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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Poll: Clemson or Florida State?

By Heather Dinich

Earlier this morning, Andrea Adelson and I debated which Atlantic Division team was more likely to win out -- No. 9 Florida State or No. 13 Clemson. Both of them have a good shot, but they both also have a history of disappointment. In order for the ACC to have a shot at two BCS bowls, neither team can afford to lose again. In order for Clemson to defend its ACC title, though, the Noles need to lose another game.

Which Atlantic Division leader is most likely to escape the rest of the schedule unscathed?

Cast your vote now.

Florida State

Remaining schedule: Bye, at Virginia Tech, at Maryland, Florida

Toughest game: Home vs. Florida. The Gators are No. 4 in the country in scoring defense, No. 6 in total defense, and lead the nation in net punting. Rivalry games are always difficult, but a lot will be at stake in this one.

Trap game: at Virginia Tech. Florida State is a much better team than Virginia Tech this year, but the Hokies are tough to beat in Blacksburg no matter what. It will be even more difficult if the Hokies win at Miami on Thursday night and head home with some momentum and a lead in the Coastal Division standings.

Clemson

Remaining schedule: at Duke, Maryland, NC State, South Carolina

Toughest game: Home vs. South Carolina. Even without injured star running back Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina will give Clemson its best shot. South Carolina has the No. 19 scoring defense in the country and is No. 8 in sacks. They should have the advantage up front against Clemson's offensive line. Coach Steve Spurrier and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney have been trading jabs long before last year's game, so there is plenty of drama building up to this one.

Trap game: Home vs. NC State. Clemson lost to the Wolfpack a year ago, and NC State tends to be at its best when everyone outside the program is least expecting it.