What a wild weekend it was in college football. We saw three top-five teams lose including the number three ranked Florida State Seminoles. That allowed for North Carolina State to make a significant jump in the rankings. Four teams have byes this upcoming week, so it's unlikely there will be as much movement next week, but there are several interesting matchups including Duke at Virginia Tech and North Carolina at Miami. Check out the rankings after the jump.
1. Florida State (L 17-16 at North Carolina State) (5-1, 2-1) LW 1
Next Week: vs. Boston College
You have to be disappointed if you are a Florida State fan. While this team is not as talented as the likes of Alabama, Oregon, or USC, they certainly had a schedule that did not pose many major road blocks on the way to a national championship. One of those road blocks was this road game at Carter-Finley, and this road block proved to be too much for the Seminoles. The Seminoles really displayed a lackluster effort in the second half, and deserved to lose this game. Gutless and conservative play calling by Jimbo Fisher and company all but guaranteed a punt to the Wolfpack, instead of having an opportunity to make a first down and be able to run out the clock. Because they hold the tie-breaker over Clemson, Florida State is still the odds on favorite to win the Atlantic, but if they slip up again, they are in a world of trouble.
2. Clemson (W 47-31 vs. Georgia Tech) (5-1, 2-1) LW 2
Next Week: BYE
Clemson was in a close one for about three quarters, and then they decided to exert their will and took home a 16 point victory over the Yellow Jackets. Clemson now goes into a bye week before facing a struggling Virginia Tech team in Death Valley. DeAndre Hopkins has really stepped up as a premier receiver in the ACC. He has eight touchdowns already this season. He only had nine during his first two seasons at Clemson. It's going to be a fantastic matchup on November 24th between the Clemson offense and the South Carolina defense.
3. North Carolina State (W 17-16 vs. Florida State) (4-2, 1-1) LW 6
Next Week: BYE
North Carolina State had an absolutely huge win against the #3 Seminoles on Saturday night. The Wolfpack found themselves down 16-0 at halftime, but they were resilient and Mike Glennon found a way to throw a game-winning touchdown pass with 16 seconds remaining. With this win, the Wolfpack now have an outside shot at winning the Atlantic.
4. North Carolina (W 48-34 vs. Virginia Tech) (4-2, 1-1) LW 4
Next Week: at Miami
This was a good win for Larry Fedora and the North Carolina Tar Heels. They accumulated 533 yards of total offense including 339 rushing yards. However, Carolina had 15 penalties for 126 yards. They must improve the discipline moving forward. If Carolina was bowl eligible this year, this upcoming game would be absolutely huge for both teams. As it is, Carolina is trying to play the role of spoiler against the Hurricanes.
5. Miami (L 41-3 at Notre Dame) (4-2, 3-0) LW 3
Next Week: vs. North Carolina
The Hurricanes showed that while they can compete for the Coastal Division, they can certainly not compete with the top teams in the nation. In their two games versus now top 10 teams (Kansas State and Notre Dame) Miami has been outscored by a combined score of 93-16. Miami's next three games are against North Carolina, Florida State, and Virginia Tech. After those games we'll see how they sit in the Coastal.
6. Duke (W 42-17 vs. Virginia) (5-1, 2-0) LW 5
Next Week: at Virginia Tech
Another week, and another solid victory for the Duke Blue Devils. They absolutely crushed Virginia, and this was without starting quarterback Sean Renfree. Anthony Boone didn't miss a beat as he stepped in and threw for 4 touchdowns and ran for more than 40 yards. Now the Blue Devils will head to Lane Stadium with the opportunity to become bowl eligible in October. I think Virginia Tech will win, but I wouldn't be stunned if the new ACC career receptions leader Conner Vernon and company came back victorious.
7. Maryland (W 19-14 vs. Wake Forest) (3-2, 1-0) LW 8
Next Week: at Virginia
This Maryland team really is not any good, but I give them credit for beating Wake. Maryland now has a game against Virginia in what promises to be the least watchable ACC game of the week. Regardless, it's another opportunity for this Maryland team to get a win. The second half of their schedule gets very difficult, so it's very unlikely this team will make a bowl game, but I give Randy Edsall credit for having 3 wins at this point in the season.
8. Virginia Tech (L 48-34 at North Carolina) (3-3, 1-1) LW 7
Next Week: vs. Duke
The Hokies have lost three of their last four games and surrendered 339 rushing yards to the Tar Heels on Saturday. 40 rushing yards on 25 carries is absolutely not going to get it done for Virginia Tech. Tech scored 21 of their 24 points on big plays (49 yard touchdown pass, 93 yard kickoff return, 66 yard touchdown pass). Relying on big plays, not being able to run, and not being able to stop the run is not a recipe for long-termed success. Even though they only have one conference loss, they still have games remaining at Clemson and Miami, plus at home against Florida State. It looks like Virginia Tech won't be winning the Coastal this season.
9. Georgia Tech (L 47-31 at Clemson) (2-4, 1-3) LW 11
Next Week: BYE
Georgia Tech was beating Clemson with 13 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, but then Clemson overwhelmed the Yellow Jackets with their superior talent. Two touchdowns and a safety later, the Tigers emerged victorious and won the game 47-31. Georgia Tech must now win four of their remaining six games in order to become bowl eligible. That schedule includes a home game against BYU and road games at UNC and Georgia. This is certainly not the season Paul Johnson envisioned after nearly defeating Virginia Tech in lane Stadium on Labor Day.
10. Wake Forest (L 19-14 at Maryland) (3-3, 1-3) LW 10
Next Week: BYE
This one was hard to watch. The offense just demonstrated little to no ability to move the ball down the field. We scored on a 75 yard pass to a wide-open Terrence Davis, and when we started on Maryland's own 25 yard line. Our defense only gave up 244 yards, and we still couldn't win. That's all you need to know about our offense. Wake now goes into a BYE, and will have two weeks to prepare for Virginia. If Wake is going to make a bowl, then we must beat Virginia. We've already blown two tremendous opportunities against Duke and Maryland.
11. Boston College (L 34-31 at Army) (1-4, 0-2) LW 9
Next Week: at Florida State
This is a bad loss for the Eagles. I was impressed with how competitive against they were against Clemson last week, but a different Boston College team showed up against Army. Keep in mind this Army team lost to Stony Brook a week ago. Army had 170 more total yards and 15 more minutes of possession than Boston College. Now Boston College has the pleasure of traveling to Tallahassee to take on a Florida State team coming off a loss. Boston College are 28 point underdogs. This one will be ugly.
12. Virginia (L 42-17 at Duke) (2-4, 0-2) LW 12
Next Week: vs. Maryland
Well this certainly wasn't a great weekend to be a Wahoo. They were one point underdogs at Duke and they lost by 25. They have now lost four games in a row it's looking less and less likely that they are going to make a bowl game. Mike London and his staff were hoping that they'd be able to keep last year's momentum going and make another bowl. Now the main focus will be on the development of Phillip Sims. Can he become the quarterback people thought he was going to be coming out of high school?