1. Clemson Tigers: Clemson responded to their loss at the Carrier Dome with a win over GT. It wasn’t spectacular, but the Jackets were never really a threat as the Tigers defense held the Georgia Tech triple option in check. Next up Clemson visits NCST.
2. N.C. State Wolfpack: I personally thought of the NCST vs ND game was a battle between fakers. Notre Dame showed that they were less of a faker, but N.C. State is still very alive in the Atlantic with an undefeated record in the ACC. Next week the Wolfpack will face the Tigers.
3. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: Wake Forest went into their match with Louisville with a chip on their shoulder and a point to make, and make that point they did. The Wake offense completely went off for 625 total yards. QB John Wolford and RB Matt Colburn both had the best statistical games of their careers. Wake Forest next faces the No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
4. Boston College Eagles: Running Back AJ Dillon had another great game as the surprising BC offense hung 35 points on a beleaguered FSU squad. The Eagles have put up 121 points in the last three games. In the previous six games they only managed 98 total points. This team looks completely different from the one that limped out of Blacksburg a month ago and is poised to not only qualify for a bowl, but finish well above .500. Next week’s game against NCST will be very interesting.
5. Syracuse Orange: The Orange were off this week, but must be salivating at the chance to be the next team that kicks FSU while they are down.
6. Louisville Cardinals: The Deacons did exactly what many teams have done this season and exposed the Cardinals secondary. Lamar Jackson put up ludicrous numbers, passing for 330, one TD, and one INT while running for 171 yards and three TDs. Jackson is completely wasted on this team. There is little doubt, in my mind, that he won’t be back next year.
7. Florida State Seminoles: Things continue to get worse for Florida State. It seems as if Jimbo has completely lost the team. Even with their struggles it is inexplicable that with the amount of talent they put on the field they were spit-roasted by Boston College. They are in free fall and there seems to be no respite in sight. They are far and away the most disappointing team in all of college football. Expect FSU not to make a bowl appearance for the first time in decades.
1. Miami-Florida Hurricanes: The Hurricanes offense is not intimidating and the ‘Canes allowed a poor UNC team, riddled with injuries, to not only stay within one score, but lead for almost an entire half. Perhaps it was a case of Miami wanting to keep their cards close to the chest before the likely Coastal division defining game against VT next week, but Miami looked like they have all season – just doing enough to win.
2. Virginia Tech Hokies: Josh Jackson broke Michael Vick’s freshmen passing record as the Hokies cruised to a 24-3 victory against the Blue Devils. The weather was certainly a factor that influenced the game. As expected Duke attempted to beat the Hokies on the ground, and though Blue Devils QB Daniel Jones was the team’s leading rusher he was held to 65 yards on 17 carries, 33 of which came during one scramble. VT sophomore RB Deshawn McClease carried the ball 15 times for 75 yards and a TD, which was the most action he’s seen all season. The Hokies ran the ball 48 times, earning 187 yards and a 3.9-yard average per rush. The VT defense provided another stifling performance. Duke only earned 183 yards and Jones was hurried and hit multiple times. Next week the Hokies and Hurricanes meet. Before the season started it was assumed that this game would determine the Coastal, and by all accounts that seems to be the case.
3. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: GT got behind early and was never able to recover. They were forced into passing situations, but only able to generate a measly 32 yards from 13 attempts. At 3-2 in the conference they are not mathematically eliminated from Coastal contention, but their path to the ACC conference game would require tremendous assistance from Miami and VT. The Jackets next face UVA. Both squads are still fighting for bowl eligibility.
4. Virginia Cavaliers: Consecutive convincing losses to below average ACC foes does not bode well for the now stumbling Hoos. The reality of ACC competition has come crashing home for UVA after a surprising 5-1 start. When one considers the respective remaining schedules for GT and UVA their match-up next week could potentially determine which one makes it into the post season.
5. Pittsburgh Panthers: With the win over UVA Pitt is now on a winning streak, something I certainly didn’t expect after they started 2-5. If they beat UNC they even back out to .500, but will still need to find an upset against VT or Miami to become bowl eligible.
6. Duke Blue Devils: After a 4-0 start the Blue Devils are poised to finish the season on an eight-game skid. Duke gets a break this weekend, but will next play a 6-2 Army team away.
7. North Carolina Tar Heels: Between the talent drain that occurred in the off season, the absurd amount of injuries this year, and the embarrassment they suffered last week at the hands of VT, it’s impressive that UNC could refocus and force Miami to need all four quarters to win. They get this weekend off, but will play Pitt the following Thursday.
1. (No. 6 AP / No. 5 Coaches) Clemson Tigers (7-1, 5-1 ACC) – Static
2. (No. 9 / No. 6) Miami-Florida Hurricanes (7-0, 5-0 ACC) – Static
3. (No. 13 / No. 13) Virginia Tech Hokies (7-1, 3-1 ACC) – Static
4. (No. 20 / No. 19) N.C. State Wolfpack (6-2, 4-0 ACC) – Static
5. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-3, 2-3 ACC) – Up Four
6. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-3, 3-2 ACC) – Down One
7. Boston College Eagles (5-4, 3-3 ACC) – Up Three
8. Syracuse Orange (4-4, 2-2 ACC) – Static
9. Louisville Cardinals (5-4, 2-4 ACC) – Down Two
10. Virginia Cavaliers (5-3, 2-2 ACC) – Down Four
11. Pittsburgh Panthers (4-5, 2-2 ACC) – Up One
12. Duke Blue Devils (4-5, 1-5) – Down One
13. Florida State Seminoles (2-5, 2-4 ACC) – Static
14. North Carolina Tar Heels (1-8, 0-6 ACC) – Static