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LAist-CS Week 6 Rankings: Something's A-Brewing in the ACC

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Everyone has a boner about SEC football, and we live in Pac-12 country. But after several years of abject mediocrity, the ACC is starting to churn out some interesting games.

Take the Miami Hurricanes’ game at the Virginia Tech Hokies in an ACC Coastal divisional clash. The winner would still have some hope to win the division and a berth in the ACC Championship Game. It didn’t look good for the Hurricanes as they trailed 21-7 at halftime and looked dead on the field.

But in the second half quarterback Jacory Harris woke up and started connecting on his passes including a 77-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin. The offensive line created holes for running back Lamar Miller to run through, and the defense held the Hokies to 10 points. And it was a 30-yard Miller run that gave the Hurricanes the 35-31 lead with 2:51 left in the game.

However in the game of football, timing is everything. In other words 2:51 is too much time to leave on the clock even against a Hokie offense that was held in check in the second half.

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Miami decided to play prevent defense, and Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas calmly “matriculated” his team down the field until he came to a fourth-and-1 at Miami’s 19-yard line. Then came the gutsy call. In the shotgun with a minute left in the game, Thomas ran a quarterback draw and ran untouched for 19 yards into the endzone for the lead.

That proved to be the nail in the coffin for the Hurricanes in a highly entertaining game.

And staying in the ACC we have the exact reason why there should not be preseason polls. Ranked sixth in the AP poll and fifth in the Coaches Poll, Florida State continued their losing ways in their 35-30 loss to Wake Forest coming off of a bye week. That’s three losses in a row, a 2-3 record and only one win against a Football Bowl Subdivision school: University of Louisiana-Monroe. This is me doing the tomahawk chop.

By the way that win by the Demon Deacons gives them a 3-0 record in ACC Conference play for the first time ever. They joined the ACC in 1953.

1. LSU Tigers (1) - LSU put away Florida in the first half at home like they were supposed to.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (2) - Bama did the same to Vanderbilt at home.
3. Oklahoma Sooners (4) - The Sooners completely demolished the Texas Longhorns in the Red River Shootout at the Cotton Bowl. Their performance was good enough to jump them over Boise State here.
4. Boise State Broncos (3) - Boise State had a laugher in Fresno and are 5-0. However they haven’t played a conference game yet. We’re waiting…
5. Wisconsin Badgers (5) - They take a week off to prepare for the feared Indiana Hoosiers.
6. Stanford Cardinal (6) - The Colorado Buffaloes looked like they could stand face to face with Stanford. Then the first quarter ended.
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7) - It was 56-7 at halftime in Oklahoma State’s game against Kansas. They ended with 70 points which should make things very interesting in the Big 12.
8. Clemson Tigers (8) - Clemson went back home and took care of business against Boston College.
9. Arkansas Razorbacks (9) - Woo pig sooie! It’s amazing what no Cam Newton or Nick Fairly has done to Auburn. They’ve returned to their rightful place as an also-ran in the SEC. It’s also unfortunate for Arkansas that they’re stuck in the SEC West with LSU and Alabama.
10. Oregon Ducks (10) - Running back LaMichael James’ dislocated elbow will be a huge concern for the Ducks especially when they host Arizona State next week.
11. Kansas State Wildcats (13) - You’ve got to admire head coach Bill Snyder. He might be an old coot, but he knows how to get his athletes to perform week after week.
12. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (12) - Their 21-26 win over Maryland at home should raise some flags for this program. They need to get their gimmicky offense straighten out.
13. Michigan Wolverines (14) - Northwestern has a tendency to give schools a big scare. Michigan trailed 24-14 at the half, but their defense held the Wildcats’ offense scoreless in the second half as Michigan took the 42-24 victory.
14. Illinois Illini (NR) - I struggle with the Fighting Illini. They’re 6-0 but they only played two legitimate schools: Arizona State and Northwestern.
15. Arizona State Sun Devils (NR) - I also struggle with the Sun Devils. Their only loss was to the Illini, but there’s always something deflating about the Sun Devils late in season. They have a nice trip to Autzen next week.
16. Nebraska Cornhuskers (15) - Sorry. If you want to be a serious BCS bowl contender, you don’t get to trail by double-digits at home against a bad Ohio State team. Yeah that was a good comeback win for the Huskers, but it shouldn’t have happened that way.

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Bowl Predictions.

BCS Championship: LSU vs. Oklahoma.
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Stanford.
Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. Oklahoma State.
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Clemson.
Orange Bowl: West Virginia vs. Oregon.