ACC Notebook: Florida State gains from Oregon loss

Florida State is assured a spot in the ACC championship game. That seems so elementary at this point.

The Seminoles are really eyeing something much bigger. They have designs set on the national championship and they have a clear path to playing in the BCS title game.

Two days after Oregon's loss to Stanford likely boosted Florida State's stock, the Seminoles did their part by tearing apart Wake Forest in a 59-3 stomping. Don't blame the Demon Deacons for looking so feeble, they were just next in Florida State's path of destruction.

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Florida State moved up a spot to No. 2 in both major top 25 polls, which were released Sunday. It is the Seminoles' highest ranking since 2000.

The directions are mostly simple at this stage for Florida State to put the ACC back on the national title map. The Seminoles have home games against Syracuse and Idaho and a trip to in-state rival Florida and then the matchup against a to-be-determined opponent in the ACC championship game.

The rest of the ACC seems to be playing for bowl positioning. At this point, there's lots undetermined that that area.

A pretty good matchup looms next on the ACC schedule with Georgia Tech visiting Clemson for a nationally televised game Thursday night. Those are among the teams playing for second fiddle.


Georgia Tech will be the first Coastal Division team to finish its league schedule. An upset of Clemson would make the Yellow Jackets the front runners.


1. Duke's knack of find ways to pull out victories has gone beyond a fluke. The Blue Devils overcame a 22-0 deficit at Virginia, survived no second-half completions from their quarterbacks at Virginia Tech and then wiped out a 20-17 deficit with four minutes left to end up winning 38-20 against North Carolina State.

2. Florida State has roughed up the competition in the ACC's Atlantic Division and that has to make for an uneasy feeling for Syracuse, which has won two in a row but earlier was blown out by Clemson and Georgia Tech. The Orange heads to Florida State this week for the Seminoles' ACC regular-season finale.


3. Maybe Virginia Tech just needs a bigger stage to do its thing. After losses to Duke and Boston College, the Hokies were all over nationally ranked Miami and pushed themselves back into the Coastal Division race.

4. North Carolina lost QB Bryn Renner to season-ending shoulder surgery, but the Tar Heels might be in capable hands with QB Marquise Williams running the show. The Tar Heels carry a three-game winning streak and they're squarely in bowl contention with a 4-5 record.

5. Pittsburgh pulled off a victory against Notre Dame, which next year shows up on ACC teams' schedules as part of a regular rotation of non-league games. The Panthers just gave early notice that those games won't necessarily be cakewalks for the Irish.