Chris Graham: Florida State and nothing else? Not hardly

ACC letters - full-colorWashington Post columnist John Feinstein seems to think that ACC football is Florida State and the 13 Dwarfs. Um, John, hate to break this to you, but … you’re showing no respect at all for Miami and Virginia Tech in that assessment.

Miami, ranked seventh in the BCS, travels to Tallahassee for a game against #2 FSU on Nov. 2. A week later, the Hurricanes host #14 Virginia Tech.

It’s not hard to imagine any of the three emerging from the end of the day on Nov. 9 as a national-title contender – yes, even one-loss Virginia Tech.

Florida State, to be sure, has the easiest path, if you want to say beating Miami is anything resembling easy. The Seminoles are at least at home for their part of this do-si-do.

Miami, if it survives FSU, has to turn right around and host Virginia Tech, which has won six straight since suffering the only loss for any of the three to date, a season-opening defeat at the hands of #1 Alabama.

Virginia Tech can play its way into the national-title picture with a win in Coral Gables and a win in the ACC Championship Game over Florida State. Assuming they win out otherwise, the Hokies would be 12-1, winners of 12 straight, with their lone loss being to ‘Bama in a game that wasn’t anything like the 35-10 final score would seem to indicate.

Miami obviously plays its way into the national-title discussion with wins over FSU and Tech and then a repeat likely over Florida State in the ACC Championship Game in December. Assuming the ‘Canes win out otherwise, they’d be on the doorstep of the BCS title game at the worst.

Florida State looked historically dominant in its 51-14 win over then-#3 Clemson last weekend. Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston looks to be the favorite for the Heisman Trophy. The ‘Noles D looks to be as good or (dare I suggest?) better than Bobby Bowden’s classic FSU defenses of the 1990s.

Just a couple of weeks ago, they were down 17-3 in the second quarter at Boston College, who somehow put up 34 on Jimbo Fisher’s Second Coming.

Nothing is set in stone.

uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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