Week 3 had a slate of good Power 5 matchups to test the conference before the bulk of the teams enters conference play next week. Most of the results were positive for the conference with only two losses this week. One which was respectable with Miami coming up short of Texas A&M and the other...well, I believe everyone here has been thoroughly briefed on the other loss.
FSU and Louisville were the lone ACC matchup that turned out to be quite the game as Louisville is rebounding from their rough start against Syracuse despite the loss to FSU. Still, The Cards are in the hole with two losses in conference play. Syracuse and NC State won some bragging rights over the Big Ten and Big 12 with Syracuse notching a win over Purdue and NC State taking down Texas Tech. The rest of the conference cleaned up nicely with G5 or FCS opponents, though Virginia almost became the second ACC victim to Old Dominion this year. The ACC now heads into the quarter point of the season with 8 undefeated teams!
Next week will have a few more ACC games with some intriguing matchups, including a matchup of two former bottom feeders with FIRST-YEAR HEAD COACHES in Duke and Kansas who are looking to become players in their respective conferences. They both already have 3 wins into their seasons in case you are keeping count.
- Florida State - The Seminoles claim the top spot after a close win over Louisville on the road. It hasn’t been pretty along the way but FSU has the best win over LSU in a “neutral” site in New Orleans. The offense is humming along but if the defense can shore up a few holes they will be hard to beat. Boston College will provide that opportunity as a stretch of Wake, NC State and Clemson await after.
- Wake Forest - The Demon Deacons haven’t played murderer’s row but they have still looked great on offense. Liberty nearly got them this past week but Wake’s defense prevented a two-point conversion as Liberty tried for the win late in the 4th quarter. Clemson visits next and then they travel to FSU after. We will know where this team truly stands in a couple of weeks.
- North Carolina State - It was never in doubt this week as NC State got up early on Texas Tech with a final of 27-14. Except the offense wasn’t the key to this game as they only had 270 yards. Instead, 4 interceptions by the defense, one of which was returned for a TD, stifled Texas Tech from finding paydirt. They have one more tune-up against UConn this week before taking on Clemson to sort out the top.
- Clemson - It’s becoming a habit for The Tigers to get off to a slow start this year. The offense is sluggish and relies heavily on RB Shipley to get things going. It was the same this week before pulling away from LA Tech 48-20. The defense once again dominated only allowing 12 yards rushing and creating 4 turnovers. Wake Forest is up next and the offense will need to come out fast or Wake could take advantage.
- Pittsburgh - Pitt had to rely on backup QB Yarnell this week and the offense struggled early. The first touchdown was a pick-six by Marquise Williams, the offense wouldn’t get on the board until the last minute of the third quarter. Fortunately for Pitt, their schedule is full of struggling teams, and FCS Rhode Island is due up.
- Miami - The Hurricanes had looked great so far but the offense couldn’t find the endzone against Texas A&M. There were some blown opportunities on special teams as well with two missed field goals and not being able to recover a muffed punt by Texas A&M on the goal line. The defense did its best to stay in the game but the Aggies did enough to pull away. Miami will head back home to welcome Middle Tennessee next week.
- Duke - Duke has been the surprise of the conference so far and will look to keep it up against...undefeated Kansas?!?!?! next week. This past week though Duke took care of NC A&T mostly on the ground running for 222 yards and four touchdowns.
- Syracuse - Syracuse and Purdue were in a snooze fest through most of the game until they decided to score 44 points combined in the 4th quarter. Purdue appeared to have this game wrapped up but with 7 seconds left QB Shrader tossed up a pass into the endzone where WR Gadsden would haul it in for the walk-off win. Virginia is due next and the Orange have a chance to go up 2-0 in conference play.
- North Carolina - The Tar Heels took a bye after starting a week early to kick off the season. They welcome Notre Dame to Chapel Hill this week and could take advantage of some Irish struggles.
- Virginia Tech - Wofford wasn’t too much of an issue for Virginia Tech this week but West Virginia comes to town. Must be a Big East family reunion this year or something. West Virginia gave Pitt a run for their money so the Hokies will need to keep get the offense going to have a chance.
- Louisville - The Cardinals gave a great effort in trying to take down FSU but end up falling to 0-2 in the Atlantic. They’ll take a breather this week before taking on Boston College in what could help them right the season.
- Virginia - A win is a win but did the Cavaliers cut it close over Old Dominion. Still, Virginia can gloat that they beat the Monarchs when state rival VT suffered a loss. It may be only a few of their wins this season though. Syracuse will be a tough test this Friday night.
- Boston College - The Eagles got a win over Maine but still didn’t look too great doing it. It might be a long season up in Chesnut Hill and a matchup with FSU this week probably won’t ease the pain.
- Georgia Tech - Georgia Tech falls here only because I’ve run out of teams to rank ahead of them. Fellow FTRS writer Robert Binion has them ranked 110th in the nation by his metrics with only Colorado as the lower P5 team. The showing, or lack thereof, against Ole Miss was one of the worst performances I’ve seen by Tech in my 22 years of truly following the team. If you glance up this list you won’t find an easy win left of the teams GT will face. Welcome to the cesspit.