ACC Power Rankings Week 7

ACC Power Rankings Week 7

Last week, Miami beat FSU and thus world peace is one step closer to being achieved. Meanwhile, NC State knocked off BC proving themselves as Clemson’s biggest competition in the Atlantic. Right now, there is a definitive top 3 and then the rest of the conference is an absolute mess.

This week, 5 ACC teams have byes, while 8 of the 9 in play will be taking on conference foes.

1. Clemson (6-0, 3-0 ACC) (Last Week: 1)

Last Week: at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-3, 0-2) – W 63-3

Next Week: Bye

If there were any questions about the Tigers after they almost lost at home to Syracuse, they answered them by absolutely destroying Wake Forest on the road in their most lopsided victory of the season. It was the best all-around performance by the Tigers this year as the offense scored a season high 66 and the defense gave up a season low 3 points. Clemson piled up 698 yards in the victory, and Travis Etienne averaged 16.7 yards per carry while scoring 3 touchdowns.

2. Miami (5-1, 2-0 ACC) (Last Week: 2)

Last Week: vs Florida State Seminoles (3-3, 1-3) – W 28-27

Next Week: at Virginia Cavaliers (3-2, 1-1)

First of all, the announcement of Ahmmon Richards’ career ending injury is simply devastating. You never want to see a young player with so much talent have their career cut short, no matter who they play for. I wish him all the best.

Now to the game at hand. It was ugly, but it was a win and for the first time since 2004, the Hurricanes took down the Seminoles in Miami. This game didn’t say much for how good Miami is, rather it says how bad FSU is. The Canes defense was dominant in the second half, forcing two turnovers that set up 2 touchdowns in 42 seconds. N’Kosi Perry may have thrown 4 touchdowns, but the redshirt freshman looked far from great in his second start, and first where something was asked of him, going just 13-32 for 204 yards. The offense will need to be better if the Canes want to win the Coastal and have any shot at the ACC title.

3. North Carolina State (5-0, 2-0 ACC) (Last Week: 3)

Last Week: vs Boston College Eagles (4-2, 1-1) – W 28-23

Next Week: Bye

The Wolfpack took a 28-3 lead deep into the 3rd quarter before they unthinkably almost blew it all away. I really don’t know what to make of this team. Yes, they’re undefeated, but they turned the ball over 4 times against the Eagles, and won by just 5 despite gaining 22 more first downs than BC. They will have a bye week to clean up some of the sloppy play before they travel to Clemson for a game that will likely decide the Atlantic representative in the ACC championship.

4. Virginia Tech (3-2, 2-0 ACC) (Last Week: 4)

Last Week: vs #6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-0) – L 45-23

Next Week: at North Carolina Tar Heels (1-3, 1-1)

Either Brian Kelly gave the greatest halftime speech of all time, or the Hokies just simply forgot they were supposed to play for 60 minutes. In the first half, VT was step-for-step with the Fighting Irish, even scoring a last second touchdown to enter the half down just 1 after what could have been a devastating fumble recovery touchdown. The Hokies looked determined to stay with Notre Dame until the very end, but the 2nd half was a disaster. The Hokies were outscored 28-7 in the final half, and now likely won’t play another ranked opponent until they take on Miami on November 17. The Hokies can still win the Coastal, but it seems that is their ceiling for the season.

5. Boston College (4-2, 1-1 ACC) (Last Week: 6)

Last Week: at #23 NC State Wolfpack (5-0, 2-0) – L 28-23

Next Week: vs. Louisville Cardinals (2-4, 0-3)

Anthony Brown and BC mounted a valiant comeback that ultimately fell just short in Raleigh. Playing without AJ Dillon, it was expected that the Eagles would have a hard time competing with the Wolfpack. The defense did turn over Ryan Finley twice after he had thrown only 1 interception all season, though. Luckily for BC, they get Louisville at home, which is essentially a bye week, then they get their actual bye week before they welcome the Hurricanes to town. Two weeks of rest for AJ Dillon could make that game very interesting.

6. Syracuse (4-2, 1-2 ACC) (Last Week: 5)

Last Week: at Pittsburgh Panthers (3-3, 2-1) – L 44-37

Next Week: Bye

What do you even say about what happened in Pittsburgh on Saturday? The Orange, who looked so good through 5 weeks, came out flat. After a weather delay, they rebounded and looked poised to deliver a knockout blow to the Panthers. Instead, they let the Panthers back into the game, and gave up a last second field goal which forced overtime. After the defense gave up an easy touchdown, Eric Dungey threw one of the dumbest passes you may ever see on first down which resulted in an interception and Panther victory. Just when you think Syracuse has actually turned the corner…

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

Last Week: Bye

Next Week: at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-3, 1-2)

The bad news: with the Yellow Jackets picking up a win at Louisville, the Blue Devils come out of their bye week as the only team in the Coastal without an ACC win. The good news: the Blue Devils get GT this week as they try to ascend the Coastal standings.

