This could go down as the ugliest ACC football season in history.
1. NC State Wolfpack (4-1, 1-0)
Last week: win 34-27 vs. Louisiana Tech. This week: Bye
The Wolfpack came back to earth a little bit last week after beating Clemson the week before. Can’t blame them. They won the games on their schedule and are now on to nothing but ACC games the rest of the way. They’ll get a week off before heading to Boston to take on BC.
2. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-0, 3-0)
Last week: win 37-34 vs. Louisville. This week: at Syracuse
A last second field goal lifted the Deacons over the Cardinals last week in a tight, back and forth affair. They remain undefeated on the season but still have trips to UNC (OOC), Clemson, and BC, while hosting NC State.
3. Clemson Tigers (3-2, 2-1)
Last week: win 19-13 vs. BC. This week: Bye
Most will point to DJU as Clemson’s problems. The defense has certainly held up its side limiting four of the five Clemson opponents to 19 points or less, but the Tigers also rank 83rd in rushing on the season. A QB can’t work a defense knowing the offense is one dimensional.
4. Pittsburgh Panthers (4-1, 1-0)
Last week: win 52-21 vs. GT. This week: Bye
Most likely expected a resurgent GT to give the Panthers some trouble, but Pitt housed the Yellow Jackets 42-14 in the first half alone before cruising in the second half. Kenny Pickett is pacing an offense that is 4th in the country in passing averaging 389 yards per game through the air.
5. Boston College Eagles (4-1, 0-1)
Last week: loss 19-13 at Clemson. This week: Bye
The Eagles had the ball in Clemson territory twice in the last five minutes of the game only down 6, but a fumble and turnover on downs sealed the Tigers victory. The last points BC scored came with 14 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. BC is probably going to think about that loss and opportunity for a long time.
6. Virginia Tech Hokes (3-1, 1-0)
Last week: Bye. This week: vs. Notre Dame
They got their week off to prepare for the Irish. With no ranked teams remaining on the schedule this will surely be the Hokies’ Super Bowl this season. Expect them to sell out to get a win.
7. North Carolina Tar Heels (3-2, 2-2)
Last week: win 38-7 vs. Duke. This week: vs. FSU
Sam Howell shined to the tune of 321 yards and 3 touchdowns leading the Heels. They took a 24-0 lead into halftime so the 31 point differential probably isn’t as close as it was. The Heels have FSU this week so expect more of the same from a high powered UNC offense.
8. Louisville Cardinals (3-2. 1-1)
Last week: loss 37-34 vs. Wake. This week: vs. UVA
The Cardinals have improved week after week since their week one loss to Ole Miss. A loss to Wake this past weekend puts them at a disadvantage in the ACC Atlantic race, but they still have BC, NC State, and Clemson left on the schedule. If they can win out they’re almost certain to play in Charlotte.
9. Virginia Cavaliers (3-2, 1-2)
Last week: win 30-28 at Miami. This week: at Louisville
Literally stealing a win from the jaws’ of defeat. Playing a RS Freshman, backup QB certainly helps. If the Hoos want to give us some actual hope they’ll take care of business again this weekend.
10. Miami Hurricanes (2-3, 0-1)
Last week: loss 30-28 vs. UVA. This week: Bye
The Canes are about 25 App State yards from being 1-4 on the season. Granted, they’re also one doinked kick from being 3-2. Football is dumb, but Manny Diaz’s contract probably isn’t. Could be an interesting offseason in Coral Gables.
11. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-3, 1-2)
Last week: loss 52-21 vs. Pitt. This week: at Duke
The Jackets have alternated losses and wins since the beginning of the season leading us to believe they’ll handle Duke this weekend. Who do they have after this weekend? The Hoos on October 23rd. Let’s hope form stays.
12. Florida State Seminoles (1-4, 1-2)
Last week: win 33-30 vs. Syracuse. This week: at UNC
They got on the board. It took a field goal as time expired, but they got it done. The quest for 3 wins rolls on.
13. Syracuse Orange (3-2, 0-1)
Last week: loss 33-30 at FSU. This week: vs. Wake
After thinking the Orange weren’t as bad as we thought by beating Liberty, they totally redeemed themselves by losing to a truly horrendous FSU. Their remaining 7 games are against the top half of the ACC so 6 wins and a bowl isn’t looking good for Dino Babers.
14. Duke Blue Devils (3-2, 0-1)
Last week: loss 38-7 vs. UNC. this week: vs. GT
Three wins is probably what most would have expected coming into the season. There aren’t anymore sure wins left on the schedule for Cutcliffe and Co.