Ed. Note: Jeff is out with a sick child, so you’re stuck with me doing the power rankings this week. Please still direct all complaints to Jeff, though.
Well, this week should have ended up being a mostly easy week for the ACC, with six teams playing FCS teams this week, but nothing can ever be that easy. I’ll do my review in the rankings themselves, so let’s get on with it!
- Clemson Tigers (LW: 1) - Duh, guys. Clemson took care of business handily against S.C. State on Saturday, winning 49-3. What is a little concerning is that D.J. Uiagelelei didn’t look terrific, going 14-of-24 for 171 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Especially against an FCS opponent, you definitely want your star QB to have a big game. I don’t see any reason to worry too much quite yet, but I think it’s something to keep an eye on moving forward.
- Boston College Eagles (LW: 5) - Phil Jurkovec went down with an injury to his throwing arm in the Eagles’ 45-28 victory over UMass, but the Eagles didn’t miss a beat. His replacement, Dennis Grosel was efficient, completing 11 of his 14 passes, but RB Patrick Garwo kept the offense moving, gaining 160 yards on just 15 carries. The BC defense also did a good job wreaking havoc, forcing three turnovers and adding 4.5 tackles for loss.
- Virginia Tech Hokies (LW: 4) - After a pretty impressive win over North Carolina last week, the Hokies took a slight step back, which is why I opted to rank BC second. The Hokies won 35-14 over Middle Tennessee, but it wasn’t the prettiest game in the world. The ball was spread around a lot, but Braxton Burmeister only passed for 142 yards and no running back had more than 53 yards, though Raheem Blackshear had two touchdowns on the ground.
- North Carolina Tar Heels (LW: 8) - This is the North Carolina we all expected to see. They easily handled Georgia State, winning 59-17, and it was never really close. Sam Howell passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns, while also adding another 104 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
- Pittsburgh Panthers (LW: 7) - Honestly, Pitt had one of the more impressive wins of the week, beating Tennessee 41-34. Kenny Pickett (who is still somehow eligible to play college football after being at Pitt for approximately 50 years) handled the Vol defense with ease, passing for 285 yards and a couple touchdowns.
- NC State Wolfpack (LW: 2) - This might be a bit of a drastic drop, but the Wolfpack struggled against Mike Leach’s Mississippi State Bulldogs, losing 24-10. Neither team was able to run the ball, but Devin Leary was able to pass mostly efficiently, going 30-49 for 303 yards, a touchdown and a pick.
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons (LW: 9) - The Demon Deacons took care of business, beating Norfolk State 41-16. It wasn’t ever close.
- Virginia Cavaliers (LW: 10) - The Cavs demolished BERT this week, beating the Illini 42-14. QB Brennan Armstrong passed for five touchdowns.
- Louisville Cardinals (LW: 13) - The Cards got a bit of a jump this week after doing exactly what they should have: beat Eastern Kentucky. It wasn’t an awe-inspiring win, only winning 30-3, but it was enough for a sizeable jump.
- Miami Hurricanes (LW: 6) - Last week was too early to judge Miami. The Hurricanes never stood a chance against Alabama, so nobody expected them to win such a game. This week, however, they played Appalachian State, and while they did win, it went the opposite of well. The Canes struggled to finish drives and if not for an errant punt that scored a safety for them, I’m not sure they would have won this game. Also of note, former Tech linebacker TD Roof had a big game for App State, notching two sacks.
- Florida State Seminoles (LW: 3) - lol you don’t lose to Jacksonville State on the last play of the game in your home stadium and not fall dramatically. Is this a very reactionary rating? Yes, yes it is. Thanks for asking.
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (LW: 12) - Georgia Tech looked much better this week, beating Kennesaw State handily, the 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter withstanding. The running game struggled against KSU’s defense, with Dontae Smith leading the way with 82 yards on eight carries and then Jahmyr Gibbs with 56 yards on nine carries. The real story here was the emergence of Jordan Yates at quarterback. He had a phenomenal day, passing for over 250 yards and tossing four touchdowns.
- Duke Blue Devils (LW: 14) - Duke beat North Carolina A&T this week, and the fact that they won is the only reason they aren’t in last this week. Duke is still not a good team, but they aren’t the worst!
- Syracuse Orange (LW: 11) - Syracuse lost to Rutgers in the Toilet Bowl this week by a final score of 17-7. Yeah, that’s all I got on that one.
Jeff should be back next week to do these, but in the meantime, let me know your thoughts! What would you change in the rankings?