Around the ACC
Coastal Division Contenders: We already know what Virginia Tech did, but what about the rest of the division?
The Pittsburgh Panthers looked very solid in their road win at Boston College. Coach Paul Chryst is slowly but surely transforming that team into the ACC version of the Wisconsin Badgers. I don't think I'm going out on a very long limb when I say that the Panthers will grow into a big rival for the Hokies. In fact, this year the game at Heinz Field could be for the division crown.
The Miami Hurricanes won their game versus an over-matched Florida A&M team. Not much to see here. We won't know if the 'Canes are any good or not until they play at Nebraska, but at this point I assume that Louisville is very good and Miami has nothing to be ashamed of...
Duke played on the road and came away with a solid win over Troy of the Sun Belt Conference.
Virginia defeated the FCS Richmond Spiders. I'm still not sure what to make of the Wahoos; ask me again after they host Louisville this weekend.
Looking ahead to a possible ACC Championship Game, how did the Atlantic Division front runners look this week?
Florida State is 2-0 after taking down The Citadel from the FCS. However, the Seminoles have yet to really look like defending national champs. I would have expected a much bigger score from their offense against an FCS opponent, but so far the 'Noles haven't cracked 40, much less the 50+ they averaged last year. Add to that the fact that FSU appears to miss former DC Jeremy Pruitt and it's far from certain that Florida State will win the ACC, let alone the national championship.
Clemson, on the other hand, put up the kind of score you would expect from a potent offense facing an FCS defense. However, the Tigers have their weakness as well. Clemson only racked up 268 yards rushing (5.3 yards/carry average).
Louisville also put up some ridiculous numbers on offense this weekend, gaining 603 yards and scoring 66 points against FCS Murray State.
NC State, Wake Forest, Syracuse and Boston College do not appear to be a threat to win the Atlantic Division (or, in the case of Wake Forest and Boston College, to beat Virginia Tech).
The bottom line is this: the ACC was 11-0 this week and now boasts wins over the Big Ten and Big XII OSUs (too bad no one scheduled Oregon State!). There are four ACC teams in the AP Top 25, with three more lurking around waiting for an opening. The Hokies are in a good place to possibly win the conference and/or earn a college football playoff or at-large bowl bid. Things are looking up for Virginia Tech...