ACC notes: Seminoles aren’t dead — yet

The Post and CourierOctober 29, 2009 

The Wolfpack defense might slow requests to expedite the departure of Florida State coach Bobby Bowden.

After allowing 101 points in back to back losses against Duke and Wake Forest, N.C. State has had a bye week to prepare itself for Christian Ponder and the Florida State offense, which could lift the dysfunctional Seminoles back into a wide-open Atlantic Division race.

Against a talented North Carolina defense last week, Ponder threw for 390 yards, rallying the Seminoles to a come-from-behind victory to avoid an 0-4 start in ACC play.

"It's predictable," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said of the fluctuations of criticism. "[I watched Penn State coach] Joe Paterno go through his problems. ... Once you get to a certain age you're not successful because you're too old."

Miami at Wake Forest is also intriguing.

Will the Hurricanes bounce back at Wake Forest, after having their BCS titles hopes erased and their ACC championship aspirations damaged?

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THUMBS UP

Christian Ponder

The junior is completing 70 percent of his passes, has a 12 to 1 touchdown to interception ratio and is on pace for 3,730 passing yards.

Dabo Swinney

The Clemson coach quieted criticism by leading the Tigers to a win over No. 8 Miami, matching the highest-ranked opponent the Tigers have beaten on the

road (North Carolina, 1981).

Georgia Tech

With a win over Virginia, the Yellow Jackets have tiebreakers over Virginia Tech and Virginia in the Coastal, and a one-game lead over Miami. A Clemson-Ga. Tech rematch in the ACC title game?

THUMBS DOWN

Wake Forest

The Deacs (4-4, 2-2 ACC) put their postseason eligibility in jeopardy with a loss at Navy. Wake finishes with Miami, (at) Georgia Tech, Florida State, and (at) Duke.

The University of Alabama-Bowden?

Warchant.com speculated Bobby Bowden might continue coaching next season at UAB with former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden joining his staff. Bowden laughed off the rumor Tuesday telling the Orlando Sentinel: "You know, you hear so many different rumors, you get immune to them."

Mr. October, Al Groh

Sadly for Groh, his Octoberfest is about over. Virginia will improve to 4-1 in the month with a win against Duke Saturday, but November does appear welcoming. The month includes trips to Miami and Clemson and home dates against Virginia Tech and Boston College.

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He said it

"You'd like to think Heisman voters, in a year no one has truly stood out from the pack, would take time to pore over all candidates. But in reality, that's not how it works." - Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel on C.J. Spiller's Heisman chances.

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By the Numbers

8 - N.C. State's Philip Rivers earned ACC weekly rookie honors eight times in 2000. Virginia Tech freshman running back Ryan Williams hasearned five weekly awards this season.

28.3 - Top speed in miles per hour at which ESPN tracked Spiller on his

90-yard kickoff return at Miami. The world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, was clocked at 27.2 mph. Spiller is fast, but ESPN's equipment might need to be recalibrated.

98 - Ponder and Rod Owens connected on a 98-yard touchdown pass at Chapel Hill, tying the ACC record for longest pass.

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