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Monday, November 26, 2012
ACC power rankings: Week 14

By Heather Dinich

What. A. Bust. It was a disappointing end to a disappointing season for the ACC, as the league went 0-4 against its SEC rivals in the final week of the regular season. Is anyone in the ACC any good? Sure, just not good enough to matter in the BCS standings. Not much has changed in the lineup since last week. Here’s how they stack up against each other heading into the "postseason."

1. Florida State (10-2, 7-1 ACC; LW: No. 1) – Five turnovers and an inability to stop the run doomed the Seminoles in a home loss to their in-state rival, Florida. Quarterback EJ Manuel threw three interceptions, lost a fumble that led to a touchdown, and was left disoriented after a helmet-to-helmet hit that wasn’t called. The Noles have to find a way to put this one behind them and move on to the ACC championship game.

2. Clemson (10-2, 7-1; LW: No. 2) – Same story, different season. For the fourth straight year, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney lost to in-state rival Steve Spurrier, who became the winningest coach in South Carolina history Saturday. The loss more than likely ended any hopes of having two BCS bowl teams for the second straight year.

3. Miami (7-5, 5-3; LW: No. 3) – The Hurricanes made it clear they didn’t quit despite their self-imposed bowl ban and finished on a positive note with a 52-45 win at Duke. The best team in the Coastal Division is ineligible, and it’s not North Carolina.

4. Georgia Tech (6-6, 5-3; LW: No. 4) – The Yellow Jackets were steamrolled by rival Georgia in a 42-10 loss and will now play Florida State on Saturday for the ACC championship. Paul Johnson knows his defense will have to play its best game of the season in order to pull the upset.

5. North Carolina (8-4, 5-3; LW: No. 5) – The Tar Heels got a scare from Maryland in their regular-season finale, but quarterback Bryn Renner threw a school-record five touchdown passes in a 45-38 come-from-behind win. Overall, it was a successful year in the win column in Larry Fedora’s first season.

6. NC State (7-5, 4-4; LW: No. 7) – The Wolfpack beat Boston College 27-10, but it wasn’t enough for coach Tom O’Brien to keep his job. O’Brien was fired Sunday and will not coach in the bowl game. Offensive coordinator Dana Bible was named interim head coach.

7. Virginia Tech (6-6, 4-4; LW: No. 8) – The Hokies barely slipped by rival Virginia to become bowl eligible for the 20th straight season, winning 17-14 on a field goal with 4 seconds remaining. It was the ninth straight season Virginia Tech beat UVa.

8. Duke (6-6, 3-5; LW: No. 6) – The Blue Devils finished the season with four straight losses, which is why they dropped two spots and they’re ranked behind the Tar Heels despite the head-to-head win. Still, the program is going bowling for the first time since 1994, which still makes it a successful season.

9. Wake Forest (5-7, 3-5; LW: No. 10) – There wasn’t even the faintest hint of an upset here, as the Deacs’ struggles continued in a 55-21 loss to Vanderbilt. The loss meant that Wake Forest failed to become bowl eligible by reaching the six-win mark this year.

10. Virginia (4-8, 2-6; LW: No. 9) – The Cavaliers gave a good effort in Blacksburg, but couldn’t play the role of spoiler against their rivals and left many wondering about Mike London’s use of the clock at the end of the game. It was a long fall from last year’s coach of the year performance.

11. Maryland (4-8, 2-6; LW: No. 11) – If there were an award for relentlessness, Maryland would win it this year. There was no quit in these Terps all year, but a 24-point third quarter was the difference for the Tar Heels. The good news? Maryland finally has time to heal.

12. Boston College (2-10, 1-7; LW: No. 12) – The program hit rock bottom this weekend, as coach Frank Spaziani was fired Sunday after a miserable 2-10 finish that included only one win against an FBS team -- Maryland. Head-to-head results are a bit deceiving here, as even though Maryland lost to the Eagles, they were overall the better team this year -- even with a fifth-string quarterback.