ACC (#goacc) Power Rankings Week 7 (part deux)

Tyler Smith

Is Florida State or Clemson playing better headed into arguably the biggest game in ACC history?

So it appears that the week # for my power rankings has always been ahead by one, so we'll just go ahead and call this one Week 7 part deux and then move on from here. Without further ado, here are this week's rankings.

1. Florida State (5-0, 3-0 ACC) Last Week 1
Result: BYE
This Week: at Clemson

If you needed any additional evidence that the AP poll was/is terrible, look no further than this week's poll where Florida State is ranked 5th and Clemson is ranked 3rd yet Florida State is a 3 point favorite AT CLEMSON. I truly believe they are the better team and even though Jameis Winston is just a freshman, I believe he is already better than Clemson's senior quarterback Tajh Boyd. I believe Florida State will win this game. I've been wrong before and I'm sure Clemson fans thinks I'm being disrespectful, but I call it like it see it. As a fan I truly hope this game lives up to the billing. It is arguably the biggest game in ACC history and I don't think that's hyperbole to say.

2. Clemson (6-0, 4-0 ACC) Last Week 2
Result: (W 24-14 vs. Boston College)
This Week: vs. Florida State

Certainly not the performance Clemson fans/coaches wanted to see the week before their epic clash with Florida State. I'm sure I'll hear, "We didn't take them seriously," "We were looking ahead to Florida State," "We still won." Still, this Clemson team was a 24 point favorite and they were losing in the fourth quarter. Congratulations to them for winning the game, but they were very unimpressive on Saturday. If Clemson beats Florida State this upcoming Saturday night, then I'll gladly eat crow and admit I was wrong. I just don't plan on having to do that. This may sound crazy, but I don't believe Clemson has the offensive firepower to keep up with Florida State.

3. Miami (5-0, 1-0 ACC) Last Week 3
Result: BYE
This Week: at North Carolina (Thursday)

It sort of feels like Miami is always on a bye, but the Hurricanes will be playing every week for the rest of the regular season. We've talked about North Carolina State not leaving the state of North Carolina, but Miami's trip to Chapel Hill will actually be the first time all year they've left the state of Florida. Miami is an 8.5 to 9.5 point favorite so they should win, but you have to expect Carolina will come out amped up with the hopes of turning their season around. I just think that Duke Johnson is going to have quite the day against Carolina's suspect rush defense.

4. Virginia Tech (6-1, 3-0 ACC) Last Week 4
Result: (W 19-9 vs. Pittsburgh)
This Week: BYE

The Virginia Tech defense continues to be absolutely dominant. They only allowed Pittsburgh a mere 215 total yards, only 23 of which were rushing yards. Virginia Tech's offense reverted back to their woeful ways, and they will need to stop settling for field goals when they play teams like Miami. Virginia Tech is already bowl eligible and for whatever reason just over a month ago I was questioning whether or not they would make a bowl. Their November 9th game at Miami will probably determine the Coastal winner.

5. Boston College (3-3, 1-2 ACC) Last Week 8
Result: (L 24-14 at Clemson)
This Week: BYE

I know Steve Addazio believes that you play to win the game and he isn't one for moral victories. I respect the heck out of that, but as someone who does power rankings it impresses me when Boston College plays well at home against Florida State and then follows that up with a very impressive showing and fourth quarter lead at Clemson. Boston College now has a bye week before traveling to Chapel Hill to take on North Carolina. They can absolutely leave with a victory. They are capable of winning each individual game on the remainder of their schedule. I believe Addazio will find a way take this team bowling in year one.

6. Maryland (5-1, 1-1 ACC) Last Week 6
Result: (W 27-26 vs. Virginia)
This Week: at Wake Forest

C.J. Brown's absence against Virginia showed just how valuable he is to this Maryland team. Caleb Rowe did enough to win, but if Alec Vozenilek makes a 42-yard field goal, then Maryland loses this game. Row completed just over 50% of his passes and had more than 330 passing yards, but more than half of those passing yards came on just three plays. C.J. Brown has been cleared to practice by the team's medical staff and began practicing Sunday according to the Testudo Times. Stefon Diggs and Deon Long continue to be very good regardless of who the quarterback is, so the Wake Forest secondary will need to be prepared either way.

