Duke: All apologies to Wallace Wade, but Duke's offensive line never looked as good as it did Saturday. The Blue Devils ended a 20-game road losing streak in the ACC and an eight-game conference losing streak with a 49-28 win at N.C. State.
At 3-3, they have a legitimate chance to finish at .500 or better for only the second time since Steve Spurrier left 20 years ago. Too bad the Devils are on the wrong side of the ACC river; they could have been a contender in the Atlantic Division.
Florida: With the white windbreaker, Gators coach Urban Meyer is beginning to resemble Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, minus the Estelle Getty sunglasses and wrinkles.
The Florida coach seems to have adopted Davis' motto. Playing quarterback Tim Tebow, after he was hospitalized with a concussion on Sept. 27, in Saturday's 13-3 win at LSU, a game that was essentially an exhibition? Just win, baby.
N.C. State: On the spectrum of bad defensive efforts, there's the epic 2001 GMAC Bowl, Rodney King's legal team and Cumberland College's 222-point loss to Georgia Tech. The Wolfpack's effort in a 49-28 loss to Duke falls somewhere between the latter two.
Coach Tom O'Brien claimed State tried "everything" on defense, except, of course, actually covering a Duke receiver.
The reality for the Wolfpack (3-3) is the Atlantic Division was there for the taking, and it never even bothered to get in the race. After two bad ACC losses, without so much as leaving the state, the Wolfs will be lucky to win two more games, let alone qualify for a bowl.
In-state opponents have taken N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien's "we're not going anywhere" words to heart. After a 4-0 sweep of Duke, Wake Forest, UNC and ECU in 2008, O'Brien proclaimed the Wolfpack the best in the state, then said if he anyone didn't like it, they'd get their chance this year.
Both Wake and Duke have repaid State for last year's losses. With the Pack out of the state title business, Mack Brown's mythical trophy might be decided on Nov. 28, when Duke and Wake meet in Durham.
Ranking the ACC
The middle six:
4. Wake Forest
Just like I said, a slick QB and a smart coach will win the Atlantic.
5 (tie). Virginia, Duke, Maryland, Clemson, Boston College
BC's good at home, UVa's 2-0 against teams that end with the letter A, and the other three are better than the bottom three, by default.
"I wasn't going no place."
— Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson, who has had nine head coaching jobs since 1982, after he was knocked out in a sideline collision with a Washington State player during the Sun Devils' 27-14 win over Washington State.
Translation: That's the only time you'll ever hear those words come out of my mouth.