1. Florida State (9-0, 7-0 ACC) Last Week 1
Result: (W 59-3 at Wake Forest)
This Week: vs. Syracuse
Shockingly, Florida State didn't intercept this article as I was submitting it. Really nothing to say about this game except for pure domination in every facet of the football game. Christmas came earlier in the week for Florida State and their fans when Oregon lost to Stanford. This is really just an excuse to show this incredible sign that a Stanford fan made (h/t @FarrenBenjamin). Florida State should absolutely cruise to the national title game.
2. Clemson (8-1, 6-1 ACC) Last Week 2
This Week: vs. Georgia Tech (Thursday)
If the Tigers can beat Georgia Tech on Thursday, it will be Clemson's second consecutive season finishing 7-1 in the ACC. The season prior to this streak, Clemson "only" went 6-2, but they won the ACC Championship. Dabo Swinney is building himself a very good program down in Tiger Town. Even though this team cannot make the ACC Championship, they could still make a BCS bowl if they can beat Georgia Tech and South Carolina. South Carolina is playing well right now and that game should be a dandy.
3. Virginia Tech (7-3, 4-2 ACC) Last Week 8
Result: (W 42-24 at Miami)
This Week: vs. Maryland
Virginia Tech simply dominated Miami. The Hokies outgained the Hurricanes by nearly 200 yards, had the ball for twice the amount of time and won the turnover battle (0-2). Logan Thomas put on his best performance of the year; completing 25 of his 31 passing attempts for 366 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. I highly anticipate Virginia Tech will win their two remaining games against Maryland and Virginia, respectively. The problem is now that Duke must lose in order for the Hokies to win the Coastal and return to the ACC Championship game.
4. Duke (7-2, 3-2 ACC) Last Week 4
Result: (W 38-20 vs. North Carolina State)
This Week: vs. Miami
Just when you thought Duke might blow this game to woeful North Carolina State, DeVon Edwards went Deion Sanders on the Wolfpack and had back-to-back pick sixes. If that wasn't enough, he had a 100 yard kickoff return in the third quarter. With a day like that, it was no surprise that DeVon Edwards was named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week. Duke will make the ACC Championship game if they win out because they own the tie-breaker over Virginia Tech. The problem is that I don't anticipate Virginia Tech will lose again and Duke has two difficult games remaining against Miami and North Carolina, respectively. I do believe that Duke will lose one of those two games and Virginia Tech will win the Coastal.
5. Miami (7-2, 3-2 ACC) Last Week 3
Result: (L 42-24 vs. Virginia Tech)
This Week: at Duke
The past month has not been very impressive for Miami. It started where they needed to come from 10 down in the fourth quarter to defeat the Tar Heels. Then, they barely beat Wake Forest at home when they were 23 point favorites. Finally, the past two games they have surrendered 40 or more points each time and lost by a combined 45 points to Florida State and Virginia Tech, respectively. Al Golden has done a great job, but be sure that "The U" is not back just yet. Their game against Duke next week has all sorts of implications for who wins the Coastal. The problem for Miami is that they need Virginia Tech to lose to either Maryland or Virginia, and I just don't see that happening.
6. North Carolina (4-5, 3-3 ACC) Last Week 6
Result: (W 45-14 vs. Virginia)
This Week: at Pittsburgh
North Carolina took care of Virginia as was expected. North Carolina has now won three games in a row and is playing their best football of the season. Assuming North Carolina beats Old Dominion, that means they will need to beat either Pittsburgh or Duke. I've been saying it for more than a month, but I still believe this team will make a bowl game.
7. Georgia Tech (6-3, 5-2 ACC) Last Week 5
This Week: at Clemson (Thursday)
The Yellow Jackets have been playing well for the past several weeks, going 3-0, but they are in for a completely different test when they travel to Death Valley on Thursday and take on Clemson. I don't think they have much of a chance in this one, but I am looking forward to their matchup with Georgia at the end of the month. Georgia is banged up and that could mean Georgia Tech will defeat Georgia for the first time since 2008. I should point out that Georgia Tech can still make the ACC Championship game, but they have to beat Clemson and they need Virginia Tech to lose. It should come as no surprise that the two teams most likely to make the championship game (Virginia Tech and Duke) are the ones who did not have to face at least one of Florida State or Clemson.
