We have finally arrived to October in the novel that is ACC Football 2012.
The leaves have changed and there are potentially some major developments.
In both the Atlantic Division and Coastal Division, there could be multiple teams with a single loss or there could be a few teams without a loss.
But that is the same in every conference in the land every year. As the leaves fade to their beautiful reds, yellows and oranges to light up the landscape, so does the pressure of each game for every team.
Especially in the ACC, who has the teams and talent in 2012 and must prove it is a worthy competitor for their BCS brethern.
That is the intrigue and why the battle between the Florida State Seminoles and the North Carolina State Wolfpack in Raleigh, North Carolina, on October 6, comes in at No. 5 in the Top 12 Must See ACC Football Games in 2012.
At this point, the Seminoles should be still perfect on the season at 5-0, 2-0 in the Atlantic Division.
The ‘Noles will have geared up with two cupcake victories and a pair of ACC wins versus the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and an overtime thriller against the Clemson Tigers. Florida State does have the dreaded trap game in the form of the South Florida Bulls on the road in Tampa, Florida, the week prior to this big battle with the Wolfpack. By all account, FSU should handle the Bulls, but nothing is a given as Head Coach Jimbo Fisher leads his highly ranked squad to Raleigh for its second straight big road test and third straight game with high emotions.
On the flip side of the ball, NC State has a tougher road, but should enter this huge statement game for Head Coach Tom O’Brien and his program a perfect 5-0, 2-0 in the Atlantic Division as well.
The path has been a much tougher one for the Wolfpack if they are truly perfect at this point. NC State had to upend SEC foe Tennessee Volunteers to open the season, travel to face a pesky Connecticut Huskies squad before returning home to face the South Alabama Bulls and the Citadel Bulldogs. They put a cap on the September schedule with a tough road victory against the Miami Hurricanes in ACC action.
So, in theory, the stage is set for the biggest home college football game possibly ever in the state of North Carolina. If this holds true to form, the ACC could not have asked for a better revival of their religion of football in the south.
But the biggest story of this game is not going to be the fact fans could have another highly ranked, undefeated battle of ACC football teams. It’s not going to be the power resurgance of the ACC or that Florida State is finally “back”.
The headline of this game, before and after, will be the play of Wolfpack senior QB Mike Glennon.
Glennon is the kid who no one has really ever heard of, unfortunately, because he has played for a underachieving team in an underachieving conference for the past couple of years. Glennon is the guy who was the No. 3 high school quarterback in the nation as he entered NC State in 2008. After a redshirt in 2008 and seven appearance in 2009, he became the clipboard holder to what was the Russell Wilson show at quarterback in 2010.
Glennon had a breakout 2011 and is second only in most quarterback records to the great Phillip Rivers who is possibly the best passer to come out of the NC State program.
And after leading his Wolfpack to potential victory over Tennessee in opener followed up by four more win in which he excelled, the eyes of college football and every pro scout will be on the 6-6 , 232 pound Glennon come the first weekend in October.
No one has more to gain or lose in this game than this kid.
Glennon will have a huge game, the crowd will be electric and every NFL owner in desperate need of a QB will be drooling.
NC State pulls off the shocker at home 31-30.
NEXT in the Top 12 Must See ACC Football Games of 2012: No. 6 – Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the Clemson Tigers.
M. Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years experience in sports broadcasting, journalism and college athletics and currently covers ACC Football for Rant Sports.
Follow him @woodysmalls