ACC Power Rankings: Hokies’ win at Miami shakes things up

1. No. 2 Florida State (9-0,
7-0 ACC)
Last
week’s ranking/result: 1 (W 59-3 at Wake
Forest)
Florida
State didn’t play well on offense in Winston-Salem .. .and won 59-3.
Let that sink in for a minute. Wake Forest is really bad, yes, but
Florida State is also really, really good. Especially defensively. Which
is why the Seminoles are No. 2 in the AP poll for the first time since
2000.
2. No. 8 Clemson (8-1, 6-1
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking result: 2
(Off)
If
Clemson can get past this week’s game against Georgia Tech, the Tigers
will still have just one loss, and that loss will have come at the hands
of the No. 2 team in the country. Yes, they were blown out at home, but
as we’ve seen, FSU is pretty good. Clemson is still a pretty good team,
even if it is a bit more flawed than maybe we all thought at the start
of this
season. 
3. Virginia Tech (7-3, 4-2
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking/result: T-6 (W 42-24 at then-No. 11
Miami)
Maybe
we’ll all learn our lesson now, and that lesson is not to count out the
Hokies. Ever. Every now and then, Logan Thomas has the kind of game
that shows why NFL scouts drool over him. He did that on Saturday, and
his team showed the kind of offensive firepower it hadn’t shown most of
this season, in any game, period. Can they sustain it, though? We’ll
see. 
4. Georgia Tech (6-3, 5-2
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking/result: 4
(Off)
After
a bad start to the ACC season, Paul Johnson is doing Paul Johnson
things and he has his team in position to sneak up and win the Coastal
Division. (Of course, there are like 4-5 teams still technically in
position, so there’s that.) But all Georgia Tech needs to do is win at
Clemson on Thursday, then the various tiebreakers could…okay, forget
it. Too much math. But either way, the Yellow Jackets are right
there. 
5. Duke (7-2, 3-2
ACC)

Last week’s
ranking/result: 5 (W 38-20 over N.C.
State)
The
Blue Devils have played terribly in the last two games. And they’ve won
both. And both were ACC games. Which says as much about much this
program has changed in the last few years as anything; this is a team
full of players that believe they are going to win. Duke, though, needs
to figure out a way to get something positive going on offense.
Struggles were understandable at Virginia Tech, but against a mediocre
N.C. State defense at home? Not a good sign with Miami coming to town.
Still, if Georgia Tech loses on Thursday, the Coastal Division goes
through
Durham. 
6. No. 24 Miami (7-2, 3-2
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking/result: 3 (L 42-24 to Virginia
Tech)
Miami
had been playing with fire the last few weeks anyway. Now, the
Hurricanes were finally burned by a team that was capable of making them
pay for their mistakes. Miami is still much better than it was last
season or the season before under Al Golden, but it has a ways to go to
get back to being the Miami of old. You know, the one that won games
like this, or at least didn’t get blown out at
home. 
7. Pittsburgh (5-4, 2-3
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking/result: 9 (W 28-21 over then-No. 24 Notre
Dame)
What
a huge win for Pitt and head coach Paul Chryst over Notre Dame. Just
can’t be overstated. Pitt was being left for dead after not looking good
at all the last few games, including losing at Navy. This win revives
their season and leaves them one win away from making a bowl
game. 
8. North Carolina (4-5, 3-3
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking/result: T-6 (W 45-14 over
Virginia)
The
Tar Heels have won three in a row, and they didn’t miss a beat without
starting quarterback Bryn Renner as backup Marquise Williams continues
to improve each week. The whole UNC team has improved each week, really.
It hasn’t been perfect, and the Tar Heels are far from a juggernaut,
but they’re now two wins from bowl eligibility after a 1-5
start. 
9. Boston College (5-4, 2-3
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking/result: T-6 (W 48-34 at New Mexico
State)
Is
there an ACC team more up-and-down than the Eagles? Get blown out at
UNC one week, beat Virginia Tech the next week, then struggle to put
away an awful New Mexico State team (albeit on the road) the next. So
does this mean the Eagles will be up or down this week? I’m losing
track. 
10. Syracuse (5-4, 3-2
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking/result: 10 (W 20-3 at
Maryland)
Syracuse
is doing what it should do, arguably – beating bad teams and losing to
good ones. There are plenty of teams in the ACC who can’t say that,
though, so kudos to the
Orange. 
11. Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking/result: 11 (L 59-3 to then-No. 3 Florida
State)
Everyone
knew Wake Forest’s offense would struggle without wide receiver Michael
Campanaro. But starting quarterback Tanner Price attempted just four
passes against Florida State, completing one for three yards – to his
own team. The other three were completed to Florida State defenders. An
already-mediocre offense has become just plain putrid without
Campanaro. 
12. Maryland (5-4, 1-4
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking/result: 12 (L 20-3 to
Syracuse)
Maryland’s
situation with injuries and the like is what it is. But Maryland’s
injuries don’t have much to do with turning it over repeatedly, either.
The Terps just are all out of confidence at the moment, and it’s hard to
blame
them. 
13. N.C. State (3-6, 0-6
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking/result: 13 (L 38-20 at
Duke)
N.C.
State had every chance to win at Duke. The Blue Devils were practically
begging them to find a way to stay in it or win it. And as bad teams
tend to do, N.C. State kept tripping over itself before eventually
giving up back-to-back pick-sixes in the fourth quarter. Bad teams find a
way to
lose. 
14. Virginia (2-8, 0-6
ACC)
Last week’s
ranking/result: 14 (L 45-14 at North
Carolina)
Not
much to add here. Virginia is just not a good football team right now,
and really hasn’t been all year, weird season-opening win over BYU
notwithstanding.