8. Boston College (5-4, 2-3 ACC) Last Week 7
Result: (W 48-34 at New Mexico State)
This Week: vs. North Carolina State
This game was a lot closer than I anticipated as Boston College was actually tied with New Mexico State at two different points during the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, BC got the win and moved to within one of of bowl eligibility. Quite impressive for a team who won just two games last year and has a first year head coach in Steve Addazio. Addazio is a candidate for coach of the year in the conference along with Jimbo Fisher and David Cutcliffe, in my opinion. Additionally, Andre Williams was nothing short of sensational on Saturday when he ran for an incredible 295 yards on 30 carries. Williams had one fewer yard than Florida State did. You have to think BC will find a way to beat at least one of NC State, Maryland or Syracuse and become bowl eligible.
9. Pittsburgh (5-4, 2-3 ACC) Last Week 11
Result: (W 28-21 vs. Notre Dame)
This Week: vs. North Carolina
Given the disgusting manner in which Todd Graham left Pittsburgh, it's good to see Pittsburgh under the direction of a classy guy in Paul Chryst. This is made evident by him continuing to take full responsibility for the team's loss to Navy earlier in the season. Winning in primetime on national television against Notre Dame is great for this program, but what also great is that Pitt is now just one win away from becoming bowl eligible. Pittsburgh now has games remaining against North Carolina, Syracuse and Miami. I think the Panthers will find a way to make it done,.
10. Syracuse (5-4, 3-2 ACC) Last Week 9
Result: (W 20-3 at Maryland)
This Week: at Florida State
Congrats to Syracuse and our friends over at Nunes Magician, who are now just one win away from bowl eligibility in a year that I personally did not think they had much of a chance. They were able to defeat the Terrapins 20-3 this past Saturday by absolutely dominating the run game. The Orange ran for 242 yards and averaged 5.4 yards/carry. It's not looking like Syracuse will beat Florida State in Tallahassee this weekend (they won't), but Syracuse could absolutely win one of their final two games which are against Pittsburgh and Boston College, respectively.
11. Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5 ACC) Last Week 10
Result: (L 59-3 vs. Florida State)
This Week: BYE
Nothing short of embarrassing. Yes, technically this team can still make a bowl game, but I sincerely doubt that we will win even one of our remaining two games. It's terrible because this team returned 15 starters from last season, including a fourth year starting quarterback. If Wake fails to make a bowl game, it will be the second time in four years that Jim Grobe's Wake Forest team has failed to make a bowl game with a fourth year starting quarterback. Additionally if this team fails to win three consecutive games (one of which being a theoretical bowl game) then Jim Grobe will become the only coach in the country who has five consecutive losing seasons at his current job. Not exactly a statistic to write home about.
12. Maryland (5-4, 1-4 ACC) Last Week 12
Result: (L 20-3 vs. Syracuse)
This Week: at Virginia Tech
Maryland blew what was their best remaining opportunity to earn a bowl berth. Per our friends over at Testudo Times, Randy Edsall is 0-13 in games after October 13th in his tenure at Maryland. Maryland's last win past October 13th came on December 29, 2010 under Ralph Friedgen. That's 1,065 days ago (as of November 11th). I expect that streak to go into 2014.
13. North Carolina State (3-6, 0-6 ACC) Last Week 13
Result: (L 38-20 at Duke)
This Week: at Boston College
Another week of North Carolina State football and another week to laugh out loud at their slogan #OurSTATE. The Wolfpack is now 0-6 in the ACC and went 0-3 against the other three ACC schools, losing by a combined 41 points. N.C. State must now win out if they want to make a bowl game. In order to do that, they'll have to win at Boston College this week. Given how BC has been playing, I don't like their chances.
14. Virginia (2-8, 0-6 ACC) Last Week 14
Result: (L 45-14 at North Carolina)
This Week: BYE
The only thing Wake Forest has going for them is that they are not Virginia. Virginia has gotten outscored by more than 130 points over the course of the season, and that includes a 49-0 victory over FCS opponent, V.M.I. Virginia is 106th nationally in total offense (when only looking at games against FBS opponents). It looks very likely that Virginia will lose their remaining games against Miami and Virginia Tech, respectively. I guess misery loves company.
These were probably the hardest rankings I've had to do, so please tell me what you believe the rankings should be.