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ACC Notebook: Duke enters Top 25 for first time in 19 years

The SportsXchange

Not every conversation about the Atlantic Coast Conference has to begin with Florida State.

So how about Duke?

The Blue Devils are the new favorite flavor and for good reason. The Blue Devils haven't lost since September and they control their own destiny in terms of the ACC's Coastal Division.

Duke also moved back into the nationally rankings for the first time since 1994.

The Coastal Division has been described as a mess and for good reason. Five teams remain in contention to at least share part of the title if Duke were to slip up.

At times during the past week, it seems like teams are solidly in contention to take the Coastal Division bid to the ACC championship game and then stumbling.

That could be interpreted as an effort to stay out of Florida State's way. Maybe no one really wants to have to meet the Seminoles on the first week of December in Charlotte, N.C.

For its part, Florida State won for the second week in a row by a 59-3 score, this time toppling Syracuse to complete its conference slate despite questions surrounding QB Jameis Winston involving a sexual assault case.

FIVE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS FROM WEEK 12 IN THE ACC:

1. Duke might be for real and that's a concept that's gaining steam. The Blue Devils toppled Miami to maintain their handle on controlling their destiny in the ACC's Coastal Division. Now, the Blue Devils are nationally ranked for the first time in 19 years.

2. Florida State should be able to make it through the regular season unscathed, so the biggest task for the Seminoles could be remaining sharp. The starters don't play full games often because of lopsided scores.

3. Boston College has shown that an old-school approach can still have benefits. The Eagles are rushing the ball at a ridiculous pace, and somehow coach Steve Addazio's first-year performance has gone a little underappreciated because of other storylines around the league.

4. Miami's tumbles can't be overlooked. The Hurricanes were a Top 10 team, at least based on rankings, until this miserable stretch of losses to Florida State, Virginia Tech and Duke.

5. Virginia Tech enters the picture as the most puzzling team. Home losses to Duke and Maryland and road victories against Georgia Tech and Miami make it a baffling resume for the Hokies.
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