With the return of college football, the streaking the lawn staff’s chance to voice their opinions on the best of the ACC returns as well.
That’s right, you’ve been waiting 9 months for the Power Rankings’ return, and it is finally here.
Will Clemson fall from the top?
Will Virginia be dead last or second to last?
Will we give NC State any respect after they play an actual Power 5 football team in their out of conference schedule?
WE SHALL SEE
1. Florida State Seminoles 2016: 10-3, 5-3
Week 1: vs. Alabama, in Atlanta
The Noles enter 2017 as the preseason favorite to win the ACC. Returning QB Deondre Francois will lead a powerful offense that will have to replace Dalvin Cook. Starting off the season against Alabama is never good, but FSU can certainly make a statement as the early favorites to win it all.
2. Clemson Tigers, 2016: 14-1, 7-1
Week 1: vs. Kent State
Yes, the Tigers won the National Championship last year on a last second
pick play touchdown. And if you are lucky enough to have a Clemson fan in your life, you have probably heard about it at least once a day since. Replacing Deshaun Watson could be quite the mountain to climb this year, but Dabo might be able to do it before he leaves for Alabama when Lord Saban retires.
3. Louisville Cardinals, 2016: 9-4, 7-1
Week 1: vs. Purdue, in Indianapolis
Returning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson will look to be the first two-time Heisman winner since Archie Griffin. Starting off with a W should not be too difficult against Purdue, but Louisville lost its last three games of the 2016 season, including a 29-9 loss to LSU in the Citrus Bowl.
4. Miami-Florida Hurricanes, 2016: 9-4, 5-3
Week 1: vs. Bethune-Cookman
The ACC is praying FSU and Miami finally come out on top of the two divisions and face off for the ACC Championship Game. Mark Richt had a fairly successful first season at the helm of the U and many are expecting more from 2017.
5. Virginia Tech Hokies, 2016: 10-4, 6-2
Week 1: vs. West Virginia, in Washington, DC (or Landover, MD)
Justin Fuente lead the Hokies to the ACC Title Game in his first season in Blacksburg. Many expect the Hokies to take a minor step back, but remain near the top of the Coastal Division. West Virginia should be a good litmus test for how big of a step back VaTech is going to take.
6. N.C. State Wolfpack, 2016: 7-6, 3-5
Week 1: vs. South Carolina, in Charlotte
Let’s give NC State a slow clap for scheduling a Power 5 opponent for their out of conference schedule. If you remember the last time the Wolfpack played one, you are likely a State fan, because the 2012 season opener against Tennessee was ages ago. Don’t come at me with “well, they played Notre Dame last year.” They didn’t schedule that game, the ACC did.
7. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 2016: 9-4, 4-4
Week 1: vs. Tennessee, in Atlanta
GT ended 2016 on a heater, winning six of their last seven games, including a 33-18 over Kentucky in the TaxSlayer Bowl and a 28-27 over arch-rival Georgia in Athens. Paul Johnson has lead the Yellow Jackets to eight bowl games in nine seasons, and has seemingly been on the hotseat for the last 5.
8. North Carolina Tar Heels, 2016: 8-5, 5-3
Week 1: vs. California
UNC supposedly has a rebuilding year ahead of them after Mitch Trubisky left for the draft after 2016. Larry Fedora will also have to replace defensive coordinator Gene Chizik.
9. Pittsburgh Panthers, 2016: 8-5, 5-3
Week 1: vs. Youngstown State
Youngstown State enters the weekend as the #9 FCS team, so this won’t be cakewalk for the Panthers. To make matters worse for Pitt, their next two games are against Penn State and Oklahoma State, both ranked in the Top Ten to start the season.
10. Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 2016: 7-6, 3-5
Week 1: vs. Presbyterian
Like BC, Syracuse, and (probably) NC State, Wake starts off just about every season with three losses thanks to being in the Atlantic Division. 2017 is no different. Fortunately, App State, Utah State, and Presbyterian aren’t impossible to overcome in their out of conference slate.
11. Duke Blue Devils, 2016: 4-8, 1-7
Week 1: vs. NC Central
Duke was somehow able to beat UNC and Notre Dame, but lost to UVa. They were weird last year and will probably be weird again this year.
12. Syracuse Orange, 2016: 4-8, 2-6
Week 1: Central Connecticut
If you want to jump on the team the rest of the media blogosphere is hoping surprises everyone, look no further than the Fightin’ Dino Babers. They’ll likely start the season 3-0 against Central Conn., Middle Tennessee, and Central Michigan before crashing back to earth with a six week stretch of at LSU, at NC State, vs. Pitt, vs. Clemson, at Miami, and at FSU. Jump on their train and pray for their health at the same time.
13. Virginia Cavaliers, 2016: 2-10, 1-7
Week 1: vs. William and Mary
Yea, if you are reading this, you likely already know we are just hoping for 5 wins and will consider 6 a God-sent miracle. They opened the season last year against Richmond and I dont want to talk about it anymore.
14. Boston College Eagles, 2016: 7-6, 2-6
Week 1: at Northern Illinois
You’ll have to forgive the homers that we have here at STL. BC went to a bowl last year and beat UConn, but some still think UVa is better than the Golden Eagles.
Here’s how all the writers voted this week. Let us know how your power rankings shake up in the comments.
|Florida State||Florida State||Florida State||Florida State||Florida State||Florida State||Florida State||Florida State||Louisville||Florida State||Florida State||Florida State||Florida State||Florida State||Florida State|
|Miami||Louisville||Miami||Miami||Miami||Virginia Tech||Miami||Miami||NC State||Virginia Tech||Louisville||Miami||Louisville||Miami||Louisville|
|NC State||Virginia Tech||NC State||NC State||NC State||Louisville||NC State||NC State||Florida State||NC State||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech|
|Virginia Tech||NC State||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||NC State||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||Louisville||NC State||NC State||Georgia Tech||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh|
|Georgia Tech||Pittsburgh||Georgia Tech||Georgia Tech||North Carolina||Georgia Tech||North Carolina||Georgia Tech||Georgia Tech||Georgia Tech||Georgia Tech||Georgia Tech||NC State||North Carolina||North Carolina|
|Pittsburgh||Georgia Tech||North Carolina||North Carolina||Georgia Tech||North Carolina||Georgia Tech||Wake Forest||Wake Forest||North Carolina||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||North Carolina||Georgia Tech||NC State|
|North Carolina||North Carolina||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||Wake Forest||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||Boston College||Pittsburgh||North Carolina||North Carolina||Pittsburgh||Wake Forest||Georgia Tech|
|Wake Forest||Duke||Wake Forest||Wake Forest||Duke||Syracuse||Duke||Syracuse||Pittsburgh||Duke||Wake Forest||Virginia||Duke||NC State||Duke|
|Virginia||Syracuse||Syracuse||Syracuse||Wake Forest||Pittsburgh||Syracuse||North Carolina||North Carolina||Wake Forest||Boston College||Duke||Wake Forest||Syracuse||Virginia|
|Duke||Wake Forest||Virginia||Virginia||Syracuse||Boston College||Wake Forest||Virginia||Virginia||Boston College||Virginia||Wake Forest||Boston College||Virginia||Wake Forest|
|Boston College||Virginia||Boston College||Boston College||Boston College||Virginia||Boston College||Boston College||Syracuse||Virginia||Duke||Boston College||Virginia||Boston College||Boston College|