We're going to start doing power rankings this week and attempt to run them out on Mondays, but as a test run, we're going to do one today before this week's slot of games (aside from the Miami-GT game that was already held). So, here we go...and as always, if you agree/disagree or have your own power rankings, let us know in the comments.
1.) Miami- There's a couple reasons for this, so bear with me. Miami has shown me a lot so far, and they don't have a loss, with only two other teams in the ACC (BC and Carolina), but the difference between Miami and the other two undefeated teams in the conference is that they have played better competition. Not to mention, they took on and beat two of the pre-season upper tier teams in the ACC. So, they hit the top spot--they earned it with wins over Florida State and GT (edging out VT). Technically the GT game isn't included in week 2, but I can't exactly ignore it.
2.) Virginia Tech- Tech's loss to Bama hurts VT. It's a blemish, but there's worse losses a team could have. But, VT was supposed to be the premier team in the conference and there were high expectations. So, that drops them down a peg. They did hold their own against the Crimson Tide, and smoked Marshall last week, and Virginia Tech is still right up there for the top spot
3.) Georgia Tech- It's almost hard to put GT here as strange as that is to say. Before the year, I had very high hopes for the Yellow Jackets, but they have some glaring weakness after three games. If you can stop their running game and load the box, you can stop Tech. Nesbitt has been shaky at best this year, and GT is going to make adjustments if they want to compete for the Coastal
4.) Clemson- Again, a pick I'm not completely sold on but Clemson woke up in the second half against GT and looked like a completely different team last Thursday. Their DL is nasty and there's no doubting the number of athletes on Clemson's team. Kyle Parker is a freshman, but he has showed some promise, and C.J. Spiller is still a premier back in the league. This week's game against BC will be a good indication of what type of team Clemson is this year.
5.) Florida State- FSU has some explaining to do. The shootout against Miami did not have me doubting the 'Noles; it was a great, well-fought game and Florida State has some very good players. They still might come out at the top in the Atlantic, but they really scrapped a win against Jacksonville State at the end last week. FSU can bounce back, but they are looking very vulnerable.
6.) Wake Forest- Homer pick aside, I think this Wake team turned the corner in the second half against Stanford last week. It is fully conceivable that they could have won the Baylor game if they hadn't made as many mistakes (and the Deacs still had a chance in the final two minutes). Riley Skinner seemed to wake up (no pun intended) and the defense looked like they had a lot more pride, plus the running game exploded. I think Wake could be very dangerous if they can execute and become more consistent, but they absolutely must address the kicking game.
7.) UNC- I'm sorry, I just don't think UNC is as good as advertised. They haven't proven they deserve to be in the top 25, and I'm thinking this is all hype. Again, this conference is so head-scratching year in and year out, and UNC could rise or fall depending on the week. A win against Citadel isn't anything special, and they really had to pull out a victory against UConn in week one.
8.) NC State- Again, another team that could move up or down at any time like a golf leaderboard. State lost to a South Carolina team they should have beaten, and their offense completely stalled. Russell Wilson still has the nation's longest streak without an interception and State has some playmakers overall, so they are definitely a threat.
9.) BC- BC could jump a few spots if they can beat Clemson this week. I just don't have a gauge on this team because their opponents were so poor. They were expected to beat Northeastern and Kent State, and they did. But BC was picked to finish low on the totem pole in the ACC, so this is a make or break game to see if BC is going to surprise the league or if they are going to have trouble finding wins in conference.
10.) Maryland- The Terps got smoked by Cal and almost lost to James Madison. But they're still better than Duke and Virginia. Maryland lost 30 players from last year, and it is showing. The team can grow and learn--inexperience shows early on--but they really have to step up on defense to win ballgames.
11.) Duke- Duke has a win, so that's good. And Army isn't terrible, but boy does that loss to Richmond look bad. Thaddeus Lewis has looked pretty bad, but the defense is decent. Duke is Duke though, and in football, that doesn't usually mean good things.
12.) Virginia- Virginia held their own against TCU for awhile, but this just is not a very good football team. Al Groh is on the hot seat, and the Cavaliers look downright terrible on offense. I just don't know how many games this team is going to win.