In the mid 1990’s, Nickelodeon produced a show titled “Wild and Crazy Kids”. Who knew that those kids would one day play football in the Atlantic Coast Conference? Seems like the channel of choice for pre-teens of that decade is making its way into college football.
The ACC has been about as wild as it gets these days. For instance, the two divisions’ current leaders were in fourth place three weeks ago.
As we enter the season’s tenth week of games, there is still much to be decided in the conference race.
Georgia Tech has taken control of the Coastal Division with wins over Florida State, Virginia Tech and Virginia. In a few weeks’ time, the Jackets will in all likelihood be battling Duke in a battle for the division lead.
Let’s consider the possibilities. The teams that have given Georgia Tech the most trouble are those that “Dare” to throw the football. Jacory Harris ripped Tech’s secondary; the same secondary that a week earlier made Clemson’s freshman quarterback Kyle Parker look like Tom Brady in a second-half comeback.
Duke’s Thaddeus Lewis is the favorite to be named first-team all-ACC quarterback. That’s bad news for the Jackets, which also allowed Christian Ponder to throw for 359 yards against them. The Yellow Jackets clear weakness is quarterbacks with “Rocket Power” throwing arms.
Besides those two teams, everyone in the conference has at least two losses to ACC opponents. In a season this unpredictable, why can’t Duke make their way to Tampa?
On the other side of the conference, the Clemson Tigers have been “All That” in recent weeks. They beat Miami on the road in overtime a week after thumping Wake Forest 38-3.
The Tigers hit rock bottom when they were upset at Maryland on Oct. 3, giving the Terps their first win over an FBS team in 2009. Since then, C.J. Spiller has been unstoppable, and the rest of the offense has begun to “Figure it Out”, scoring 42.3 points per game.
The Tigers have arguably the fastest defense in the country, especially at defensive end. DaQuan Bowers and Ricky Sapp are both future first-round draft picks.
The talent has always been there for Clemson, but the chemistry and coaching were the unknown quantities. All the pieces are coming together at the right time, and Dabo Swinney might have just caught lightning in a bottle, leading Clemson down the path to the conference title.
Four weeks ago, Boston College came to Blacksburg prepared for a matchup that many thought could just be a championship game preview. The Eagles are still very much alive, though nobody knows how, while the Hokies are all but eliminated from contention with a month left to play.
It’s now a three-way race between Clemson, Georgia Tech and… sigh…Duke for the conference crown. Here’s saying a Blue Devil-Tiger matchup is forthcoming; you heard it here first.