For some ACC teams there’s no saving the 2011 season, but for others with 2 to 3 games left, there’s a lot to play for. Let’s hand out some ACC Grades before final exams. Now not all teams are judged the same, if you’re in a different class.
Advanced Class – Pre-season ACC Championship contender, 10+ wins
Intermediate Class- Pre-season Bowl Team, 6-9 wins
Beginner Class – Just looking for improvement, no bowl was predicted
Virginia Tech, Florida State
Virginia Tech Current Grade – A
The Hokies are 10-1, and in position for another Coastal Division Title. Due to some BCS carnage around them Virginia Tech finds themselves on the national championship radar. It’s another typical great job by Frank Beamer. Could finish with an A+: if they win the ACC and the Orange Bowl.
Could finish with an A+: If they have a 13-1 season.
Could finish with a B: If they lose to Virginia in their final game, and lose the bowl game. Hey it’s still a 10 win season, but given the soft schedule, there would be some disappointment.
Florida State Current Grade – C
There is no way the Florida State camp that can think this was a successful season. The Noles were overrated in the pre-season being in the top 10, but the fact they were essentially out the ACC Atlantic Division race by the end of September was inexcusable
Could finish with a B-: If they beat a bad Florida team, and win their bowl game to end the season 9-4.
Could finish with a C-: If they end the season 7-6. Bobby Bowden was already doing that
Clemson, Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State, Boston College, North Carolina, Miami
Clemson Tigers Current Grade – A
The Tigers are like that student that was acing every test, and then overslept that last test before finals. It was an absolute debacle at NC State, in the 37-13 beatdown. Still if you look at the season as a whole it’s been a very good one. They’ve already won the Atlantic Division title.
Could finish with an A+: If they knock off South Carolina, win the ACCCG, and the Orange Bowl.
Could finish with a B: if they lose all three. 9-5 wouldn’t be an awful season, but it sure would leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
Georgia Tech Current Grade – B
Not many people expected much from Georgia Tech this season, but Paul Johnson beat most of the teams they were supposed to and even pulled a couple of upsets on their way to an 8-3 start.
Could finish with an A: If they beat UGA and win the bowl game for a 10 win season. Jacket fans would be downright giddy for that kind of finish.
Could finish with a B-: If they lose UGA and lose the bowl game. It’s time for one those two losing streaks to come to an end, still many folks had Georgia Tech around the 6-7 win mark.
Maryland Current Grade – F
Randy Edsall turned a 9 win team with the ACC’s best returning QB into the conferences worst team. Nice job Randy.
Will finish with an F: Maryland flunks the intermediate class no matter what they do against NC State. They will fall back to the beginner’s class for next year. Honestly this has been one of the worst coaching jobs the ACC has seen in the last decade.
NC State Current Grade – C+
The Wolfpack have been all over the place this season, but their performance against Clemson shocked everyone. It may have been a season saving win.
Could finish with a B- : If they beat Maryland, and win the bowl game.
Could finish with a D: If they lose to Maryland. What is the point making an A+ on one of the tests, if you fail the open book final? It would be a nightmare to blow that final game against Maryland and not get to a bowl.
Boston College Current Grade – D
Boston College is the kid that just doesn’t have it upstairs, but they try hard, and they keep trying. Sitting at 3-8, this is the kind of year that sends you back to the beginner class.
Could finish with a D+: If they beat Miami in the final game. You just don’t deserve a passing grade with a 4-8 season.
Could finish with a D-: If they lose to Miami. The Eagles probably deserve an F, but the fact they never quit counts for something.
North Carolina Current Grade – C
The Heels didn’t live up to their considerable talent level. They started the year 5-1, and have been sinking ever since, losing 4 of their last 5. Their 2-5 ACC mark is particularly poor. They are bowl eligible which will keep the season from being a total loss.
Could finish with a B-: If they defeat Duke and win their bowl for an 8-5 season. It might not have met expectations, but still a decent season.
Could finish with a D: If they lose their final 2 games and have a 6-7 year. No way should a team with this much ability have a losing record.
Miami Current Grade – C
The Canes were expected to push Virginia Tech, but were never heard from again after a season opening loss to Maryland. There may have been distractions with the NCAA allegations, but we don’t figure that in our grades. You think your teacher feels sorry for you because your personal life is a mess… Nope
Could finish with a C: If the Canes can get by Boston College. Apparently Miami has decided to forgo a bowl this year so the best they can finish is 7-5.
Could finish with a D: Come on 6-6 at Miami? Not good enough, not by a long shot.
Virginia, Duke, Wake Forest
Virginia Current grade – A
The Cavs don’t belong in the beginner class, and they have proven it. They’ve exceeded just about anyone’s expectations. If you’ve been following the UVA you just knew there was something about Mike London, but no one knew it could happen this fast.
Could finish with an A+: If they beat Virginia Tech, win the ACC Title, and win the Orange Bowl. If the Cavs pull that off, they’ll skip a grade and go straight to the advanced class.
Could finish with an A: It doesn’t matter what the Cavs do, they are getting an A and moving up.
Wake Forest Current Grade – B+
Expectations were very low this year for Wake Forest, and they’ve come through with flying colors. In fact they had a shot at the ACC Atlantic all the way intoNovember and are now bowl eligible. It’s been a great job by Jim Grobe and Company.
Could finish with an A: If they beat a decent Vanderbilt team and win a bowl game to end the season 8-5.
Could finish with a B-: If lose their final 2 games. Many considered Wake Forest the worst team in the ACC in the pre-season, making it to a bowl is graduation time.
Duke Current Grade – C
Same ole story in Durham. No bowl, and no chance at a bowl, but they aren’t getting worse I guess.
Could finish with a C+: If they knock off North Carolina in the season finale. What better way to end the season that defeat your in-state arch rival.
Could finish with a C-: If they lose to the Heels they will have gone 2 months without a win, but when you are in the beginners class not much was expected in the first place.