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.