●Miami is one of three teams without a loss in conference play. The Hurricanes are 3-0. Twice, they have stepped out of conference to play ranked opponents — Kansas State and Notre Dame. They were outscored in those games by a margin of 93-16. Seriously. Apparently alumni are in the process of changing their school’s nickname from “The U,” to “The L.”
Bright spots? Well, there’s Maryland, with that big nonconference win over Temple and Saturday’s scintillating 19-14 victory over Wake Forest. Already the Terrapins have surged past last season’s two wins and, given the remarkable mediocrity of the conference, they could (wait for it) play in a bowl game this season. No doubt Edsall will be voted coach of the year if that happens, and all will be well in College Park until someone discovers that the Terrapins beat exactly nobody along the way.
And then there’s — gulp — Duke, the only other team along with Miami and Maryland that’s unbeaten in conference play. The Blue Devils are 5-1 and 2-0, thanks in part to playing out-of-conference games against Memphis and Florida International (combined record 2-9) and Football Championship Subdivision non-power North Carolina Central. The one time the Blue Devils played a real team (Stanford), they lost, 50-13. They have wins over Wake Forest and Virginia and there’s actually bowl talk in Durham, N.C. It would be a mistake to book a hotel just yet, even though one more victory would get Duke to a bowl for the first time since 1994 — there’s not a game left on the schedule that Duke will be favored to win. Sadly, Duke and Maryland aren’t scheduled to play this season—what a battle that game would be.
Two ACC teams will play in the conference championship game. One will end up in a BCS bowl game because the rules say someone from the league has to play in one. The rest of the league will line up for bids to the Military Bowl and its ilk because there are contracts that say those bowls have to take an ACC team.
But there are no more meaningful football games on the national stage left in the ACC this season. Of course, that’s an improvement on a lot of years, when ACC football peaked in August when the preseason polls came out.
The following is a list of the ACC’s significant nonconference victories this season:
Basketball practice begins on Friday. Not a minute too soon.
For more by the author, visit his blog at www.feinsteinonthebrink.com. To read his previous columns for The Post, go to washingtonpost.com/