<
>

Talkin' Top 25: Duke Blue Devils?!

Florida State dropped from No. 3 in the country to No. 12 in this week's Associated Press Top 25, and it couldn't have landed with a bigger thud for the ACC this week. Clemson fell to No. 16, and there you have it: The ACC's two ranked teams, lost in no-man's land one week before the BCS standings are released.

What perfect timing.

It's not that a one-loss team can't or won't play for the national title. It's that a one-loss Florida State team with two FCS wins to its credit can't and won't. And now, with everything that happened this past weekend, Florida State and Clemson have top-five SEC teams still remaining on their schedules in No. 3 South Carolina and No. 4 Florida. After watching South Carolina manhandle Georgia up front, there's no question the Gamecocks are the more complete team when compared to Clemson. The Tigers have a huge challenge, as will FSU against a Florida team that just knocked off LSU.

I had FSU at No. 14 and Clemson at No. 15 in this week's poll for ESPN.com.

I also had -- wait for it -- No. 25 Duke.

Look, Duke hasn't done a darn thing since 1994, and here the Blue Devils are at 5-1, undefeated in league play and have the best record in the state. Will the magic end? Maybe. But I'm a big proponent of giving credit when it's due, and looking past Duke's reputation of what it hasn't done and acknowledging what it has. If you can rank Louisiana Tech, you can rank Duke.

"They've done a great job," said Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, whose team will host the Blue Devils this weekend. "... They're leading our division, them and Miami. I have a lot of respect for this team and how they play and how well they play."