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2018 ACC Weekly Power Rankings: Two Weeks Left

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How does the conference rank behind Clemson?

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

1 - #2 Clemson Tigers (10-0, 7-0, S&P+ #2) LW: 1

By their own lofty standards, Clemson struggled a bit on Saturday but still cruised to the win and their fourth straight ACC Atlantic division crown with a 27-7 win over Boston College. Trevor Lawrence and the offense were merely good instead of the great but the defense was lights out, holding the Eagles to just 113 yards of offense.

Last Week: defeated #17 Boston College 27-7
This Week: Saturday at 7:00 pm vs Duke (ESPN)

2 - #12 Syracuse Orange (8-2, 5-2, S&P+ #39) LW: 3

Syracuse took care of business on Friday night in becoming the next team to put up big numbers against Louisville. Now, they look forward to the biggest game the program has had in years (maybe since the Donovan McNabb era?). On Saturday, #13 Syracuse will battle #3 Notre Dame in Yankee Stadium with major bowl implications on the line. How’s that for a sentence to put in a time machine and send back to August? Even in a seemingly boring season, college football finds a way to be weird.

Last Week: defeated Louisville 54-23
This Week: Saturday at 2:30 pm vs #3 Notre Dame in Yankee Stadium (NBC)

3 - #20 Boston College Eagles (7-3, 4-2, S&P+ #46) LW: 2

If you only look at the scoreboard, it looks like Boston College game Clemson a pretty good game last week. Scoreboards lie. Boston College could not move the ball at all against Clemson’s defense, putting up a grand total of 9 rushing yards despite the presence of All-ACC RB AJ Dillon. QB Anthony Brown was knocked out of the game early and is very questionable heading into this weekend. Boston College’s offense has really struggled without Brown over the last two seasons, even against non-Clemson defenses. Something to keep an eye on this weekend.

Last Week: lost vs #2 Clemson 7-27
This Week: Saturday at 3:30 pm at Florida State (ESPN2)

4 - Pittsburgh Panthers (6-4, 5-1, S&P+ #62) LW: 5

Put Pitt in? The Panthers are on the verge of claiming their first Coastal Division title after demolishing Virginia Tech in one of the most dominat performances of the last decade plus.

Did I embed those tweets because the 2011 Georgia Tech - Kansas game was also in the top 5? Yep.

Last Week: defeated Virginia Tech 52-22
This Week: Saturday at 12:00 pm at Wake Forest (RSN)

5 - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-4, 4-3, S&P+ #59) LW: 7

After a 1-3 start, the Yellow Jackets have recovered to get bowl eligible with two weeks remaining in the season and wins over the two traditional Coastal powers in Virginia Tech and Miami. Winning this week would give Tech a winning record in conference and put them on a 4-game winning streak heading into rivalry weekend.

Last Week: defeated Miami 27-21
This Week: Saturday at 3:30 pm vs Virginia (RSN)

6 - NC State Wolfpack (6-3, 3-3, S&P+ #45) LW: 4

All NC State had to do to get just their second 10 win season in school history and a likely Peach Bowl berth was beat Wake Forest, Louisville, UNC, and East Carolina. They failed step one, falling at home to the Demon Deacons last Thursday. The Pack should still be able to recover and have a shot at getting to 10 wins in the bowl game but that’s small comfort after last week.

Last Week: lost to Wake Forest 23-27
This Week: Saturday at 12:20 pm at Louisville (Raycom)

7 - Virginia Cavaliers (7-3, 4-2, S&P+ #50) LW: 6

Virginia’s one spot drop this week has less to do with the Cavaliers and more to do with Georgia Tech stringing together a pretty strong three game run. Virginia is still a pretty good team and may very well win on Saturday. That said, despite coach Bronco Mendenhall’s “passion” for defending the triple option, he hasn’t had a ton of success in his first two seasons in Charlottesville (to be fair, he did a pretty good job against Tech in two games while he was the coach at BYU). We’ll see if his squad is able to break through against the Jackets this season.