8. Virginia (3-2, 1-1 ACC) (Last Week: 8)

Last Week: Bye

Next Week: vs #16 Miami Hurricanes (5-1, 2-0)

Nothing to report in Virginia. The Cavaliers had an extra week to prepare for Miami, and it will be interesting to see how Bryce Perkins attacks a Hurricane defense that has caused 8 turnovers in the last 2 weeks.

9. Pittsburgh (3-3, 2-1 ACC) (Last Week: 12)

Last Week: vs Syracuse Orange (4-2, 1-2) – W 44-37

Next Week: at #5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-0)

Alright Pittsburgh, I see you. Pitt rallied back from an early two touchdown deficit to take a 10-point lead, which they saw turn into a 7-point hole yet again. But the Panthers hung in there forcing overtime, and pulled out a huge conference win over the Orange. Pitt now quietly sits at 2-1 in ACC play. Qadree Ollison rushed for 192 yards, while Darrin Hall added another 107. The defense leaves a lot to be desired but made enough stops on Saturday to get the win.

10. Florida State (3-3, 1-3 ACC) (Last Week: 10)

Last Week: at #17 Miami Hurricanes (5-1, 2-0)

Next Week: Bye

Well there goes any shot at redeeming your season. Miami just played as bad as they could have and they still won. All FSU had to do was put together any sort of drive in the 2nd half, but they couldn’t. Also 4 of their last 6 games are against ranked opponents, which barring a miracle, means that at most FSU would end up with 5 wins. Maybe they’ll schedule another cupcake to become bowl eligible. Though with this team, I wouldn’t trust them to pull out the win.

11. UNC (1-3, 1-1 ACC) (Last Week: 11)

Last Week: Bye

Next Week: vs Virginia Tech Hokies (3-2, 2-0)

UNC comes off their bye to take on an up and down Hokies team. If VT was able to beat a Daniel Jones led Duke team on the road, I can’t imagine them having any trouble with UNC no matter who is starting at QB.

12. Wake Forest (3-3, 0-2 ACC) (Last Week: 9)

Last Week: vs #4 Clemson Tigers (6-0, 3-0) – L 63-3

Next Week: Bye

Wake took a page out Louisville’s book and decided to play dead in front of their home crowd. The defense gave up 698 yards of total offense. 698! The refs should have either called this one at halftime, enforced the mercy rule, or just implemented a running clock, because the Demon Deacons were pitiful. Is it crazy that Wake only had 1 turnover all game and they still lost by 60?

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

Last Week: at Louisville Cardinals (2-4, 0-3) – W 66-31

Next Week: vs Duke Blue Devils (4-1, 0-1)

In the victory, the Yellow Jackets almost scored more points than plays they ran (67-66). TaQuon Marshall threw the ball only twice all game, but GT racked up 542 yards rushing in the rout. What does this mean for Georgia Tech going forward… who knows? They’re inconsistent, but a win over Duke this week could work wonders in proving they are a contender in the Coastal.

14. Louisville (2-4, 0-3 ACC) (Last Week: 14)

Last Week: vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-3, 1-2) – L 66-31

Next Week: at Boston College Eagles (4-2, 1-1)

And that’s how you solidify your position as the worst team in the ACC. My favorite stat from Friday night’s massacre was that Georgia Tech threw for only 12 yards all game and still scored 66 points. The Yellow Jackets rushed 65 times for 542 yards. 542! Someone call Louisville’s defensive coordinator and tell him that GT is going to run and he should call a play to stop it.

Comments (16)

I'd put NCST at the No. 2 slot and Miami No. 3. Sorry!
Why? They've played James Madison, Georgia State, Marshall, UVA, and BC. They've played a softer schedule than even us, yet they are averaging 9 fewer points per game on offense and they're ranked 30 spots lower in total defense.

Was it their dominating 24-13 victory over James Madison that convinced you?
Kosi got to be more accurate, had some open guys out there. With time and reps and comfort in the pocket he should improve.
1. Clemson
2. Miami
3. NC St
4. Va Tech
5. Duke
6. UVA
7. BC
8. Pitt
9. Cuse
10. GTech
11. Wake Forest
12. FSU
13. LVille
14. UNC
That’s where espn has NCSt...

