ACC Power Rankings Week 5

ACC Power Rankings Week 5

PhilWood
That may just have been the worst weekend in the history of the ACC conference. With the top of the conference losing to really bad teams, and Wake Forest failing to put up any type of showing against Notre Dame, the conference looks weaker and weaker by the minute.

This week I rewarded the teams that beat the teams they were supposed to in convincing fashion.

1. Clemson (4-0, 1-0 ACC) (Last Week: 1)

Last Week: at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-3, 0-2) – W 49-21

Next Week: vs. Syracuse Orange (4-0, 1-0)


Clemson predictably beat the hell out of the Yellow Jackets, giving up just 203 yards of total offense, as the offense built up a massive 42-7 lead. It seems that Trevor Lawrence has officially taken over as the guy as he once again saw much more playing time than Kelly Bryant and did much more with it, throwing for 4 touchdowns and 1 INT. The Tigers will finally get a chance to avenge their only loss of the regular season last season when they welcome the Orange into town.


2. Miami (3-1, 0-0 ACC) (Last Week: 3)

Last Week: vs FIU Panthers (2-2) – W 31-17

Next Week: vs North Carolina Tar Heels (1-2, 1-0)


N’Kosi Perry played every offensive snap while the game was still in doubt after the first two drives, and if this game was any indication, the future for Perry and the Canes is bright. Sure, this came against FIU, but it was huge to get Perry some meaningful snaps. His passes were on point as he went 17-25 for 224 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 INT. This may not be Perry’s team yet, but it feels like it’s just a matter of time. All of FIU’s points came in the final 7 minutes of the game, and their offense was shut down entirely by the Canes, who gave up just 187 yards total, 139 of which came on their last three scoring drives. That means the Canes gave up just 48 yards in the first 50 minutes of the game. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, that’s impressive.


3. Duke (4-0, 0-0 ACC) (Last Week: 5)

Last Week: vs. North Carolina Central Eagles (1-2) – W 55-13

Next Week: vs Virginia Tech Hokies (2-1, 1-0)


While everyone else implodes, the Blue Devils continue to take care of business. Quentin Harris looked solid again replacing Daniel Jones throwing for 202 yards and 3 touchdowns. This week they will get a Hokies team that should be fired up after being humiliated, but will also be without their starting QB. With a win, Duke would solidify themselves as the clear frontrunner to challenge the Canes for Coastal supremacy.


4. North Carolina State (3-0, 0-0 ACC) (Last Week: 6)

Last Week: at Marshall Thundering Herd (2-1) – W 37-20

Next Week: vs Virginia Cavaliers (3-1, 1-0)


Ryan Finley again lit up the skies with 377 yards passing, and Reggie Gallaspy added 2 scores on the ground as the Wolfpack handled Marshall easily in what could have been an overlooked non-conference road game. This week, NC State opens ACC play with a home game against a Cavaliers team that is already overachieving. With Finley, the Wolfpack can score with anyone, and they once again look poised to hang around in the Atlantic picture.


5. Syracuse (4-0, 1-0 ACC) (Last Week: 7)

Last Week: vs. UConn Huskies (1-2) – W 51-21

Next Week: at #3 Clemson Tigers (4-0, 1-0)


Nothing like a bye week against UConn to prepare for the biggest game of the season. Last year, the Orange did the unthinkable when they knocked off Clemson. The Orange are better this season than they were last season, and the defense has really cracked down since the terrible 3rd quarter in week one against Western Michigan. Eric Dungey has thrown 9 touchdowns and just 1 interception this season. He will have to continue to protect the ball and make big plays if the Orange want to have any chance on the road against Clemson this week.


6. Boston College (3-1, 1-0 ACC) (Last Week: 4)

Last Week: at Purdue Boilermakers (1-3) – L 30-13

Next Week: vs Temple Owls (2-2)


The hype around the Eagles was legit until it wasn’t. Maybe BC’s only goal this season was to make it into the top 25 and then peace out and rest up for next season. Look, Purdue isn’t terrible, but to get absolutely decimated by a team that successfully found ways to lose their first 3 games, is not a good look. This game was never close. There was never a doubt that the Eagles were going to lose. If it’s any consolation, Purdue WR Rondale Moore’s knee was absolutely down on the big touchdown that brought the end for BC. Instant replay in college is about as useful as Louisville’s offense.


7. Virginia Tech (2-1, 1-0 ACC) (Last Week: 2)

Last Week: at Old Dominion Monarchs (1-3) – L 49-35

Next Week: at #22 Duke Blue Devils (4-0, 0-0)


That was absolutely pathetic. Well done. This was probably the worst loss in Virginia Tech’s history and might be the biggest college football upset since App State over Michigan. And to add insult to injury, the Hokies lost Josh Jackson indefinitely. Remember how excited everyone was after that win in Tallahassee week 1? Well, now VT has lost by 14 to a team that lost by 42 to Liberty. Liberty, who lost by 40 at home to North Texas…


8. Virginia (3-1, 1-0 ACC) (Last Week: 12)

Last Week: vs. Louisville Cardinals (2-2, 0-1) – W 27-3

Next Week: at NC State Wolfpack (3-0, 0-0)


Would you look at Virginia go? As the rest of the ACC implodes, the Cavaliers continue to look good even in losses and now find themselves with a matchup against NC State that would legitimize them as contenders in the conference. For much of the game against Louisville, it was the defense that dominated, but when it came to crunch time, the offense put together two 4-minute, 60 plus yard drives to put the game out of reach. Bryce Perkins continues to establish himself as a dual threat, now with 867 yards through the air to go along with 317 yards on the ground. Add to that he has only turned the ball over twice all season.


