FSU, Clemson own ACC Power Rankings

Florida State clinched a spot in the ACC title game and Clemson won a 10th game for the second consecutive season in a record-setting victory over NC State. Those are the ACC’s big stories from this past weekend, which also included a win over a BCS team and a loss at another. 

Here are this week’s ACC Power Rankings:

1. Florida State (10-1, 7-1)

There was no suspense leading into the Seminoles’ game at Maryland, and FSU did exactly what was expected in routing the Terrapins 41-14. Because of their balance and especially defensive strength, FSU remained atop the ACC, and maybe even built a bit more distance from Clemson.

2. Clemson (10-1, 7-1)

Tajh Boyd was a part of an ACC-record eight touchdowns and Clemson ran a school-record 102 plays in a 62-48 shootout victory over visiting NC State. The Tigers gained 754 yards in what is now the second-highest scoring game in ACC history. 

3. North Carolina (7-4, 4-3)

Bryn Renner and company pulled away from Virginia on the road for a 37-13 victory. Renner passed for 315 yards for his third straight 300-yard game. After not winning at UVa for nearly 30 years, the Tar Heels have taken consecutive games on The Grounds. UNC also solidified its spot in the power rankings.

4. Georgia Tech (6-5, 5-3)

Paul Johnson’s team has won three consecutive contests and positioned itself to win the Coastal Division if Miami loses at Duke next weekend or opts out of a bowl, as has been rumored. Tech pummeled Duke 42-24 and appears to have found itself just in time to salvage the season. 

5. Miami (6-5, 4-3)

Stephen Morris had a huge game passing for 413 yards and three touchdowns to go against no interceptions in a 40-9 rout of visiting South Florida. The Hurricanes became bowl eligible with the victory, meaning the school must now decide if it will opt out of the postseason or go after and ACC title. A win at Duke this weekend would give the Canes the Coastal Division title.

6. Virginia Tech (5-6, 3-4)

The Hokies managed to remain in contention for a bowl by the hairs of their chinny-chin-chins in an overtime victory at Boston College. Tech had to come from behind to notch the win, and with a victory at home over rival Virginia, Frank Beamer’s team will sneak into a bowl for the 19th consecutive season. 

7. N.C. State (6-5, 3-4)

If not for Mike Glennon, the Wolfpack wouldn’t be close to bowl eligibility. He got some assistance from Tobias Palmer, who combined for an ACC-record 496 all-purpose yards – receiving and kick returns – in a 62-48 loss at Clemson. This was supposed to be Tom O’Brien’s best NCSU team, so said O’Brien. 

8. Duke (6-5, 3-4)

After starting out 6-2, the Blue Devils have dropped three consecutive games by an average score of 49-17. The Devils remain a terrific story, but they are sinking fast. They are also out of the Coastal Division title hunt because Georgia Tech has a two-game lead on them in the standings.

9. Virginia (4-7, 2-5)

Mike London’s team will be better off whenever he makes a clear decision on the quarterback position, and as long as that clear decision is to play Phillip Sims, not Michael Rocco. UVa was clobbered at home BY UNC, 37-13, and is no longer in bowl contention. 

10. Wake Forest (5-6, 3-5)

That was a rather ugly performance in South Bend, losing at Notre Dame, 38-0. Wake can still reach a bowl game by beating Vanderbilt at home this week. But the degree of some of their losses keeps the Deacs down here.

11. Boston College (2-9, 1-6)

Give BC credit for fighting the last two weeks with nothing more than pride to play for. The Eagles took Virginia Tech to overtime before losing, but at least gave their fans an exciting game to close the home schedule. 

12. Maryland (4-7, 2-5)

It would have been interesting to see what the Terrapins would have done with a real quarterback. Odds are they’d be a few spots higher on this list. But they have the No. 12 hole cemented.