Sorry for the late edition of the power ranking this week. Been a little hectic and I had some ER visits. I think I’ve earned some reward points toward a free night's stay. That or I reached my deductible. Anyway on to last week’s action!
We’re almost halfway through the season and every ACC team this week decided to do as intended and play college football on a Saturday. It was a great lineup as Syracuse was the lone team to play out-of-conference in a route against Wagner. Elsewhere in the Atlantic Clemson solidified its hold on top of the standings with a win over NC State, leaving Syracuse as the only other undefeated team in the conference. Orange must be in vogue this year. FSU was looking to challenge Clemson later on but slipped up at home to Wake Forest who won’t let go of their new life among the top teams of the ACC. Louisville looked to get its first ACC win over Boston College but fell a point short and things are getting hot for Coach Satterfield.
Over on the Coastal side, Miami took a week to lick its wounds from being an embarrassment to the conference after losing to MTSU at home...by two touchdowns. Man, that doesn’t get old. Speaking of being embarrassed, how about Pitt managing to lose as a 20-point home favorite to a team who just fired their coach 6 days prior? Yes, your Yellow Jackets made Pitt fans drink more than usual as they rack their brains around what occurred there. UNC and Duke took care of business in their matchups by dominating the state of Virginia and have confused football season with basketball as they look to “Duke” (was that too corny?) it out for the top spot in the Coastal.
- Clemson - For two straight weeks the offense has been clicking and the Tigers have taken down the primary contenders in Wake and NC State. FSU and Syracuse could still have something to say but neither looks quite capable of bringing down Clemson.
- Wake Forest - Wake bounced back well after a tough loss against Clemson in OT. They went down to Tallahassee and took care of business by the third quarter. It’s a credit to the Demon Deacons they didn’t have a hangover from the previous week and can still push for the Atlantic if they can get a little help.
- Florida State - FSU is still a solid team but the loss to Wake made their matchup against Clemson a must-win if they hope to make a run to the ACC title. Their fate will be determined in the next two weeks with a road trip to NC State and then a visit from Clemson. If the Seminoles win those then there is still a chance for a special season.
- North Carolina State - Two costly turnovers allowed Clemson to pull away from the Wolfpack late in their matchup. With the rest of the teams currently ahead of them, there is still a chance with some luck and a strong finish. Winning the next two over FSU and Syracuse would keep them at the top.
- North Carolina - QB Drake Maye passed and ran all over the Hokie defense. He has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Tar Heels and could carry them to the ACC title game. The defense finally settled in after allowing opponents to keep pace the past weeks. It’s a heavy road slate coming up until late November for them though.
- Syracuse - Syracuse is the only other unbeaten besides Clemson but they haven’t played the hardest of schedules and have a gauntlet of teams before them now. Expect them to take some losses in the coming weeks.
- Duke - Duke sits atop the Coastal standings with UNC with one win a piece. Virginia was an expected win and Duke put them away early. Yet it still felt like they weren’t up to speed on offense. They’ll visit Georgia Tech next and that game could be interesting as with the Jackets under a new direction.
- Pittsburgh - Pitt seemed to be living on the edge with a few of its wins this season. They tipped over the edge to a Georgia Tech team that few expected to upset the Panthers. Pitt has a good defensive line but the offense is going to have to get better if they want to be relevant past next week.
- Miami - Miami took a bye this week and has yet to play a conference opponent. Their first will be this week against UNC who will hardly be a good way to ease into conference play. The offense has been bad in recent weeks and this UNC team can score.
- Virginia Tech - The Hokies are another Coastal team with suspect offensive play this year. They managed an ACC win over BC in week 2 and will try to get a second against Pitt next week. This might be a game that’ll take a backseat to watch paint dry.
- Georgia Tech - In just one week under Brent Key the Yellow Jackets went on the road and upset 24th ranked Pitt Panthers. There is cautious optimism about the new direction as Pitt was probably overrated and there are still issues to address. Still, a win over Duke this week would put them in contention to compete for the Coastal, and a lot of the divisional teams look beatable at this point.
- Boston College - The Eagles got a hard-fought win over Louisville to keep themselves out of the cellar of the Atlantic. Unfortunately, Clemson is next and they will probably be put right back in next week’s time. The offensive line just isn’t cutting it this year and wins will be few.
- Louisville - Louisville is now 0-3 and QB Malik Cunnigham could be out with an undisclosed injury against Virginia. The Cards still have some of the tougher matchups left on the schedule and are competing to stay out of last at this point.
- Virginia - The Cavaliers are winless after two conference games and can only claim two tight wins over FCS Richmond and G5 Old Dominion. The offense has been absent though the defense has had its moments so far. Louisville could be winnable next week before a bye to sort things out.