1. Clemson Tigers: Wow. Just wow. Say what you will about Al Golden and the troubles facing the Miami Hurricanes, but to hand that program their worst loss in history is a statement. Clemson is no joke, and they are a serious contender in the College Football Playoff. With FSU’s loss to GT the Tigers are the only realistic chance the ACC has to send a team to the playoffs. Clemson cannot be slept on, they can play anyone in the Power Five.
2. Florida State Seminoles: Yeah, they lost, but there is nobody else in the Atlantic to be considered the number two team. They may have lost, but FSU still represents one of the strongest teams in the ACC. Considering the manner in which they lost, one could easily argue that FSU wins that game nine out of ten times, but not this week.
3. Louisville Cardinals: My love. The Cardinals were able to out-defense the Boston College defense and earn a solid ACC win. The Cardinals were the best 0-3 team in college, and they are the best 3-4 team in college. Nobody wants to play Louisville.
4. N.C. State Wolfpack: They beat WF, but it is an ACC win. They sit at 5-2 and are still in the Atlantic hunt. I maintain that NCSU isn’t as good as their record, but they are winning against teams they should win against. Next week they play Clemson… enjoy Wolfpack.
5. Boston College Eagles: BC is riding a four game losing streak, but two of those teams are in the top 25, and include Clemson who is in the top five. Except for their game against Clemson they’ve not lost a game by more than three points. If Boston College had even a modicum of offensive ability they would be in the hunt for the Atlantic and the ACC.
6. Syracuse Orange: They played Pitt solid. The Panthers are a top 25 team and the Orange played them to within one score. The performance in their loss keeps them above Wake Forest in the Atlantic.
7. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: The Demon Deacons have lost two in a row, dropping one to a strong UNC team and then to NCSU. They have certainly improved from last year, but still represent the dregs of the Atlantic.
1. Pittsburgh Panthers: Uhhh… the Coastal… well… Pitt gets to be first because the only team they lost to is a top ten team that needed an insane FG to hold the Panthers off. There isn’t a single win in any of the top Coastal teams that will turn heads, but Pitt’s loss to the Hawkeyes is the most respectable, so the Panthers are number one… for now.
2. Duke Blue Devils: They are the other top 25 team in the Coastal and just showed some serious temerity defeating VT away. Their offense is the question. Their defense is not the question. Like all Coastal teams it is hard for them to demonstrate a quality win. They next host a reeling Miami team who just had their HC fired, but the following two games, against UNC and Pitt will do much to clarify the ACC Coastal picture.
3. North Carolina Tar Heels: They just might be the best kept secret in the Coastal, heck even the ACC. Duke and Pitt have been stealing the headlines, but UNC has very quietly moved on to a 6-1 record. UNC has more points scored than Duke and fewer points allowed in conference play. They are on a six game winning streak and their only loss is to rival South Carolina and only by four points. Don’t underestimate these young men; they could easily be the top of the Coastal at season’s end. Fun fact – they are the only top Coastal team to earn a victory over an FBS squad with a winning record – the 4-3 Illini. As per usual this year the Coastal is wide open.
4. Miami-Florida Hurricanes: Yeah they just suffered the biggest loss in the history of the program. Yeah their head coach was just relieved. But, they beat VT straight up and I think despite their troubles they would have little issue with UVA. This is also a team that played FSU to within a single score. Miami might be hurting, but they still earn the fourth spot in the Coastal.
5. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: What is there to say about them? They beat a top ten team. They unseated the second best team in the ACC. Three of their last four losses have occurred against top 25 teams. The other loss… UNC, who arguably should be ranked. They still own the ignominious title of the most disappointing team in college football, but they are still better than VT and UVA and have played an absolutely brutal schedule.
6. Virginia Tech Hokies: A home loss to Duke in four OT periods. Can anyone imagine such a statement five years ago? The Hokies continue their stupefying descent into mediocrity. The offense is improved with the return of Brewer, but the defensive woes and inexplicable coaching decisions continue to plague the Hokies.
7. Virginia Cavaliers: UVA is actually ahead of GT and VT in the ACC standings, but still has much to prove in order to show they are better than the bottom. They don’t own the worst record in the ACC, but that is likely because they have played the fewest ACC teams. They showed up in the first half against UNC, but still cannot finish a game. Couple their worst overall record in the ACC with their history and the Cavaliers still get to be the bottom of the Coastal.
Total Conference Rankings:
1. Clemson (7-0) – Easy pick. They’re the only undefeated team in the conference and represent the ACC’s best hope for representation in the CFP.
2. FSU (6-1) – Yeah they lost, but they are still better than everyone else besides Clemson. November 7th against the Tigers is the biggest game remaining for the ACC.
3. Pitt (6-1) – The slightly best in the Coastal.
4. Duke (6-1) – The slightly not as a good as Pitt team.
5. UNC (6-1) – Might be the best team in the Coastal... we shall see. Either way, it is a competition for who loses to Clemson in the ACC Championship.
6. Louisville (3-4) – Still think they are dangerous, and their defensive win over BC was nice. They will likely finish the season with a winning record and earn a bowl berth,
7. NCSU (5-2) – They don’t have an impressive win against an FBS program, but few in the ACC do.
8. Miami (4-3) – This ranking may change in the coming weeks, but they are the best of the rest.
9. Boston College (3-5) – They might have the best defense in the conference, but their offense is so bad that they cannot compete.
10. GT (3-5) – They beat FSU on an insane play. Consistent positive results will be required to pull them further up the rankings.
11. Virginia Tech (3-5) – They played a top 25 team into 4OT, but still lost - again.
12. Syracuse Orange (3-4) – Played hard, and are improving, but still not a major threat.
13. Wake Forest (3-5) – They have the same record in the ACC as the Hokies. It is really a tie when you look at the win quality between the two teams.
14. UVA (2-5) – They have the worst overall record in the ACC. Syracuse should feel bad about losing to them.