ACC Football 2012 Week 5 Lessons: The ACC Looks Top-Heavy with Florida State, Clemson

Signs Point to Last Month’s Florida State-Clemson Game Functioning as an Early ACC Championship Game

Each Monday morning, we compile our top five takeaways from the weekend’s action. Here’s what we got out of Week 5 of ACC football action:

1. The ACC is likely a two-horse race: And unfortunately, one of those teams (Florida State) has already beaten the other (Clemson). The middle of the ACC pack looks more and more questionable each week — with each respective squad having their own obvious weaknesses. While it’s great to actually have a team in the national championship conversation, the conference’s resurgence this year was supposed be be based in a three- or four-team upper crust. Even Clemson, who is head-and-shoulders above the nearest team below them, still has one of the most suspect defenses in the conference, too.

2. Coastal Division still undecided: Miami has started out hot at 3-0 in league play, but just one of those wins is against divisional competition. While Virginia Tech appears to be reeling at 3-2, they — along with Duke — are also undefeated in the ACC, at 1-0. Still plenty of football left to play, and give the small margins of victory for all of these teams, we really don’t know much about their staying power over the course of the season.

3. Duke is making the postseason: Despite a defense that may sometimes look overwhelmed in pass coverage, and that glaring blowout loss against Stanford, Duke’s passing game has been one of the nation’s best. Quarterback Sean Renfree‘s elbow injury from last week will be a lingering concern, but if he can come back without any noticeable effect, there’s a very good chance that the Blue Devils will break the curse and head to a bowl.

4. Maybe Stephen Morris is Miami’s ticket back to “elite” status: All offseason, and going into kickoff weekend, there were tons of questions about whether ‘Canes junior QB Stephen Morris would be able to succeed given all the factors (attrition, NCAA issues, schedule) against him. Well, I believe he’s put those fears to rest at this point. After a shaky first few games, Morris has thrown for over 1,000 yards and seven scores in his last two contests — including a school-record 566 yards last week.

5. Virginia is in trouble: Looking back at the Hoos’ 2-0 start, there were signs it was an aberration. Now, at 2-3, it’s all starting to come undone. Michael Rocco‘s status as quarterback is questioned on a weekly basis, and it shows in his mistake-ridden performances (he’s thrown just six TDs, versus eight picks this year). The secondary, which we knew would be a work in progress, has looked severely outmatched in every game. And the running game — the team’s strength — is currently ranked 99th in the FBS. Is it Phillip Sims time yet? I would certainly think so.

Comment, share this post, follow/like the blog and follow @JohnCassillo on Twitter

4 thoughts on “ACC Football 2012 Week 5 Lessons: The ACC Looks Top-Heavy with Florida State, Clemson

  1. I can’t remember the Coastal Division ever being in this much disarray. I have a hard time talking myself into any team as the favorite, although Miami probably has the most favorable remaining schedule. I’ll definitely be rooting for the Blue Devils–both because it’s a nice feel-good story, and because that sort of publicity is good for the conference, a la Vanderbilt 2008 when GameDay went to Nashville.

    • I’m probably rooting for both Miami and Duke in a way, since I just feel as if eithers’ success is good for the league. Obviously a Miami-FSU league title game would be a good time, too, and would definitely draw attention from outside the ACC fan bases.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s