Final ACC (#goacc) Power Rankings

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the final ACC power rankings for the season. I also revisited my preseason power rankings to see how accurate I was.

1. Florida State (21-0, 8-0 ACC) Initial Ranking: 2
Result: (W 37-7 at Florida)
Bowl Eligible: Yes

The Seminoles were held under 40 for the first time all season, but that didn't matter as they still beat Florida by 30 on the road. Kelvin Benjamin was sensational as he had nine receptions for 212 yards and three touchdowns. With Alabama losing in DRAMATIC FASHION, Florida State is now the prohibitive favorite to win the national championship. The Seminoles are 29.5 point favorites over Duke and I would expect that game to be over by the end of the first quarter. I initially ranked Florida State second, so I was off by a bit there, but I did say in my initial preview of Florida State that I immediately regretted not ranking them first.

2. Clemson (10-2, 7-1 ACC) Initial Ranking: 1
Result: (L 31-17 at South Carolina)
Bowl Eligible: Yes

Despite Clemson's success in recent years, they still can't seem to beat their fierce rival South Carolina. The Gamecocks' 31-17 victory over Clemson was their fifth straight victory in the series. Clemson's season-opening win over Georgia was nice, but rest assured every Clemson fan in the world would trade that win for one over either South Carolina or Florida State. Next year should be a bit of a rebuilding year for Clemson due to their losses of Tajh Boyd and presumably Sammy Watkins.

3. Duke (10-2, 6-2 ACC) Initial Ranking: 11
Result: (W 27-25 at North Carolina)
Bowl Eligible: Yes

Congratulations to Duke. I doubted this team throughout the season and they continued to make me look foolish. They are prohibitive underdogs against Florida State in the ACC Championship, but that should not take anything away from Duke's magical season and the outstanding job that David Cutcliffe and his staff have done this season. They've made some significant changes to their offense in the offseason after losing Sean Renfree, and that again is a credit to Cutcliffe and his staff.

4. Virginia Tech (8-4, 5-3 ACC) Initial Ranking: 7
Result: (W 16-6 at Virginia)
Bowl Eligible: Yes

Logan Thomas never exactly lived up to the hype of a 1st round draft pick, but he has gotten better as this season has gone along. Still, Bud Foster continues to produce excellent defenses and this team was able to go 8-4. Next year the Hokies will continue to challenge themselves out of conference when they travel to Columbus to take on Ohio State.

5. Miami (9-3, 5-3 ACC) Initial Ranking: 3
Result: (W 41-31 at Pittsburgh)
Bowl Eligible: Yes

The Hurricanes had an impressive 41-31 victory over Pittsburgh on Friday. Freshman Stacy Coley proved that he is a star in the making when he hauled in two touchdown passes and took an end around 73 yards for another. With the sanctions lifted from this program, Miami should improve their recruiting efforts and become a very consistent contender for the Coastal.

6. North Carolina (6-6, 4-4 ACC) Initial Ranking: 4
Result: (L 27-25 vs. Duke)
Bowl Eligible: Yes

North Carolina's five game winning streak came to an end when the Blue Devils came to Chapel Hills and defeated the Tar Heels. The Tar Heels are still bowl eligible, but I'm sure it would have been a lot sweeter for them if they could have gotten a victory on senior day and prevented arch-rival Duke from winning the Coastal.

7. Georgia Tech (7-5, 5-3 ACC) Initial Ranking: 5
Result: (L 41-34 vs. Georgia)
Bowl Eligible: Yes

The Yellow Jackets blew a great chance to beat rival Georgia. They were up 20-0 in the second quarter, but allowed Todd Gurley to score a touchdown late in the second quarter and the Yellow Jackets ultimately lost 41-34 in double overtime. Georgia Tech is still going bowling and Vad Lee will only get better next season.

8. Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC) Initial Ranking: 13
Result: (L 34-31 at Syracuse)
Bowl Eligible: Yes

Andre Williams essentially eliminated himself from the Heisman race yesterday, but the MAN still had over 2,000 yards on this year and was a key reason the Eagles were able to win seven games this season, which was five more than they won last season. Williams injured his shoulder yesterday, but all indications are that he will be back for their bowl game. That ends my analysis on Boston College Andre Williams.

9. Pittsburgh (6-6, 3-5 ACC) Initial Ranking: 8
Result: (L 41-31 vs. Miami)
Bowl Eligible: Yes

The Panthers came up short in their upset bid of Miami, but they clinched bowl eligibility last weekend when they defeated Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. Will Pittsburgh continue their December tradition of travelling to Birmingham, Alabama? I hear it's lovely this time of year.

10. Syracuse (6-6, 4-4 ACC) Initial Ranking: 14
Result: (W 34-31 vs. Boston College)
Bowl Eligible: Yes

Syracuse won this one in dramatic fashion as they scored the go-ahead touchdown with just six seconds remaining after trailing by four. With that clutch touchdown the Orange became bowl eligible despite having their head coach and quarterback from last season both leave for the NFL.

11. Maryland (7-5, 3-5 ACC) Initial Ranking: 9
Result: (W 41-21 at North Carolina State)
Bowl Eligible: Yes

Maryland accomplished what seven other ACC schools had already done this year and that was defeat North Carolina State. Congrats to Randy Edsall and his staff for improving this year because I know he was under a lot of pressure. Next year could be a rude awakening for the Terps as they will be in the same division as Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State. Good luck with that.

12. Wake Forest (4-8, 2-6 ACC) Initial Ranking: 6
Result: (L 23-21 at Vanderbilt)
Bowl Eligible: No

This game had no real implications for the Demon Deacons, but that didn't make this heart breaking loss any easier for Demon Deacon fans, players and coaches. We now enter an offseason in which fans are looking for answers and they are looking for changes. We should find out soon if those things happen.

13. North Carolina State (3-9, 0-8 ACC) Initial Ranking: 10
Result: (L 41-21 vs. Maryland)
Bowl Eligible: No

Dave Doeren's first season in Raleigh didn't go as planned. He may regret having jumped at this job, because with Northern Illinois currently 12-0, he probably could have gotten an even better job had he waited one more season. Fortunately for Doeren, Florida transfer and former 4-star recruit, Jacoby Brissett is eligible to play quarterback for the Wolfpack next fall. He should be a much better fit to run Doeren's offense.

14. Virginia (2-10, 0-8 ACC) Initial Ranking: 12
Result: (L 16-6 vs. Virginia Tech)
Bowl Eligible: No

This Thanksgiving Virginia is thankful for North Carolina State for saving them from being the only laughingstock in the ACC. Virginia hasn't won a an FBS game since August, and they were barely competitive in the majority of their games. I'm not going to call for Mike London to be fired, but I cannot imagine many Virginia fans are satisfied with the direction of the program.

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