This week's polls have been released. Here's how the ACC fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.
10/6. Florida State
The Seminoles nearly found themselves with another ACC road loss as a double-digit favorite but escaped Blacksburg with a 28-22 win over Virginia Tech thanks to a game-winning touchdown pass from EJ Manuel to Rashad Greene with just 40 seconds remaining. The Hokies made Florida State look vulnerable, shutting down their ground attack and sacking EJ Manuel five times -- a season-high for the Seminoles. The performance on national television, paired with Texas A&M's launch into the top 10, bumped the Seminoles down a bit in the polls.
Thankfully, the team's ceiling -- which in my opinion is a BCS bowl win -- is still very much in play. A win over Maryland locks up an ACC Championship Game appearance, and a win over the hated Florida Gators might keep them high enough in the BCS standings to earn a BCS bowl bid regardless of the outcome in Charlotte. It is possible that a loss to whichever underdog from the Coastal Division drops them beyond the top 14. But at No. 6 in the Coaches Poll, they are sitting in a good position to give themselves a strong finish if they can take care of business.
While Florida State is fighting to climb the BCS standings in case of an upset, Clemson will be playing for a potential second ACC BCS bid. Jerry Palm currently has the Tigers in the Sugar Bowl -- where ACC runner-up Virginia Tech played last season -- but getting there will likely require a win over South Carolina in the regular season finale. Clemson does not have a schedule that will blow you away, but they have moved through each week with a business-like manner. But the argument that Clemson deserves a BCS bowl bid would be washed away with a second loss to the Gamecocks. They need to carry that "our only loss was on the road to Florida State" argument through the season to earn a spot in New Orleans.
Others receiving votes: For the second week in a row, there was not a single ACC team besides Florida State or Clemson that received a vote in either poll. The conference might get two teams into BCS bowls but currently only has four teams bowl eligible. That kind of year in the ACC, I suppose.
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