1. Clemson Tigers (6-0)
The question that emerged after its win over Wake Forest -- should Travis Etienne be in the Heisman conversation?

2. NC State Wolfpack (5-0)
NC State nearly blew its win over Boston College, but the victory qualifies as substantial progress for a program that has lost these exact games in the past.

3. Miami Hurricanes (5-1)
The Hurricanes stumbled in the opening half against Florida State before relying on turnovers (and the power of the chain) to come back and beat rival Florida State.

4. Virginia Tech Hokies (3-2)
For a half at least, the Hokies looked competitive against Notre Dame. Then Dexter Williams happened.

5. Duke Blue Devils (4-1)
The Blue Devils had their bye week to prepare for Georgia Tech this week.

6. Virginia Cavaliers (3-2)
Virginia hosts Miami on Saturday -- the Cavs have given the Hurricanes fits in recent years.

7. Boston College Eagles (4-2)
The Eagles played at NC State without top rusher AJ Dillon, and that impacted the offense.

8. Pittsburgh Panthers (3-3)
Pitt might be the most difficult team to figure out in the ACC. The Panthers lost to North Carolina, but beat a vastly improved Syracuse team?

9. Syracuse Orange (4-2)
Another disappointing loss for Syracuse, losing in overtime to Pitt. For the Orange to be the program it wants, it has to find ways to put heartbreaking losses aside and move forward.

10. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-3)
The Jackets demolished Louisville in a game that should be titled: Coach Paul Johnson gets his revenge.

11. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-3)
Coach Dave Clawson fired his defensive coordinator weeks ago, but the Deacons' defense remains a liability.

12. Florida State Seminoles (3-3)
Florida State built a 27-7 halftime lead on rival Miami but let it slip away in a crushing loss that showed many of the same flaws that have hurt this team.

13. North Carolina Tar Heels (1-3)
North Carolina had a bye and hosts Virginia Tech on Saturday.

14. Louisville Cardinals (2-4)
Another dispiriting loss for the Cardinals, and a schedule that will make it extremely difficult to make a bowl.
Typical of ESPN to look no further than that 0 in their loss column, but make no mention of the fact that their lone scheduled game against a ranked opponent--thus far--was cancelled or they'd be sitting 5-1 just like us.

Our level of competition has been equal to or better than theirs and our margin of victory has been more impressive.
All things considered, if you look at the metrics, Miami should be #2 in the ACC. We’ll see how NC St fares moving forward, especially against Clemson. Wouldn’t it be odd to have Miami versus the Wolfpack in the ACCCG ?
I’m not disagreeing with you. The narrative is similar on who should make the CFP (most hilarious … they crafted a scenario where WV has one loss - even the ESPN FPI predictor says they’ll lose at least three games - but don’t consider the possibility of WV goin undefeated because it spoils the “well we have to consider the team from northern Indiana if they go undefeated.)

Dark horses
1. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-0)


Remaining SOS: No. 3
Toughest remaining game: Nov. 23 vs. Oklahoma
FPI says: West Virginia's final four games are the third-toughest closing stretch in the FBS this season (behind Rutgers and Maryland). The FPI projects the Mountaineers to lose three of the last four, with the lone win coming at home against TCU.
Playoff predictor says: If West Virginia finishes as a one-loss Big 12 champ, with its lone loss coming to Oklahoma in the regular-season finale, its playoff chances would be 43.5 percent.

The Mountaineers are the Big 12's only undefeated team left after Oklahoma's loss to Texas. They're in good company, as they rank third in ESPN's game control metric behind Alabama and Georgia, and they have the best strength of schedule among teams to play only five games so far (5-0 against West Virginia's schedule is almost identical to 6-0 versus Alabama's schedule to date). Their problem is they haven't always looked like a top-four team. West Virginia had four turnovers on Saturday against Kansas, including three interceptions in the red zone.

Bottom line: West Virginia still has to prove it has staying power, but if it can make a run at the Big 12 title and finish as a one-loss champ, it would certainly be considered. The problem for West Virginia (and the entire Big 12) is Notre Dame. The Irish are in a much better position to run the table, and an undefeated record would almost guarantee a top-four finish over a one-loss Big 12 champ. It also would depend on how the other Power 5 champs fare, as well as how Alabama and Georgia finish.
Yeah...I get it. And while I'm not one to constantly harp on these rankings or polls--I don't necessarily think we should be ranked higer than we are based on our body of work to date--there are definitely teams ahead of that should not be. Notably, Washington, Texas, UCF, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

I look at it like, if two teams faced off on a neutral field, who would be favored? If your answer is team A, then you have no business ranking team B ahead of them. I don't care what their record is or who they've played. To do anything else is basically admitting that team B's ranking is nothing more than a product of not playing quality competition.

