I've been wanting to start these for a while, but unlike the polls that start in the preseason, I like to actually watch a few games before I just blindly place a team somewhere in the polls/rankings.
Since I am in the ranking mood with the BlogPoll 25 I just put up, I figured now was just as good a time as ever to throw up my first set of power rankings.
Check out my first set of power rankings after the jump!
1. Florida State Seminoles (5-1, 3-0 in the ACC)
Florida State is the obvious #1 choice in the power rankings for this week, as well as the rest of the year in my opinion. They are the class of the ACC and they showed it with a 45-17 thrashing at Miami on Saturday night. FSU was very impressive with 300 yards on the ground against a very, very strong Miami defense. If FSU defeats N.C State next Thursday in Raleigh, the Atlantic Division is all but wrapped up in my mind. FSU should become bowl eligible this week with a victory against a helpless Boston College team.
2. Miami Hurricanes (3-2, 1-1)
Despite a lackluster performance against the Seminoles on Saturday, I still have the Hurricanes at the #2 spot. I debated switching Miami and VT, but decided to leave it like this. Miami should get back on track against Duke this weekend before hosting UNC at home in what could be a critical matchup in the Coastal race.
3. Virginia Tech (4-2, 2-0)
Since losing to Boise State and James Madison at the beginning of the year, the Hokies have been very impressive. 4 blowouts, including an impressive come from behind victory over N.C State lands the Hokies at #3. VPI should hold on to this ranking since Wake Forest heads to Blacksburg this week. The Miami/VT game on November 20th should decided the Coastal because I think Georgia Tech is a paper horse at this point in the year.
4. N.C State (5-1, 2-1)
N.C State has surprised a lot of people this year, including myself. The Wolfpack opened with 4 straight victories, and led VT 17--7 before faltering at the hands of the Hokies in the 2nd half. State rallied nicely against Boston College and used more big special teams plays to gain momentum. State steps out of conference against the ECU Pirates this weekend and should, along with FSU, become bowl eligible.
5. Georgia Tech (4-2, 3-1)
Georgia Tech currently sits in 2nd place in the Coastal division at 3-1 in the ACC. They have a nice conference win @UNC, which will get better as the year goes along, but struggled against Wake Forest (as we saw), and had a less than impressive win against the Cavaliers this weekend. The Yellow Jackets step out of conference this week against MTSU and should push their record to 5-2. Tech isn't nearly as good a team as they were last year, and should become bowl eligible only because of their relatively easy schedule. Their Coastal fate will be decided in a two week span in November when they play Virginia Tech on a Thursday night in Blacksburg, and then host Miami the next week.
6. North Carolina (3-2, 1-1)
Many may be surprised to see UNC come in at 6th in the power rankings, but I think they deserve to be here. The Tar Heels have played very admirably despite the NCAA allegations against them this season. The team seems to be rallying around each other (those that remain anyway), and the new information about Austin, Quinn and Little should come as no surprise to most UNC fans. After a big win against Clemson this week, UNC travels to UVA this weekend where they should go to 2-1 in the conference. The week after the Heels go to Coral Gables to face Miami. If they can somehow defeat the Hurricanes down there, they will have a great chance to finish 2nd in the Coastal. A difficult late season schedule will in all likelihood prevent UNC from going to Charlotte for the ACCCG, but a bowl game is certainly not out of the question with Duke, UVA and William and Mary left on the schedule.
7. Maryland (4-1, 1-0)
Maryland has been a bit of a surprise this year. Coming off the heels of a 2-10 season, the Terps have really turned it around. After defeating Navy in the first week, Maryland has really done what most would expect (losing at WVU and defeating 3 cupcakes). I would not be surprised at all to see Maryland split the next two games @ Clemson and @ BC to move to 5-2 (2-1 in the ACC). If the Terps can beat Clemson in Death Valley (which is certainly not out of the question), it would make the Atlantic Division a little more interesting. I don't think they have the horses to run with FSU and N.C. State, especially since they have Miami left on the schedule too, but the Terps will be bowl eligible this year and that is a great year for them.
8. Clemson (2-3, 1-2)
I'm pretty disappointed in Clemson this year. I thought after making the ACCCG last year against GT, Swinney would really have his boys ready to play this year. The loss of C.J Spiller certainly makes life a little bit more difficult, but nobody does less with more than Clemson does on a year in and year out basis. The Tigers need to beat Maryland and Georgia Tech in Death Valley the next two weeks to have a realistic shot at making a bowl. If they cannot do that they will need to beat FSU, South Carolina or N.C State to make the 6 win quota.
9. Virginia (2-3, 0-2)
Mike London has done a pretty admirable job in his first year in Charlottesville. Although the record may not reflect it right now, the Cavaliers have been in games this year and a lot more competitive. With the defense changing schemes, it is surprising that they have not given up more points than they have. After nearly surprising USC in Los Angeles, UVA has really done what is expected so far. It would not surprise me in the least to see UVA get to 5 wins, and they may just be able to get 6 if they can steal one.
10. Wake Forest (2-4, 1-2)
We all know the story about Wake Forest. We have played much better the past 2 weeks after 2 blowout losses to FSU and Stanford where we weren't even competitive. Frustration has settled in among the coaches and the players. If we can channel our energy the right way, we can probably scrape out 4-5 wins, but if we close up shop now and don't rally around the frustration we could go 2-10. This weekend will likely be another frustrating one, but with a bye next week and a trip to College Park on Halloween weekend, the horizon looks a little brighter.
11. Boston College (2-3, 0-2)
Boston College is in shambles right now. They are having some serious struggles on offense and have had as much shuffling around at the QB position as we have. Their defense has been rejuvenated by Mark Herzlich, and are playing a little better. The Pack really took it to them this past weekend and their schedule doesn't get any easier with a trip to Tallahassee this weekend. Much like Wake Forest, BC can either fold up or try to rally and get to 4-5 wins.
12. Duke (1-4, 0-2)
Last and least we get to Duke. What can I say about the Blue Devils? They are struggling in every facet of the game right now. With losses to Wake Forest and Army, Duke has absolutely no chance to go bowling. Sean Renfree has played pretty well this year, but the next three weeks bring Miami, VT and Navy. To be fair Duke has a very difficult schedule this year, but they are not a very good team, especially defensively. They will likely occupy the 12th spot for the rest of the year.
This wraps up my Week 7 Power Rankings. I'm sure there will be plenty of disagreement, but this is just how I see the teams in the ACC right now based on their body of work so far. As always, feel free to leave comments and tell me why I am incorrect (or correct!) in my assessment of the ACC.