The ACC season officially opened on Sunday with Boston College beating Maryland in College Park. BC apparently is looking to continue the tradition it started last season of being extremely questionable against the OOC schedule then showing up for the ACC schedule like they might win the conference. Then again Maryland has not been burning any villages with they way they have played so perhaps will wait for more evidence like in January when the ACC season is supposed to start.
At this point I if I had to draw up the tiers for the ACC I would break the conference down this way.
Top Tier: UNC, Duke, Clemson
Middle Tier: Miami, Boston College, Virginia, Florida State
Bottom Tier: Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, NC State, Georgia Tech, Maryland
As it stands right now, the top three are the only three teams with a legitimate shot at winning the conference. UNC, Duke and Clemson have played a decent to tough schedule and acquitted themselves well. Virginia would be top tier but the loss to Seton Hall sets them back a bit. The Cavs also lost to Syracuse which is not necessarily a bad loss. Boston College and Florida State have three losses between them that they should not have but also have won plenty of games they should have. Miami is 8-0 and have actually beaten teams other ACC schools have dropped games against. So Miami is sitting on the fence and based on who they lose to or win against they could go either way. And it is not a given they will slip back down because three teams we all thought would be in the middle of the pack are sitting down there.
Speaking of which, Wake Forest is starting to find life is tough and Virginia Tech is dealing with their personnel losses. And the rest of the bottom tier is really a surprise to everyone. Georgia Tech, Maryland and NC State all have at least one loss to a team from a non-BCS conference. In fact the Jackets and Pack have two such losses. The nagging problem with that is it puts a great deal of pressure on all three to win at least nine games in the ACC and in the case of GT and NCSU it might require 10 wins to offset the two bad losses. And it is still early. There could be additional nasty mojo in the offing for this trio. Each of these teams had high hopes for what this season might bring and so far it has been a disaster.
The upside for all the teams staring at the bottom of the league is the beginning of the full ACC schedule offers a chance to restart the season except for Maryland who promptly wasted said opportunity from the start.