The ACC was one snap away from its preseason division favorites vanishing from the top 25 Saturday. But Logan Thomas’ last-minute, fourth-and-1 touchdown from 19 yards out gave Virginia Tech a 38-35 victory over Miami and kept the Hokies in the national polls.
Florida State wasn’t as good or fortunate. The overwhelming choice in preseason to win the ACC, the Seminoles lost at Wake Forest 35-30 to fall to 2-3, 0-2 in the conference, and tumble out of the top 25 after starting the year No. 5.
I bumped Virginia Tech up two spots to No. 22 after the Miami win. My top nine remained the same after they went a combined 8-0 – Wisconsin was idle – with every win by at least 22 points.
The Hokies are 19th in the actual poll, posted here, up from 21st. For the second time in three weeks and third time this season, the 25 on my ballot match the 25 that made the poll.
Here’s my ballot:
2. Alabama (6-0): The Tide posted its second shutout, 34-0 over Vanderbilt, and has allowed 42 points all season. Over-under for Mississippi this week is six.
3. Oklahoma (5-0): Judging from their 55-17 pasting of previously unbeaten Texas, the Sooners are steamed about falling from preseason No. 1. Bank on OU taking out frustration again this week against helpless Kansas.
4. Oklahoma State (5-0): I say “helpless” Kansas because the Jayhawks lost 70-28 to Oklahoma State, which this week heads to Texas.
6. Wisconsin (5-0): The Badgers were idle Saturday and may not get much more a workout this week against visiting Indiana.
10. Arkansas (5-1): A 38-14 rout of Auburn was the Razorbacks’ second straight against a ranked team – they’d bested Texas A&M previously. They’re off until an Oct. 22 visit from Mississippi.
12. West Virginia (5-1) The Mountaineers had another skittish start before dumping Connecticut 43-16. They’re off until Oct. 21 at future ACC member Syracuse.
13. Georgia Tech (6-0): The Yellow Jackets are eligible for their 15th consecutive bowl and are 6-0 for the first time since 1966 after beating Maryland 21-16. Up next is a trip to Virginia.
14. Illinois (6-0): Keep winning and keep rising. That’s what Illini did with 41-20 victory over Indiana and hopes to do this week against staggered Ohio State.
16. Nebraska (5-1): Comeback of the week was the Cornhuskers rallying from 21 down for 34-27 victory over Ohio State. Nebraska idle until Oct. 22 visit from lowly Minnesota.
19. Arizona State (5-1): The Sun Devils go from the routine, a 35-14 win over Utah, to the daunting with a trip to Oregon. But ASU competed with the Ducks last season before falling 42-31.
20. Texas (4-1): The Longhorns weren’t as good as their No. 11 ranking last week and aren’t as bad as their 55-17 loss to Oklahoma might indicate. Three Sooners’ defensive TDs skewed the margin. No easier this week with Oklahoma State.
21. Auburn (4-2): Ditto the Tigers, who after getting whacked by Arkansas host Florida.
22. Virginia Tech (5-1): Hokies head to Wake Forest in a game that once looked easy. But Deacons are 4-1, and 3-0 in ACC for first time ever.
23. Michigan State (4-1): Idle last week, an advantage in preparing for Denard Robinson and Michigan.
24. Houston (6-0): Been waiting to rank the Cougars and Case Keenum for a couple weeks. They made it easy by trouncing East Carolina 56-3. Houston off until Oct. 22 against Marshall.
25. Texas A&M (3-2): Aggies’ 45-40 survival of Texas Tech merely the latest of their crazy games. Expect more of same when Baylor visits.
In this week: Texas A&M and Houston.
Out: Florida State and Florida.