UP: N.C. State. The Wolfpack so thoroughly outplayed the most talented team in the ACC Saturday, it deserves to be recognized for the most complete performance of the Tom O'Brien era.
Let's resist the urge to give the Wolfpack a preemptive ''down arrow'' for next week's pending loss to Maryland, because given the pattern of the last month (and N.C. State's history with the Terps), the praise could be short-lived.
UP: Virginia. You got me, Mike London. Your team committed way too many penalties (a sign of bad coaching) last year and didn't seem real interested in your message (again, a bad sign).
But in 12 months, you've pulled the program out of the abyss (8-3 after going 3-9 in 2010) and have the Cavaliers within one win of the Coastal Division title. Impressive.
DOWN: Oregon. Just when Les Miles and Gene Chizik supply Chip Kelly with the password to luckybcscoaches.com, the Oregon maestro completely mangles the clock on the final drive in the Ducks' fateful 38-35 loss to Southern California.
Even Roy Williams thinks Kelly should have used one of his three timeouts on the final drive, which ended with a yanked 37-yard field goal.
DOWN: The BCS. Honestly, tell us the difference between the six one-loss teams? Or how about between the 12 two-loss teams that are ranked this week? You can't with any sincerity, and that's why there should be a playoff, never mind the financial implications.
WHAT WE LEARNED
Sammy Watkins is the most valuable player in the ACC: With the freshman receiver, Clemson hangs 59 on North Carolina. Without him, the Tigers score 13 against the Wolfpack? Oversimplistic, for sure, but Tajh Boyd certainly doesn't want to play any more games without Watkins.
Robert Griffin III should win the Heisman Trophy: Baylor's quarterback doesn't play defense, so it's difficult to blame him for the 150 points the Bears gave up in their three losses. What Griffin does do is play football better (33 touchdown passes, 3,572 passing yards, 72.9 completion percentage) than anyone else in the country, and that's what the trophy is for, not for the best player on the best team.
RANKING THE ACC
1. Virginia Tech: "There's one 'O' in Hokies, boys." The plaque for the alternates is in the ladies' room.
2. Clemson: Beat the Gamecocks, and no one will remember the N.C. State debacle.
3. Virginia: Running back Perry Jones is the most underrated player in the ACC.
4. FSU: A second ACC loss in two years on a missed field goal. It must be a Seminoles thing.
5. Georgia Tech: Wreck fans will trade Paul Johnson's stellar ACC record for another win over the Dawgs.
6. N.C. State: Smack dab in the middle, to split the difference between "good'' N.C. State and ''bad'' N.C. State.
7. Miami: Al Golden has petitioned the league to play Maryland again.
8. UNC: A game effort against the Hokies, but get ready for Duke's Super Bowl.
9. Wake Forest: Another great recruiting find by Jim Grobe in quarterback Tanner Price.
10. Duke: Easily the ''horseshoes and hand grenades'' division champions.
11. Boston College: 2-0 vs. the red ACC teams, 0-5 vs. the rest.
12. Maryland: They should bring The Fridge back to torment the Wolfpack.