goal attempts. One thing is for sure -- Boston College wanted it more than Florida State did in Chestnut Hill, and the Noles are off to their first ever 0-2 start in the ACC. BC is to be taken seriously now that the Eagles have defeated two division opponents and Clemson somehow collapsed in College Park.
5. It’s a three-way race in the Coastal Division. Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Miami have established themselves as the best teams in the division, though the Hokies and their rival, Virginia, are the only teams yet to lose to a division opponent. Until the Cavaliers play with some consistency, though, doubts remain about Al Groh’s 1-3 squad. Thanks to Miami and Virginia Tech, the ACC has two wins over ranked opponents from the Big 12, and the Yellow Jackets gave the conference a boost with their road win in the SEC. This division is the one carrying the banner for the conference nationally, and could easily end in a three-way tie.