Georgia Tech, FSU watching their own scoreboards this week
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden does not want to know.
His game against rival Florida kicks off in Tallahassee at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. His program's fate in the ACC this season will be determined at the same time in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and there's not a dadgum thing he can do about it now.
The only chance Florida State has of representing the Atlantic Division in the Dec. 6 ACC championship game is if Maryland beats Boston College, and Bowden said he wants zero score updates from that game while he's facing the Gators.
"I really don't want to hear about it," Bowden said emphatically. "I don't want any distractions in this ball game. It's one of those things I can't control. I'd hate to be playing Florida, and be playing a darn good game, and everybody's got their mind in it, and all of a sudden somebody comes and gives me that score and my kids divert their attention."
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson will also be "a little occupied" on Saturday. His game against rival Georgia is at noon in Athens. At the same time, his program's destiny in the Coastal Division will be determined in Blacksburg, Va. The only way the Yellow Jackets can advance to the ACC title game is if Virginia Tech loses at home to rival Virginia.
"It's going to be what it's going to be," Johnson said. "I learned a long time ago not to worry about things you can't control. In my mind, after the Miami game we guaranteed at least co-champs of the Coastal Division. Of course, we'd like to have a chance to play in the championship game, but we've done all we can in ACC play. We are going to focus on Georgia Saturday at noon and whatever happens, happens."
This year in the ACC, anything can happen, and anything did -- for the past 13 weeks. That's why it's still possible for 11 of the 12 teams to become bowl eligible, and the division winners won't be determined until the final quarters of the regular season.
Despite injuries and inconsistent play at quarterback, Boston College and Virginia Tech have both put themselves in this situation with their stingy defenses. The Eagles have scored a non-offensive touchdown in six straight games, and lead the nation with 23 interceptions. Virginia Tech is 109th in the nation in total offense and eighth in total defense. Both teams have also gotten some help along the way from the inconsistent play of their league counterparts.
Regardless of how they did it, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said the important thing is the Hokies control their own destiny and can play in their third ACC title game in four years.
"It's been a tough schedule, probably the toughest schedule we've had, and probably played with the youngest football team we've had," Beamer said. "Regardless of how we've done it, I think it's been a lot of hard work by this staff and these players, and we're in a position right now if we win one game to get to the championship game. That's what pleases me."
Boston College will turn to backup quarterback Dominique Davis, who took over for Chris Crane last week at Wake Forest after Crane broke his collar bone. He is the fourth starter the Eagles have lost this season, but BC has been able to overcome just about everything this year. It's been an impressive run for a team that had to replace first-round draft pick Matt Ryan, and didn't have one running back to choose from this past spring.
"I'm very satisfied about the status of our program right now," BC coach Jeff Jagodzinski said. "That's the kind of guys we have here. ... I'm really pleased at the way our guys have fought and found a way to win."
And if they do it again this weekend, Bowden might be one of the last to know.