Weird but true: For as maligned as the ACC is, it is also the only conference in the country in which every teams enters the final two weeks with at least a chance of reaching a bowl game.
Now, having no team that can finish worse than 4-8 doesn’t entirely offset the fact no team can emerge from the regular season at better than 9-3. But it helps a little.
Of course, the folks at the EagleBank Bowl just need nine teams to be 6-6 or better. That’s not exactly true. They need nine to be bowl eligible, and Clemson needs to be 7-5 for that to happen.
While Navy (6-4) is safely locked into one the of the Dec. 20 game’s slots – the Midshipmen lost to Notre Dame yesterday – the ACC’s non-eligible options didn’t do much to sort themselves out:
The Tigers (5-5) drilled Duke, but still require two more wins because they beat a pair of Division I-AA teams earlier this season. Clemson visits Virginia on Saturday, then finishes at home against South Carolina.
The Blue Devils lost (4-6) lost their fifth out of six with the blowout loss in Death Valley. Duke now must win at Virginia Tech and upend North Carolina at home in the final two weeks to become bowl eligible. Probably not going to happen.
* N.C. STATE
The Wolfpack (4-6) have won two straight, crushing Duke’s bowl dreams and Wake Forest’s best hopes of making it to the ACC title game. State must visit Carolina and play host to Miami, needing to win both to earn implausible bowl eligibility.
The Cavaliers (5-5) were idle, but get Clemson at home and Virginia Tech on the road to finish. Get a split, and they become an ideal team for the EagleBank Bowl to snag early next month.
ACC teams with 5+ wins: 9
ACC teams at .500 or better: 10
ACC teams that are bowl eligible: 8 (Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest)
Current projected team to the EagleBank Bowl: Virginia OR at-large