- Heather Dinich, College Football Reporter
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There were some shake-ups this weekend, including at the top, where Florida State jumped NC State for the No. 2 position, despite the head-to-head results. NC State had a chance to seize the Atlantic Division title with a win over Maryland and instead let the opportunity pass by. The middle of the pack is still muddled with mediocrity, and the bottom three have remained the same all season, just flip-flopping a bit here and there. Here’s how the ACC shakes out after the 2010 regular season:
1. Virginia Tech (10-2, 8-0 ACC; LW: No. 1) -- With its 37-7 win over rival Virginia on Saturday, the Hokies became the first team to go undefeated in conference play since Florida State in 2000. They now have seven straight 10-win seasons, have beaten Virginia seven straight times, and have won 10 straight games heading into Saturday’s ACC title game.
2. Florida State (9-3, 6-2; LW: No. 3) -- The Seminoles got a double victory on Saturday, beating rival Florida for the first time since 2003 and then learning that they would advance to the ACC championship game thanks to Maryland’s win over NC State.
3. Maryland (8-4, 5-3; LW: No. 5) -- The Terps had no problem finding reasons for motivation against NC State and played the role of spoiler, knocking the Wolfpack out of the Atlantic Division race. Receiver Torrey Smith looked like one of the best players in the country and rookie quarterback Danny O’Brien had another career day.
4. NC State (8-4, 5-3; LW: No. 2) -- The Pack squandered a 14-0 lead and couldn’t cover Torrey Smith in the 38-31 loss to the Terps. NC State finished in a tie for second place in the Atlantic Division with Maryland, and lost their chance at bringing the school its first title since 1979.
5. Miami (7-5, 5-3; LW: No. 4) -- Not only did the Hurricanes suffer an embarrassing overtime loss to South Florida, former coach Randy Shannon was fired within hours after the game ended. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland was named interim head coach, and a search for a new leader has begun.
6. North Carolina (7-5, 4-4; LW: No. 6) -- The Tar Heels have now won seven straight against Duke, and they racked up 519 total yards against the ACC's worst defense. It wasn’t the finish UNC had been hoping for, but it could have been a much worse season considering the impact the NCAA investigation had on the roster.
7. Boston College (7-5, 4-4; LW: No. 9) -- It’s hard to believe the Eagles were 2-5 at one point this season, but they pulled it together to finish on a five-game winning streak. Running back Andre Williams stepped in for injured leading rusher Montel Harris and rushed for 185 yards on a school-record 42 carries and scored one touchdown.
8. Clemson (6-6, 4-4; LW: No. 7) -- There’s no question South Carolina was the better team this year. Clemson had three turnovers, botched a punt and was held scoreless for the game's final 58 minutes. The Tigers need to win their bowl game to avoid their first losing season since 1998.
9. Georgia Tech (6-6, 4-4; LW: No. 8) -- The Jackets had 32 first downs and 512 total yards, but it wasn’t enough to overcome four turnovers and a missed extra point in a 42-34 loss to rival Georgia. The Jackets ran 92 offensive plays, the most since 2002, but Georgia averaged 8.9 yards per play. That was the highest average by a Tech opponent in at least 30 years.
10. Wake Forest (3-9, 1-7; LW: No. 12) -- The Deacs deserve credit for beating an SEC team on the road, even if it was the worst team in the SEC. Wake Forest snapped a nine-game losing streak, blocked two punts, and got what it needed from its running game.
11. Duke (3-9, 1-7; LW: No. 10) -- The Blue Devils kept things interesting against North Carolina, but not interesting enough to snap their seven-game losing streak in the series. The Blue Devils had just 12 rushing yards and couldn’t stop UNC’s running game, led by Anthony Elzy.
12. Virginia (4-8, 1-7; LW: No. 11) -- If the Cavaliers are using rival Virginia Tech as a measuring stick, Saturday’s loss was a reminder that the program still has a long way to go under first-year coach Mike London. The Hoos fell behind 17-0 and ended the season on a four-game losing streak.
There were some shake-ups this weekend, including at the top, where Florida State jumped NC State for the No. 2 position, despite the head-to-head results.