ACC Mid-Season Team Grades

Sean MeganCorrespondent IOctober 13, 2009

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - SEPTEMBER 17:  Quarterback Jacory Harris #12 of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates after defeating the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Land Shark Stadium on September 17, 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Miami defeated Georgia Tech 33-17.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Read the entire ACC Mid-season Report here:

Boston College Eagles:  A-  Despite one of the most brutal off-seasons of any team in recent memory, the Boston College Eagles own a 4-2 record with big wins over Wake Forest and Florida State.  Picked by most of the media to finish last in the Atlantic division, the Eagles are proving doubters wrong and finding ways to win.  At 2-2 in conference play Boston College has as good a shot as anyone to win the division, and there doesn't seem to be too much danger left on the schedule besides a trip to South Bend for a meeting with the Fighting Irish.

Clemson Tigers:  C  After a valiant comeback against the Yellow Jackets fell short and a dominant performance the following week against Boston College, Clemson appeared to be a team on the rise.  Then the Tigers dropped two straight against TCU and a struggling Maryland team, causing concern and quieting the growing excitement in Clemson.  While the Tigers have been competitive in every game, the bottom line is they are too talented to be just 2-3 overall with their best win coming at home against a young and rebuilding Boston College team.

Duke Blue Devils:  A-  The only reason the Blue Devils aren't receiving an A+ here is that black eye they got on opening weekend.  Yes, Richmond is probably the best FCS team in the country, that doesn't excuse a team from a BCS conference losing to one from the Colonial Athletic Association.  However, since then Duke has gone 3-2 including a huge conference road win over NC State, their first in almost six years.  Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis is playing incredible football right now and if he and the Blue Devils can keep it up, who knows?  They might have just enough to go bowling for the first time in 15 years, but Duke still has to manage to win three more games to qualify.

Florida State Seminoles:  D+  Truthfully, Florida State fans wouldn't be lying if they argued they're only a few key plays away from a winning record, but the reality is they didn't make those plays and the only reason the Seminoles aren't receiving a failing grade is the impressive beat down they put on #7 (at the time) BYU in Provo.  The 'Noles were pre-season favorites in the Atlantic division but now find themselves 0-3 in conference play and if Christian Ponder doesn't get some help from the rest of the team soon, the nation's longest bowl streak is in very real danger.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets:  B+  Georgia Tech has proved that their offense is capable of working effectively against ACC defenses and when executed correctly can be devastating.  They have not however, shown that they can consistently play solid defense and that could the difference in the Yellow Jackets ACC title hopes.  Last week Georgia Tech ran wild on Florida State in a shootout win, but face their toughest test of the year this Saturday when Virginia Tech comes to town.

Maryland Terrapins:  D  Maryland's year has not been pretty by any stretch of the imagination.  After getting thoroughly demolished by what we now know to be an overrated California team, it took overtime the following week for the Terps to get by JMU, at home.  For an encore Maryland lost again to a middle-of-the-pack Sun Belt team in Middle Tennessee State and got crushed the week after by Rutgers, both games were also at home.  The Terrapins saving grace so far came week five by surprising Clemson but the winning didn't last long as they dropped their next game a week later at Wake Forest.

Miami Hurricanes:  A  Before the season began there was actually talk about the Hurricanes possibly starting 0-4, but now at 3-1 including wins over three ranked teams (when they played) Miami is a top ten team with BCS aspirations.  The Hurricanes should be favorites in every game left on their schedule and as long as they remain focused each week, there's no reason to believe Jacory Harris and crew can't wind up in a BCS bowl.

North Carolina Tar Heels:  C+  North Carolina got off to a great start playing tough defense on their way to a 3-0 start and looked like legitimate contenders in the Coastal division.  However, once the Tar Heels began ACC play that idea crumbled after UNC dropped its first two games to Georgia Tech and lowly Virginia.  Now at 0-2 in the ACC not only are the Heels' Coastal division hopes all but erased, but looking down their remaining schedule, North Carolina might actually have trouble matching last year's eight win total.

NC State Wolfpack:  C-  NC State was picked by many (myself included) to be a ACC sleeper and a contender in the Atlantic division.  Russell Wilson is a phenomenal quarterback but he hasn't been enough to keep the Wolfpack from falling to 0-2 in conference play after being handled by Duke.  The Atlantic division appears to be up for grabs but NC State hasn't done themselves any favors and if they don't correct some major defensive problems, this season won't be the one many Wolfpack fans hoped for.

Virginia Cavaliers:  D+  Two weeks ago the Cavs would have received a big F, but in the last couple weeks it looks like Virginia is finally starting to figure some things out.  Two straight wins don't make up for an 0-3 start including an embarrassing loss at the hands of FCS team William & Mary, but at least the Cavaliers seem to be on the right track.  Unfortunately for Virginia a brutal schedule lies ahead, not likely to help the mood in Charlottesville.

Virginia Tech Hokies:  A+  Virginia Tech is playing their best football in years and that's earned them the No. 4 spot in every major poll and at this point have to be considered the best one loss team in the country.  The Hokies have found the offense they've been missing for the past several years and that coupled with Bud Foster's defense has created a lot of national championship buzz around Blacksburg.  Virginia Tech can only control what they do and that means forgetting about the polls and hype, and focusing on winning, one game at a time.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons:  B+  The Demon Deacons have played solid, consistent football, and that earned them a 4-2 record overall and a slight lead in the Atlantic division.  Boston College would own the head-to-head tie-breaker over Wake Forest should that situation arise, but for now it appears that Jim Grobe's Demon Deacons are slight favorites to represent the Atlantic.  Though in such a wacky division, it's really anyone's guess right now.

*Be sure to check out the complete ACC Mid-season Report featuring the season's first half memorable moments, player and team awards, the All-ACC team, and more...