Clemson and Miami survived scares last week while Notre Dame demolishes Pittsburgh. Another normal ACC weekend.
1. Clemson Tigers (6-0, 5-0)
Last game: win 47-21 vs. Syracuse. This week: vs. BC
Syracuse put a bit of a scare this past weekend while Travis Etienne was off the field, but he came back and Clemson won by 4 scores. Crazy that Clemson getting a “scare” is them winning by “only” 26. BC this week before the showdown we’ve all looked forward to with the Tigers going to South Bend.
2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-0, 4-0)
Last week: win 45-3 at Pitt. This week: vs. GT
After struggling against Louisville the week before, the Irish put everyone’s nerves at ease with a shellacking of the Panthers. No triple option team to prepare for the week before Clemson this year, so Notre Dame might focus like 75% of their attention on the Tigers and hope their talent carries them against GT this weekend.
3. Miami-Florida Hurricanes (5-1, 4-1)
Last game: win 19-14 vs. UVA. This week: BYE
Miami squeaked by the Cavaliers this past week and have a week off to recover before their final push to end the season. D’Eriq King is doing a lot of what many thought he would do in Coral Gables, but as always, the Hurricanes just can’t make that leap forward to look truly elite.
4. North Carolina Tar Heels (4-1, 4-1)
Last game: win 48-21 vs. NC State. This week: at UVA
A mind blowing loss is usually followed up by a much cleaner game that results in the victory. Case in point: UNC losing to FSU and then beating NC State by 27. Let’s hope UNC has some look ahead in them this week with Duke on the schedule next week.
5. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-2, 2-2)
Last game: win 23-16 vs. VT. This week: at Syracuse
Wake continues to throw surprises at all of us. The Deacs are an early season 3 point loss to NC State from 4-1, ranked, and pushing the rest of the conference as a force to be reckoned with alongside UNC and Miami. They still have both of those teams, and Notre Dame, left on the schedule, so Wake can still make waves.
6. Virginia Tech Hokies (3-2, 3-2)
Last game: loss 23-16 at Wake. This week: at Louisville
The Hokies turned the ball over three times last week against Wake and had 10 penalties for 112 yards. That’s not going to beat many teams, but they still had a balanced attack with 223 passing yards and 210 rushing yards. Traveling to Louisville after a let down against Wake could get them right, or it could set their wheels on fire. Liberty next weekend probably isn’t the cakewalk they had all hoped for.
7. Boston College Eagles (4-2, 3-2)
Last game: win 48-27 vs. GT. This week: at Clemson
Alternating wins and losses over the last 5 games leads the Eagles to lose this weekend at Clemson. Checks out. Syracuse next week? Yep. Notre Dame after? L again. Louisville after that for a W? Sure. And end the season at UVA? Hell yea, a W for the Hoos.
8. N.C. State Wolfpack (4-2, 4-2)
Last game: loss 48-21 at UNC. This week: BYE
Although they lost their starting QB, Devin Leary for the season prior to the game, the Wolfpack still managed to put up 358 yards through the air on 44 pass attempts. Yes, there were three interceptions thrown in there, but let’s focus on the positive here. 34 rushing yards in a game won’t help, but playing behind the entire game doesn’t either.
9. Pittsburgh Panthers (3-4, 2-4)
Last game: loss 45-3 vs ND. This week: BYE
A bye week has come at just the right time for the Panthers having rolled off four straight losses. FSU and GT come right after the bye, so hopefully they can get both of those games to get to .500 for the season. Then VT and Clemson to end the year, so 6 wins is almost certainly the ceiling for a team some thought might make the ACC Championship.
10. Virginia Cavaliers (1-4, 1-4)
Last game: loss 19-14 at Miami. This week: vs. UNC
The good news for the Hoos is after being torched on the first two plays of the game, their defense settled down to only give up 12 more points against Miami, three of the last give games are at home, and none of those five are against ranked opponents. The bad news is after four straight losses they get to face their third ranked opponent in five games.
11. Louisville Cardinals (2-4, 1-4)
Last game: win 48-16 vs. FSU. This week: vs. VT
Is FSU the cure for the common bad team? Louisville will put that to the test this week when they host VT. After losing to ND by 5 and then demoralizing FSU, might this Louisville team be rounding the corner into a secretly decent team again?
12. Florida State Seminoles (2-4, 1-4)
Last game: loss 48-16 at Louisville. This week: vs Pitt
Fool us once, shame on us. You won’t fool us again, Noles. Even if you beat Pitt or NC State, we refuse to acknowledge you are anywhere close to decent.
13. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-4, 2-3)
Last game: loss 28-27 at BC. This week: vs. ND
After taking care of Louisville just a few weeks ago, the Yellow Jackets have been outscored by 84 points over the last two games. Yes, 63 of those points came at the hands of Clemson, but losing by 21 to BC isn’t great either. Geoff Collins has to hope his team doesn’t start losing all hope.
14. Duke Blue Devils (1-5, 1-5)
Last game: loss 31-20 at NC State. This week: vs. Charlotte
Speaking of giving up hope, the Blue Devils feel like they are on the verge. Luckily they get their our of conference matchup this weekend against a team in their 8th year of existence! Charlotte isn’t an absolute rollover of a team: the Blue Devils are only 9.5 point favorites.
15. Syracuse Orange (1-5, 1-4)
Last game: loss 47-21 at Clemson. This week: vs. Wake
Credit to the Orange for at least slapping Clemson once. Cuse is now just playing for pride, and that’s ok.