1. Florida State (1-0,0-0)
Last Week: W 37-31 vs. Oklahoma State
This Week: vs. Citadel
The Noles got out to a very fast start on Saturday night and were up 17-0 just 22 minutes in, but penalties, turnovers and lack of efficiency on third downs allowed Oklahoma State to get back into the game and almost win it. Jameis Winston ended up with okay numbers, but did not look to be his normal self. He had two great deep balls and an awesome touchdown run, but other than that he did not look great in the pocket. Jimbo Fisher admitted the team needs to have better focus in practice, and I think he's right. All of this being said, they are still my pick to win the national title.
2. Louisville (1-0,1-0)
Last Week: W 31-13 vs. Miami
This Week: vs. Murray State
Last night was an impressive ACC debut for the Cardinals, who dominated Miami 31-13. These two teams played each other in a bowl game last season and Louisville won that contest 36-9, which means the Cardinals have outscored the Hurricanes 67-22 over the last two contests. Looking at Louisville's schedule, they have a real chance to be 6-0 headed into their October 11th game at Clemson.
3. Clemson (0-1,0-0)
Last Week: L 45-21 at Georgia
This Week: vs. South Carolina St.
Perhaps I'm not giving Clemson enough credit here, but they still lost by 24 points and got shutout in the second half against Georgia. I'm fully aware that Todd Gurley is a man, and my pick to win the Heisman, but Clemson got outscored 31-0 following C.J. Davidson's touchdown run with 7:28 remaining in the 2nd quarter. A final thought, is that Deshaun Watson has to play more. That kid looked really good in limited snaps and will almost certainly be the starter before too long.
4. Virginia Tech (1-0,0-0)
Last Week: W 34-9 vs. William & Mary
This Week: at Ohio State
This was a strong showing from the Hokies, who did not allow a touchdown and had six receivers with at least 30 receiving yards. Freshman tailback Shai McKenzie had a great debut when he ran for 106 yards and a touchdown on just 9 carries.Quarterback Michael Brewer completed more than 75% of his passes and threw two touchdowns. It appears that Virginia Tech's offense should be better than in previous years. Next up is a huge test in Ohio State. We'll learn a lot more about Virginia Tech after Saturday night.
5. Duke (1-0,0-0)
Last Week: W 52-13 vs. Elon
Next Week: at Troy
This is exactly the type of performance you want against an FCS opponent. Anthony Boone threw 4 touchdown passes and the Blue Devils may have found a Brandon Connette replacement in Thomas Sirk. The 6'4" 215-pound sophomore quarterback ran for 54 yards and a touchdown on just 8 carries, while completing 5 of 7 passing attempts. Duke should be undefeated headed into their September 27th trip to Miami.
6. Pittsburgh (1-0,0-0)
Last Week: W 62-0 vs. Delaware
This Week: at Boston College
Pittsburgh had perhaps the most impressive/surprising performance of an ACC team this weekend. They beat Delaware 62-0 and sophomore running back James Conner ran for 154 yards and 4 touchdowns on just 14 carries. Next week is an intriguing game against Boston College that will tell us a lot about both teams.
7. North Carolina (1-0,0-0)
Last Week: W 56-29 vs. Liberty
This Week: vs. San Diego State
North Carolina's offense was explosive, but you have to be concerned about their defense moving forward. They also need to be concerned that their quarterbacks thew a combined three interceptions. The Tar Heels will not host a tough San Diego State squad before a very difficult four-game stretch that includes games at East Carolina, Clemson and Notre Dame, as well as a home game against Virginia Tech. Carolina should make a bowl game, but it's not a given.
8. Miami (0-1,0-1)
Last Week: L 31-13 at Louisville
This Week: vs. Florida A&M
Miami simply got out-classed in their season-opener against Louisville. They had three turnovers and were only able to run for 70 yards. Additionally, Miami struggled mightily to stop Louisville on third downs, and the Cardinals had the ball for 7 more minutes than the Hurricanes, despite the fact that they returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Al Golden has been recruiting well, but the fans have to be disappointed with last night and how they finished last season.
9. Boston College (1-0,0-0)
Last Week: W 30-7 vs. UMass
This Week: vs. Pittsburgh
Through one week, Tyler Murphy has proven to be an outstanding addition to this BC football team. Murphy was a true dual-threat on Saturday as he threw for 173 yards and also ran for 118. He will go a long way in replacing Chase Rettig and Andre Williams. BC now has a Friday night home game against Pittsburgh, in a matchup that could go a long way in determining if BC becomes bowl eligible.
10. Georgia Tech (1-0,0-0)
Last Week: W 38-19 vs. Wofford
This Week: at Tulane
Sophomore quarterback Justin Thomas filled in nicely for former quarterback Vad Lee, when he completed 11 of 15 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 13 times for 71 yards. In total, the offense accumulated 508 yards and had zero turnovers. The Yellow Jackets should be 3-0 headed into their September 20th game at Virginia Tech. We'll learn a lot about them in that game.
11. Virginia (0-1,0-0)
Last Week: L 28-20 vs. #7 UCLA
This Week: vs. Richmond
I was very critical of Virginia last season, and with good reason, but they deserve credit for only losing to UCLA by 8 points. Virginia's defense held UCLA to only 1 offensive touchdown, and Matt Johns had an impressive two touchdown performance. Unfortunately for UVA, Greyson Lambert threw two interceptions and UCLA had 3 defensive touchdowns. UVA is an improved team this year, but their schedule is brutal and they will probably not make a bowl game. Mike London's seat is quite warm.
12. Syracuse (1-0,0-0)
Last Week: W 27-26 vs. Villanova
This Week: BYE
The Orange barely escaped in this one. Villanova missed a game-winning field goal attempt at the end of regulation and also missed a two-point conversion in the second overtime that would have won the goal. Syracuse now has a week off before traveling to Central Michigan. Terrel Hunt, who was ejected from the Villanova game for throwing a punch, is slated to be the starter for that game and will not be punished by Syracuse. Syracuse has an opportunity to make a bowl game due to their schedule, but it appears that they will have to scrap for those wins.
13. N.C. State (1-0,0-0)
Last Week: W 24-23 vs. Georgia Southern
This Week: vs. Old Dominion
Former North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano coined the phrase "survive and advance," and that's exactly what the Wolfpack did on Saturday afternoon. Georgia Southern's quarterback fumbled the ball on a quarterback sneak on NC State's 1 yard line and that changed the game. The Eagles would have gone up 27-10 with 11 minutes remaining in the game, but instead the Wolfpack marched down the field to make it 20-17. This game had to be very concerning for a State fan, and even if they go undefeated through their laughable non-conference schedule (Old Dominion, at South Florida, Presbyterian) it's possible that they don't win more than 1 game in ACC play and fail to make a bowl.
14. Wake Forest (0-1,0-0)
Last Week: L 17-10 at ULM
This Week: vs. Gardner-Webb
To say that Wake's offense struggled on Thursday night, is like saying that there was a leak in the Titanic. The offensive line was woeful and that only allowed the Deacons to accumulate 94 yards of total offense. John Wolford looked solid when he had time, but having time to throw was a rare occasion for Wolford. The Deacs will now host Gardner-Webb in what should absolutely be a win for Wake, but Clawson's rebuilding job will not be easy.