The ACC went crazy in week seven, headlined by Syracuse’s upset over Clemson, and Boston College shocking Louisville at home. After Saturday’s slate of games, here are the ACC Power Rankings after this past week.
1. Miami (5-0, 3-0)
After Clemson’s loss to Syracuse, Miami moves into the No. 1 spot with another last-second victory over Georgia Tech. The Canes are now legitimately in the playoff hunt and are the last undefeated team in the ACC. Miami is ranked No. 8 in the new AP Poll, and face an upstart Syracuse team this week, with the Orange looking to get another top 10 upset.
2. Clemson (6-1, 1-1)
Clemson did not look very good against Syracuse for a variety of reasons, chief among them being Kelly Bryant’s early exit. The Tigers have earned a mulligan after wins over Auburn (which admittedly looks less impressive after Saturday) and Virginia Tech. Clemson does have flaws that have been glossed over due to their impressive resume, but now the Tigers have no room error. They play Georgia Tech in two weeks, a game that could prove to be another slip-up for Dabo Swinney, and knock them out of the Playoff race.
3. NC State (6-1, 4-0)
The Wolfpack could make a solid case for the No. 2 spot, and their loss to South Carolina earlier this season suddenly doesn’t look as bad now that the Gamecocks are 5-2. State beat Pittsburgh this week closer than expected but still took care of business as they should. The Wolfpack have a bye before playing a ranked Notre Dame in two weeks, followed by a visit from Clemson. If NC State wins both those games, there might be a new top dog in the ACC.
4. Virginia Tech (5-1, 1-1)
The Hokies game against Miami in a few weeks is now of more importance, as it has likely become the de-facto ACC Coastal title game. VT beat down Boston College 23-10, in a game where Virginia Tech had over 400 yards of offense but could not convert red zone opportunities into touchdowns. The Hokies have a bye week before taking on North Carolina in two weeks.
5a. Florida State (2-3. 2-2)
The ‘Noles didn’t win pretty, but they won. Duke staying with FSU either shows how deep the conference is, or how underachieving the Seminoles really have been. This team could very well be 4-1 right now if a few plays go their way, or 0-5 if a few Hail Marys are actually caught. Florida State takes on Louisville this week, and now both teams just need this game to be bowl-eligible.
5b. Georgia Tech (3-2, 2-1)
The Yellow Jackets are so close to being undefeated, but Darrell Langham made another ridiculous catch, and now GT has a conference loss *buzzes sadly*. They take on Wake Forest this week, and while a loss most likely knocks them out of the ACC Coastal race, a win will be huge for the Jackets
7. Virginia (5-1, 2-0)
So, Virginia is almost bowl-eligible. They beat a really, really sad North Carolina team, and this week they play Boston College, which all of a sudden got really interesting after the Eagles beat Louisville. Virginia could end next week 6-1, and Florida State could end up 2-4. In other news, the world is about to end.
8. Wake Forest (4-2, 1-2)
The Deacs were on a bye but now get a chance to play Georgia Tech, in what might be the most underrated game of the weekend. Even if it’s on Raycom Sports, watch it. Both teams need this game.
9. Syracuse (4-3, 2-1)
How in the world a team loses at home to Middle Tennessee State, then beats Clemson makes literally no sense, but that’s football for you. Eric Dungey is still the most underrated QB in the country (come at me nerds), and Dino Babers straight up out coached Dabo Swinney. Good for Syracuse.
10. Duke (4-3, 1-3)
Duke lost another close game, and in most years a 4-3 record would be good enough for 6th or 5th in the power rankings. But the ACC is extremely deep this season, with almost 13 teams in the mix for a bowl game. Duke takes on Pitt, and a win will go a long way for them trying to win six games.
Big win for BC. Steve Addazio’s job might be safe, thanks to the best stiff-arm of all time by AJ Tillman. The Eagles soared over the Cardinals (get it, because they’re birds), and now play UVA this week, which they’ll need to win to stay in contention for a bowl game. Albeit most likely the Foster Farms Bowl. but a bowl game nonetheless.
Louisville is wasting Lamar Jackson, who had another fantastic game against Boston College. The Cardinals are really struggling, and this team has really fallen short of expectations going into the season. They absolutely need a win against Florida State this week in order to stay in the Atlantic race.
13. Pittsburgh (2-5, 0-3)
Max Browne is now done, and Ben DiNucci play fairly well as the permanent starter, but it wasn’t enough for an upset over NC State. Pitt plays Duke this week, and a loss puts them in grave danger of missing out on a bowl game. Plese, direct your attention to Chandler Beard’s preseason prediction of Playoff Pitt.
14. North Carolina (1-6, 0-4)
I mean, basketball season is close. Tar Heel players should just start skipping class to practice more. It’s not like missing class will matter, the UNC administration will just pass the players anyways since we now know the NCAA will do nothing. Almost as if they don’t care about a player’s academics.