Sunday, November 18, 2012
What we learned in the ACC: Week 12
By Heather Dinich
Here’s a look at the lessons learned from the ACC in Week 12:
1. Maryland is interested in the Big Ten: Sources told ESPN on Saturday that Maryland is in serious negotiations with the Big Ten. No date has been set for an announcement, but it could come as soon as Monday. While the Terps were on the field losing to Florida State 41-14 on Saturday, Maryland and ACC officials declined to comment about the developing story. Maryland president Wallace Loh has been handling the conversation with Big Ten officials, according to a source. It’s an ongoing story that is likely to evolve and could include the move of Rutgers to the Big Ten. The ACC recently increased its exit fee to more than $50 million -- a move Loh opposed.
Florida State will look for more fierce defense from Bjoern Werner, left, and Timmy Jernigan in the ACC title game Dec. 1.
2. Florida State and Clemson clinched a share of the Atlantic Division: With FSU’s win over Maryland, the Noles guaranteed themselves a spot in the Dec. 1 ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C. Clemson’s win over NC State guaranteed the Tigers a share of the Atlantic Division title. The head-to-head results are used in tiebreaker scenarios, so even though FSU beat Clemson, technically they share the division title.
3. Georgia Tech and Miami are the last two standing in the Coastal Division: If Miami beats Duke, the Canes will win the division title -- if they don’t self-impose a postseason ban. If Miami loses to Duke, Georgia Tech will win the division. There is one other scenario to consider -- a three-way tie between UNC, Georgia Tech and Miami. In that case, Miami would most likely win the tiebreaker, which would eventually come down to the ACC’s fourth-place team’s standing in the BCS computer rankings, according to an ACC official.
4. Virginia Tech’s bowl hopes are still alive; Virginia’s are not: The Cavaliers were beaten soundly at home in a mistake-laden 37-13 loss to North Carolina on Thursday night. The Hokies almost lost to Boston College but found a way to win 30-23 in overtime. Had UVa won, the Commonwealth Cup would have been a bowl-off between the two rivals. Now it’s a must-win situation for the Hokies in Blacksburg to become bowl eligible -- and a chance to play the role of spoiler for Virginia.
5. Duke’s magic has ended: Duke became bowl eligible for the first time since 1994 on Oct. 20 with its 33-30 win over North Carolina, but the Blue Devils haven’t done anything since. They controlled their destiny in the ACC race until they went to Atlanta on Saturday and lost 42-24 to Georgia Tech -- their third straight loss since reaching the six-win mark. Duke’s relevance in the Coastal Division race through mid-November was a major step forward for the program under coach David Cutcliffe, but the team was hoping for more than just six wins and squandered that opportunity Saturday against the Yellow Jackets.