9. Wake Forest (2-2, 0-1 ACC) (Last Week: 8)

Last Week: vs. #8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0) – L 56-27

Next Week: vs Rice Owls (1-3)


Wake Forest clearly was not ready for Ian Book. Book torched the defense through the air and added 3 touchdowns on the ground. Sam Hartman has yet to match the promise he showed in week 1 against Tulane, and despite racking up a lot of rushing yards, the Demon Deacons found themselves trailing for nearly the entire game. Wake seems like one of those teams that is destined to beat the teams they should and lose to the teams they should this season, which means a win should be on the horizon when they take on Rice at home next week.


10. Florida State (2-2, 0-2 ACC) (Last Week: 13)

Last Week: vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (1-3) – W 37-19

Next Week: at Louisville Cardinals (2-2, 0-1)


The Seminoles did it. They easily won a game. They jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and then never let the Huskies get close. Deondre Francois put up 352 yards and 2 touchdowns in the victory in his best performance of the season – I refuse to call that game against Samford a good performance despite the numbers. This week they head to Louisville in a game that could determine who ultimately ends up in the cellar of the Atlantic.


11. UNC (1-2, 1-0 ACC) (Last Week: 14)

Last Week: vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (2-2, 1-1) – W 38-35

Next Week: at #16 Miami Hurricanes (3-1, 0-0)


The Tar Heels finally pulled out a win, and it seems that the extra week of rest really helped this team. Nathan Elliott outplayed Kenny Pickett and a huge 3rd quarter helped UNC take the lead and never look back. Granted this win was less than convincing, but you’ll take a win against a divisional opponent by any means necessary. Maybe this is all UNC needed to spark their season. We will see when they travel to Miami on a short week.


12. Pittsburgh (2-2, 1-1 ACC) (Last Week: 9)

Last Week: at North Carolina Tar Heels (1-2, 1-0) – L 38-35

Next Week: at #13 UCF Knights (3-0)


That was a tough loss for the Panthers. If they could have won at UNC they would be 2-0 atop the Coastal standings and, based on how everyone else has looked, might have had a real chance to contend. Instead, they lost to a UNC team that was reeling after two road losses to start the season. And the road does not get any easier, as the Panthers travel to UCF to take on a team that will have extra rest and has been absolutely decimating defenses all season. If Pitt gave up 38 to UNC, what are they going to give up to the Knights?


13. Georgia Tech (1-3, 0-2 ACC) (Last Week: 11)


Last Week: vs. #3 Clemson Tigers (4-0, 1-0) – L 49-21

Next Week: vs Bowling Green Falcons (1-3)


Georgia Tech should think about recruiting a defense next season. Trailing in every game is never a good formula for a team that wants to run the ball on every down. The Yellow Jackets gave up 49 points for the second time this season, and other than a shutout against Alcorn State – impressive – the defense has not been able to stop anyone. They may have only given up 24 points to Pittsburgh, but 21 of those were in the first half when the Panthers built a 21-0 lead. They didn’t need to score after that, because GT was no threat to actually come back and win the game.


14. Louisville (2-2, 0-1 ACC) (Last Week: 10)

Last Week: at Virginia Cavaliers (3-1, 1-0) – L 27-3

Next Week: vs Florida State Seminoles (2-2, 0-2)


Louisville is really, really bad. Wow, they are bad. They are 2-2, but could easily be 0-4. It doesn’t matter who is running the offense, whether it be Jawon Pass or Malik Cunningham, the Cardinals are stagnant. The two QB’s put up 10.9 and 14.4 QBRs, respectively, and accounted for just 148 yards through the air. Bryce Perkins and the Virginia offense wore the Cardinals defense down and by the time the fourth quarter came around, there was no stopping them. The Cardinals were outgained 401–214 and lost the turnover battle 3-1. This week they get the Seminoles, who may be the only team in the ACC more disappointing than them up to this point. Based on the week the ACC just had, that’s saying a lot.
 

Comments (6)

ESPN slotted the ACC as fifth of the P5’s.

Power 5 conference power rankings after Week 4

5. ACC
1. Clemson Tigers (4-0)

There's no drama about who is the best team in the ACC. It's Clemson and then everyone else right now. But that doesn't mean there's no drama here. Clemson's QB situation is in flux, and it certainly looked like Trevor Lawrencetook a big step forward against Georgia Tech.

2. Miami Hurricanes (3-1)

Is N'Kosi Perry the answer for Miami's offense? He certainly looked like it against FIU. And if the Canes have a real threat at QB, there's every reason to think they're back at the top of the Coastal Division heap.

3. Duke Blue Devils (4-0)

No Daniel Jones, no problem. The Blue Devils continue to roll, scoring 95 points in the past two weeks since their starting QB went down.

The real question: How is the ACC not 6th?
 

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