Can two close OT losses to ranked teams completely ruin a season?
No, of course not. Winning the ACC seems extremely unlikely, but the Jackets could use Saturday's hard fought win over a good N.C. State team to mount momentum for an all-out assault on a Top Ten finish. A New Year's Day Bowl other than the Gator Bowl is the prize. But the Jackets are going to have to defeat a suddenly powerful North Carolina squad, an improving FSU, and those Georgia Dawgs, also better than expected this year.
The BCS rankings again hold the potential for controversy as a couple of undefeated teams --Maryland and the winner of the Virginia Tech/ Miami game December 1 --could be left out of the Rose Bowl if things play out a certain way.
Oklahoma ranked first in the initial BCS poll and they'll immediately have to play number two Nebraska this week. UCLA is ranked third, followed by Miami, Virginia Tech, Texas, Michigan, Maryland, Tennessee, Washington State, Florida, Washington, Oregon, Stanford and South Carolina. Maryland faces a tough test against FSU Saturday and UCLA must travel to Stanford. Virginia Tech faces a resurgent Syracuse.
Tech needs to climb into the top 15 and then higher by winning its remaining games one week at a time. But the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-10 teams will probably beat themselves up enough to allow the Jackets their shot, if they keep winning.