The ACC ended the season with four teams ranked in the final Associated Press Top 25: No. 10 Virginia Tech, No. 13 Georgia Tech, No. 19 Miami and No. 24 Clemson. Florida State received votes.
That means that once again, the national perception is that Virginia Tech is still the team to beat in the ACC. Despite the success Georgia Tech had this year, and the fact that Clemson was the ACC's runner-up and won its bowl game, Virginia Tech remains the face of the conference.
And it should be. The Hokies won their BCS bowl following the 2008 season, and they defeated an SEC opponent in a high-profile bowl this year. Georgia Tech and Miami, meanwhile, were defeated by better teams and aren't quite where they want to be yet. Clemson took important steps forward under coach Dabo Swinney, but couldn't win that elusive ACC title with C.J. Spiller. At least Swinney put the Tigers in position to play for it.
The lasting impressions, though, are made in the bowl games, and for the past two years, the Hokies have come out on top. Which is where they should be among the ACC teams in the final rankings.