Last Week: defeated Liberty 45-24
This Week: Saturday at 3:30 pm at Georgia Tech (RSN)

8 - Duke Blue Devils (7-3, 3-3, S&P+ #51) LW: 9

QB Daniel Jones did just about everything to propel his Duke team to a win over arch-rival North Carolina. The junior signal caller threw for 361 yards and 3 TDs and added a career-high 186 yards on the ground. The Blue Devils needed every bit of his production as the Tar Heels were, yet again, up to the challenge before ultimately falling short.

Last Week: defeated North Carolina 42-35
This Week: Saturday at 7:00 pm at #2 Clemson (ESPN)

9 - Miami Hurricanes (5-5, 2-4, S&P+ #30) LW: 8

Advanced metrics still really like Miami (they’re 2nd in the ACC in both S&P+ and FPI) but the Hurricanes seem to be in free fall. They’re boosted by one of the best defenses in the country but the offense really struggles to get plays when they need to and the team as a whole has a tendancy to shoot themselves in the foot. A bowl game would not be much consolation for Miami fans but that’s all that’s left to play for at this point.

Last Week: lost at Georgia Tech 21-27
This Week: Saturday at 3:30 pm at Virginia Tech (ESPN)

10 - Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-5, 2-4, S&P+ #85) LW: 12

Wake pulled out a gutty win in Raleigh last Thursday, scoring two touchdowns in the last six minutes of the game to beat NC State. Playing with backup Jamie Newman under center, the Deacons took a while to get going but ended up outgaining their opponent and made huge plays when they needed it the most. Star WR Greg Dortch was again the hero, totaling 3 catches for 56 yards and a score on Wake’s two fourth quarter touchdown drives.

Last Week: defeated NC State 27-23
This Week: Saturday at 12:00 pm vs Pittsburgh (RSN)

11 - Virginia Tech Hokies (4-5, 3-3, S&P+ #75) LW: 10

If Miami is in free fall, Virginia Tech may have already crashed and burned. Bud Foster’s defense has been decimated by departures and injuries but there’s little that can excuse a performance as bad as the one the Hokies put up against Pitt (see the Bill C tweets in the Pitt section). 492 rushing yards on 36 carries? Allowing touchdowns of 78 and 97 yards? Yikes.

Last Week: lost at Pittsburgh 22-52
This Week: Saturday at 3:30 pm vs Miami (ESPN)

12 - Florida State Seminoles (4-6, 2-6, S&P+ #87) LW: 11

The nightmare season continued for Florida State against Notre Dame. Playing against the Irish’s backup QB, the Seminoles got gashed on the ground by RB Dexter Williams, who piled up 202 yards on just 20 carries. FSU will need to win out to extend their bowl streak but at least they get both Boston College and Florida in the friendly confines of Doak Campbell Stadium.

Last Week: lost at Notre Dame 13-42
This Week: Saturday at 3:30 pm vs #20 Boston College (ESPN2)

13 - North Carolina Tar Heels (1-8, 1-6, S&P+ #95) LW: 13

As has been the case all season, North Carolina came close to getting a second win but couldn’t quite get the elusive victory. The Heels hung with Duke for most of the game and even had the ball with a chance to tie the game at the end after picking off Daniel Jones on Duke’s final drive. Their last best chance at a win comes this weekend against Western Carolina.

Last Week: lost at Duke 35-42
This Week: Saturday at 3:00 pm vs Western Carolina (ACC Network Extra)

14 - Louisville Cardinals (2-8, 0-7, S&P+ #104) LW: 14

Just like that, the Bobby Petrino era in Louisville is over. After giving up 50 points for the third consecutive game and fifth time this season, the Cardinals’ collapse is complete and they will look for a new coach this offseason. They close out the season with a pair of home games but beating NC State or Kentucky would be an upset for the ages.

Last Week: lost at Syracuse 23-54
This Week: Saturday at 12:20 pm vs NC State (Raycom)