ACC upset watch: Week 12

November, 15, 2011
11/15/11
1:00
PM ET
For the first time this season, not one game listed on the upset watch turned out to be an upset last week. With Virginia Tech’s win over Georgia Tech, the Hokies broke the streak of seven No. 1s on this list to fall. Duke did not beat Virginia last week, and although Wake Forest had a third-quarter lead against Clemson, the Deacs couldn’t hang onto it in Death Valley. Just when you think the ACC is following the script, though, NC State lost at Boston College. So it goes. Keep in mind this list is not a prediction, it’s merely a look at which top teams have the best chance to trip up. Here’s a look at who might fall in Week 12:

1. No. 7 Clemson at NC State. There’s no reason Clemson should lose this game. But guess what? NC State has more at stake. Clemson has already clinched the Atlantic Division title, but the Wolfpack has bowl eligibility on the line. NC State is in a must-win situation and has home field advantage. The Pack has also been one of the most inconsistent and unpredictable teams in the ACC this year. Is another surprise in store?

2. North Carolina at No. 8 Virginia Tech. It’s not easy to win in Blacksburg, but it’s not impossible, either. The Tar Heels have had a bye week to prepare for this game, and quarterback Bryn Renner has recovered from his concussion-like symptoms and will return to a stadium he grew up attending games in. UNC’s defense will have the biggest challenge in slowing running back David Wilson, and quarterback Logan Thomas is coming off a performance in which he accounted for five touchdowns.

3. Virginia at No. 25 Florida State. So you’re saying there’s a chance? Especially if Florida State’s offense sputters like it did last week against Miami. The biggest question in this matchup is if Virginia can continue to run the ball as successfully as it has been against the nation’s No. 4 rushing defense. One intangible to consider is the fact that the Coastal Division title is still on the line for Virginia, while Florida State is out of the ACC race and already bowl eligible. UVa has a lot more to play for in this game.

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