As we bid farewell to October and welcome in November, we'll begin to keep a closer eye on the ACC standings as teams continue to jockey for position during the final stretch. Here's a simplified version:
Florida State is in the driver's seat and can claim the division title with wins at Virginia Tech (Nov. 8) and at Maryland (Nov. 17). FSU has a bye this week heading into next week’s Thursday night game in Blacksburg. Should the Seminoles lose to either Virginia Tech or Maryland, that would open the door for Clemson AND NC State.
FSU and Clemson are the only one-loss teams remaining in the ACC. NC State's loss last week to rival North Carolina put the Wolfpack behind both programs in the division standings with two ACC losses. HOWEVER ...
If FSU loses, and NC State wins out, it could get to Charlotte. That would make the NC State-Clemson game huge.
If they all finish 6-2 (assuming an FSU loss to VT, and NCSU win over Clemson), NC State would win the division because of head-to-head wins over FSU and Clemson.
Virginia Tech and Miami are two of four Coastal teams with two losses each and are the only teams in the Coastal that could claim a berth in Charlotte by winning their remaining ACC games.
Duke can still play in the ACC title game if Miami defeats Virginia Tech on Thursday night. Though the Blue Devils face a tough test with Clemson, Virginia Tech has to play FSU and Duke finishes at Georgia Tech and at home with Miami (which might be the deciding Coastal game). If Duke defeats both Georgia Tech and Miami, and Virginia Tech loses to Miami and FSU, then Duke would go.
The winner of Thursday night’s game has an advantage even though Miami would still need wins at Duke and Virginia.
Um, yeah, that's the simplified version.