The ACC has kept a few teams ranked in the Top 20 this year and that has been a good look for a conference that struggles to find much depth at the top. This week saw those teams get knocked back down. The Atlantic was top-heavy with Clemson undefeated and one of the top players for a playoff slot. Wake Forest and Syracuse added the depth coming into the week at 10 and 16. Add NC State who was 24th in the rankings and you have half the Atlantic in the Top 25. Clemson was on a bye and NC State took down a weak Virginia Tech team to stay steady. Wake Forest lost badly to Louisville which will undoubtedly bring them down and Syracuse dropped their second game in a row to a mediocre Notre Dame.
The Coastal is a one-horse race at this point with UNC being the lone representative of the rankings and has effectively put the division title away. If you want to nitpick then a few teams could still make the title game with some help, but they all involve UNC dropping three of their last four conference games. Two of those games are Virginia and Georgia Tech, so odds are not likely.
- Clemson - It’s a late bye but one well-deserved after running through the tougher part of the schedule unscathed. Notre Dame is up next in what feels like a decent match-up in name only. The Irish are a shell of themselves and there isn’t much left to threaten the Tigers on the remainder of the schedule.
- North Carolina - The Tar Heels had some defensive woes to start the season, and while still not the best they do enough to let the offense run past their opponents. Pittsburgh fell to the onslaught this week with QB Maye passing for 338 yards and 5 touchdowns. Virginia isn’t going to fare any better next week.
- Syracuse - Syracuse was so close to being undefeated before coming up short against Clemson two weeks ago. They let that loss beat them twice as Notre Dame ran over them with 246 yards rushing. Their schedule also stays pretty tough to finish out the year with Wake and FSU.
- Wake Forest - Wake Forest had a complete breakdown with protecting the football and gave up 8 turnovers. It let Louisville run away in the third and really hurt the efforts for Wake to make a New Year 6 bowl this year. They’ll have to remain perfect with the last four but NC State and UNC await the next two weeks.
- North Carolina State - The Wolfpack will take the win but a single-point victory over a 2-6 Virginia Tech doesn’t inspire much confidence. Give credit to QB Morris for the comeback at the end though.
- Florida State - Florida State had little trouble pulling away from Georgia Tech who had no offense with QB Sims out for the day. The Seminoles amassed 642 yards of offense with QB Travis accounting for 398 yards through the air. It’ll be a road trip to Miami next week where a struggling Hurricane team will help FSU get to bowl eligibility.
- Louisville - The Cards scored a victory over a top-10 team in Wake Forest this week, but don’t look too much into it when you see the Demon Deacon spotted them with 8 turnovers. Louisville did what it needed to with the gifts but not much more. Their next game against FBS newcomer James Madison won’t be a cakewalk.
- Duke - The Blue Devils got a bye after handling Miami last week and can possibly reach 6 wins for a bowl this week against Boston College on Thursday night.
- Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh has fallen far from being the favorite to win the division this year after suffering a loss to UNC this week. This week they can seize the opportunity against a Syracuse or get buried in the conference rankings.
- Georgia Tech - The Yellow Jackets have struggled without Jeff Sims manning the offense the past two weeks. Zach Gibson was just plain awful coming in for Sims. Zach Pyron tried his hand at QB and did an ok job for what he was thrown into. If Jeff Sims returns this week then Virginia Tech and Miami look winnable.
- Miami - It is amazing how Miami sets the bar each week for a new low in offensive production but they meet that challenge each week. FSU is going to look like they have Primetime in the secondary when they play next week.
- Virginia - The Cavaliers must be allergic to the endzone because their game with Miami this week saw neither team score a touchdown. Instead, we got a field goal fest that went into 4OTs before Miami managed to shove in a 2pt conversion for the win.
- Virginia Tech - The Hokies are on the wrong end of the streak after losing their last five games. Their only wins of the season are to Wofford and Boston College. The Techmo bowl is this week and what used to be the deciding match of the Coastal will decide who isn’t completely awful.
- Boston College - They lost to UConn 13-3. I can’t find anything else to say why they are last in the power rankings.