Take our first game against LSU, for example. #8 vs #25 on a neutral field. The fact that the spread was only 3 should have been a clear indicator that the two teams had no business being separated by 17 poll positions.
I also think Miami is exactly where Miami should be but I disagree with you on Texas. They beat OK and TCU...that has to count for something. Michigan...i’ll accept their place ahead of Miami even if I don’t agree.

I won’t go through all the teams but Miami is being penalized HEAVILY for the LSU game (and the Pitt loss, the Clemson Blowout and the Wisconsin outclassing). It’s counting against Miami in the national conversation MORE than VT losing to ODU or Wisconsin losing to BYU. I also expect Oregon to jump Miami if not this week then definitely in the bye week if Oregon wins their next two games.
Texas is a garbage team that lost to a Maryland team with half of their coaching staff suspended.

The fact that they beat OU should say more about how a team that gives up a TD 100% of the time an opposing offense crosses the 20 has no business being in the Top 10 than it does about the strength of Texas.

OU, and pretty much any BigXII or Pac12 team is going to lose to every opponent they face who plays even average defense.

It happens every year, and OU gets penalized more for not having a 13th game than they do for playing in a league that completely neglects defense.
All things considered, if you look at the metrics, Miami should be #2 in the ACC. We’ll see how NC St fares moving forward, especially against Clemson. Wouldn’t it be odd to have Miami versus the Wolfpack in the ACCCG ?

I would love to play NCState in the ACC championship game, we would have a great shot of securing our first ACC title. Will be rooting hard for them to upset Clemson.

Yeah I would love to beat Clemson in the championship game but I'm in the camp that wants to win the friggin thing sooner rather than later and I think we have a MUCH better chance of beating NCstate.
If NCState can upset Clemson then shouldn’t Miami be able to upset Clemson? And, if NC State is in the class of Clemson then doesn’t that mean Miami is not in the class of NC State from your point of view?

Miami with N’Kosi is a much better matchup with Clemson. Miami can win that game.

I never said NCState was in the same class as Clemson. I said I hope they upset them. There is a small chance they win that game, the fact that it's possible doesn't mean they are in the same stratosphere of talent.

Yes, Miami can beat Clemson. Though I think we lose that game more often than we win. It's the opposite if we play NCState. I want to win the ACC Championship for the first time. We have a better chance of doing that against NCState.
Technically Texas does have a 13th game but I get your point. But, there’s also no way that the northern Indiana team is a top-5 team either. Wins over a suspect Michigan, that was even more suspect at the beginning of the season, and a Stanford team that has turned into standard PAC-12 fare. But ESPN is pushing their relevance - hard.

Also, again, I just understand why Miami is where Miami is (Texas is viewed as actually having quality wins and the national narrative is that Miami beat an awful FSU team (Miami’s schedule doesn’t help; Miami will have to dominate the schedule to get the benefit of the doubt).
Notre Dame is going to drop to either Pitt or Navy because the Gods favor me and I don't want to fathom the possibility of having to root for FSU to do the deed.
You’re right; the odds do favor Miami more with NC State as the opponent than Clemson. And, though I understand your need to see that ACC title more than the Clemson victory, I need to see Miami beat one of the biggies more than an ACC title.

Let’s hope Miami does both.
If NC State upsets Clemson, it would delegitimize a Miami ACC champion as far as the CFP is concerned. The national perception is that the ACC is in a down year and only Clemson and maybe Miami are legitimate contenders. If for any reason Clemson fails to reach the ACCCG undefeated, the ACC will miss the playoff this season.
Notre Dame is going to drop to either Pitt or Navy because the Gods favor me and I don't want to fathom the possibility of having to root for FSU to do the deed.
The thought of Notre Lame being a potential playoff team makes me sick to my stomach.

I think it'll be either Cuse or USC that catch them slippin, but it would be the worst CFB playoffs ever if ND somehow made it in. Even if they go undefeated I would fully expect them to get washed by one of the SEC teams.
The thought of Notre Lame being a potential playoff team makes me sick to my stomach.

I think it'll be either Cuse or USC that catch them slippin, but it would be the worst CFB playoffs ever if ND somehow made it in. Even if they go undefeated I would fully expect them to get washed by one of the SEC teams.
But it is Kosher to pull heavily for Pitt next weekend, correct?