|You could be looking at the biggest threat to the ACC's national reputation this season. (US Presswire)|
If things break just right, Saturday could be one of the most costly days in recent ACC history.
The conference is trying to establish itself as a national factor. There's a way to do that this season, if things go well in the remaining games. But all it takes is one weekend to torpedo commissioner John Swofford's plans.
Here's the doomsday scenario for Saturday:
2. Georgia Tech beats Clemson: The Yellow Jackets are reeling after two straight home losses, the last to Middle Tennessee State. If they right the ship against Clemson, it would take out the conference's second-best team and put another blemish on Florida State's one marquee win this season.
3. Miami gets hammered by Notre Dame: The Hurricanes appear to be on the road back to prominence at a faster pace than anyone expected, but all they really have to show are wild, last-minute wins over Boston College, Georgia Tech and NC State. Miami laid an egg in its first major nonconference test, at Kansas State. A bad loss out of conference hurts its reputation, as well as the reps of all the conference teams the Hurricanes have beaten.
4. North Carolina beats Virginia Tech: Despite two costly losses to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, the Hokies could win the ACC title with an undefeated conference record. North Carolina isn't eligible for the postseason, which means any ACC win for the Tar Heels is hurting someone else's bowl hopes. A loss in Chapel Hill could send Tech into a tailspin.
5. Virginia beats Duke and Maryland beats Wake Forest: On their own, the two upsets wouldn't do much damage, but they would be the first steps on the road to a possible season-ending scenario where every team has six wins and few have many more.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.