There was a lot of movement this week in the ACC. We saw the top 4 teams hold strong, but the rest of the ACC was like a snow globe. We saw our Deacs rise and the Hurricanes fall. Virginia reaped the benefits of the max exodus from Penn State, and Maryland had an impressive road victory over Temple. After the jump, you can check out my rankings. There were a lot of close calls to make this week, so I would love to hear everyone's comments and personal rankings.
1. Florida State (W 55-0 vs.Savannah State) (2-0, 0-0) LW 1
Next Week: Wake Forest
Another week and another dominant win for Florida State over a completely inferior opponent. The Seminoles had 48 points at halftime and it easily could have been more. Next week Florida State will face their first challenge in our Wake Forest Demon Deacons. I fully expect Florida State to take care of business (as they open a 24.5 point favorite) but I am most intrigued by seeing how impressive their defense looks against an offense that was very impressive against North Carolina.
2. Clemson (W 52-27 vs. Ball State) (2-0, 0-0) LW 2
Next Week: Furman
Clemson's offense is EXPLOSIVE. They were able to put up 45 points in the first half against Ball State on Saturday, which is the first time they've done that since 1981. With Sammy Watkins returning, this team all of a sudden looks very capable of being able to defeat Florida State in Tallahassee on Sept. 22.
3. Virginia Tech (W 42-7 vs. Austin Peay) (2-0, 1-0) LW 3
Next Week: at Pittsburgh
This non-conference schedule just gets worse and worse after Pittsburgh's pathetic showing against Cincy. The Hokies should be undefeated going into their game on October 20th against Clemson at Death Valley. Logan Thomas added another two touchdowns onto his season total, and the young offense is continuing to grow. It's going to need to if VT plans on keeping up with Sammy Watkins and Clemson come mid-October.
4. Georgia Tech (W 59-3 vs. Presbyterian) (1-1, 0-1) LW 5
Next Week: Virginia
This win was impressive, but I think this season has taught us not to take too much out of games versus FCS opponents, even if you do rack up 712 yards of offense. I believe we learned a lot more about Georgia Tech on Labor day than we did against Presbyterian. Georgia Tech should easily make a bowl, but with Virginia Tech having the tie-breaker, it's going to be very difficult to win the Coastal.
5. Wake Forest (W 28-27 vs. North Carolina) (2-0, 1-0) LW 11
Next Week: at Florida State
What a game and what a performance by the Demon Deacons on Saturday. I could not believe that was the same team that only managed to beat Liberty by three points, just one week prior. Tanner Price and Michael Campanaro were simply sensational on the offensive end. Campanaro looked like an ACC version of Wes Welker. He was sure-handed and was always able to run to the open spot on the field. Price had a critical interception, but was able to bounce back and led a storybook 93-yard touchdown drive. The defense was superb and really stepped up when they were needed the most. Even though the Deacs were without Zach Thompson and lost Nikita Whitlock and Kevin Johnson during the game, the team made no excuses and continued to execute. Fantastic win for the program. I don't expect Wake Forest to beat Florida State, but after that the Demon Deacons have very winnable home games against Army and Duke. Would not be surprising at all to see them start 4-1.
6. North Carolina (L 28-27 at Wake Forest) (1-1, 0-1) LW 4
Next Week: at Louisville
I thought North Carolina played very well on Saturday; I just thought the Deacs played a little bit better. They were certainly hurt by not having Giovanni Bernard, but as noted above, Wake had injuries too. Louisville was very impressive against Kentucky, so North Carolina will certainly have their hands full. Suddenly, they could be looking at 1-2 and their 62-0 win over Elon becomes a very distant memory.
7. North Carolina State (W 10-7 at Connecticut) (1-1, 0-0) LW 7
Next Week: South Alabama
It's tough to get a read on the Wolfpack just yet. We should have a better read next week after Tennessee takes on Florida, and Connecticut plays Maryland. In the meantime, the Wolfpack take on perennial BCS contenders South Alabama and the Citadel. N.C. State continually schedules two FCS teams per season, and they should be above that. If they don't handle Miami at Miami on Sept. 29th, then come Oct. 6th, the home game against Florida State could be ugly.
8. Virginia (W 17-16 vs. Penn State) (2-0, 0-0) LW 1
Next Week: at Georgia Tech
Virginia should consider themselves very fortunate to walk away 2-0 after this one. In addition to missing a game-winning FG as time expired, Penn State also missed three additional FG attempts throughout the game. Still, Virginia was only able to defeat Penn State by one point at home. Next week's game at Georgia Tech will be very telling and will let us know if Virginia is capable of competing for a division title.
9. Maryland (W 36-27 at Temple) (2-0, 0-0) LW 12
Next Week: Connecticut
I'm not sure Maryland is necessarily better than either Miami or Duke, but they deserve to be rewarded for earning two victories thus far. They were 10-point underdogs at Temple and managed to win by nine. Much like the Deacs, Maryland was able to bounce back from a below average showing against an FCS opponent with a win against a BCS opponent.
10. Boston College (W 34-3 vs. Maine) (1-1, 0-1) LW 10
Next Week: at Northwestern
Losing to Miami by double digits last week now looks simply dreadful. They handled Maine, but how much credit can we really give them when we consider what has happened with Miami? Their remaining schedule is brutal, and it looks very much like Frank Spaziani's days are winding down.
11. Miami (L 52-13 at Kansas State) (1-1, 1-0) LW 8
Next Week: Bethune-Cookman
This was the most embarrassing game of the week. I seriously thought about putting them in at 12, but ultimately decided to put Duke there. Kansas State outgained Miami by 236 yards and had the ball for 15 more minutes. They moved the ball at will, and Miami was unable to move the ball. They only had 13 first downs, and they lost three fumbles. After their game next week again Bethune-Cookman, their schedule begins to get very difficult and their record could get really ugly, really quickly.
12. Duke (L 50-13 at Stanford) (1-1, 0-0) LW 9
Next Week: North Carolina Central
Duke looked strong in their win over FIU. last week, but this loss at Stanford was simply embarrassing. They committed four turnovers and only forced one. Duke also allowed a 76-yard punt return and threw a pick-six. When ACC play comes around, Duke is going to have to execute better on special teams and limit turnovers. They have some talent, but if they continue to give up big special teams plays and turn the ball over, there is no way they will make a bowl.