7. Syracuse (3-3, 1-1 ACC) Last Week 12
Result: (W 24-10 at North Carolina State )
This Week: at Georgia Tech

Life on the road in the ACC isn't a problem for Syracuse. The Orange went into Carter-Finley in their first ever ACC road game and emerged victorious. Syracuse did so by having an incredible running attack. Jerome Smith, Prince-Tyson Gulley and Terrel Hunt combined for more than 360 rushing yards. Syracuse is realistically capable of winning any of their remaining games, with the exception of their game at Florida State. All of a sudden this is a team who might go bowling.

8. Pittsburgh (3-2, 2-2 ACC) Last Week 7
Result: (L 19-9 at Virginia Tech)
This Week: vs. Old Dominion

Pittsburgh's offense got absolutely shut down by Virginia Tech's defense, but most teams can be found guilty of that. Tom Savage and Pittsburgh will now take on Old Dominion in a game which they should win. I think Pittsburgh is going bowling in their first year in the ACC.

9. Duke (4-2, 0-2 ACC) Last Week 13
Result: (W 35-7 vs. Navy)
This Week: at Virginia

This game was closer than the score indicates, but I give Duke credit for completely pulling away in the second half to earn their fourth win of the season. Anthony "Ace" Boone returned from injury and threw for nearly 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. Thanks to Duke's cupcake non-conference schedule they will now just have to win two of their final six games to become bowl eligible for the second consecutive season.

10. Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-2 ACC) Last Week 5
Result: (L 38-20 at BYU)
This Week: vs. Syracuse

Georgia Tech lost by 18 points and that was still misleading because they scored a garbage time touchdown with under one minute to play. All of a sudden a team who I thought could legitimately win the Coastal might not even make a bowl game. They still have games remaining against Clemson, Alabama A&M (already beat and FCS opponent) and Georgia (or whatever is left of them). Not a good week to be an Atlanta sports fan.

11. Wake Forest (3-3, 1-2 ACC) Last Week 11
Result: BYE
This Week: vs. Maryland

Wake Forest is coming off their bye week and will look to continue the momentum of their 28-13 victory over in-state rival North Carolina State when the Maryland Terrapins come to town for the last time in the foreseeable future. If the Deacs can utilize the same offense they executed against North Carolina State then the Deacs should be able to hang in this game against Maryland, who opened up as a 7 point favorite. If Virginia put up 26 points against Maryland, then that has to give Wake fans some hope that they can emerge victorious. Even if they do win this one, however, it's no guarantee of a bowl berth. I truly hope the ULM game doesn't come back to haunt this team, but I fear it might.

12. Virginia (2-4, 0-2 ACC) Last Week 14
Result: (L 27-26 at Maryland)
This Week: vs. Duke

I was highly critical of Virginia last week and I give them credit for how they responded. I know C.J. Brown did not start for Maryland, but Virginia was still a touchdown underdog and was  a missed 42-yard field goal away from winning this game on the road. Virginia was able to hang in this game by absolutely dominating on the ground and controlling time of possession. Virginia had more than 240 rushing yard and controlled the ball for nearly 38 minutes. Virginia will now begin a three game home stand with a matchup against Duke. If they don't win this one, there is a legitimate chance they won't win another game all season.

13. North Carolina State (3-3, 0-3 ACC) Last Week 9
Result: (L 24-10 vs. Syracuse)
This Week: BYE

North Carolina State needs a bye week to think about what they've done. Two weeks ago they were sitting at 3-1 and in their next two games they would be favored by a combined 14.5 points. You would think that means they'd have a great chance of being 5-1 headed into their bye week. Instead, they've lost their past two games by a combined 29 points, and now they are sitting at 3-3 with their next game being an away trip to Tallahassee to take on Florida State. All of a sudden their bowl hopes don't look so great.

14. North Carolina (1-4, 0-3 ACC) Last Week 10
Result: BYE
This Week: vs. Miami (Thursday)

It certainly hasn't been a banner year for the Tar Heels, but they have had an extra week to prepare for Miami and will look to get their season turned around on Thursday night. After Miami their schedule gets much easier. They are capable of winning each game, but they are also capable of losing each game. Carolina better come ready to play on Thursday night.

Please feel free to leave comments. I'd love to hear your rankings! The bottom half can really be ranked any number of ways.

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