Wake is now the Fathers of the ACC and we must recognize them as such. They aren’t who we thought they were.
A win this weekend wraps up the Atlantic Division for the upstart Deacons. Credit to them for rebounding with a win over NC State after losing a close one the week before in Chapel Hill. If they want to make the Playoffs, it’ll be a very steep hill to climb but a 12-1 ACC champion will be hard to keep out.
2. Pittsburgh Panthers (8-2, 5-1)
Last game: win 30-23 vs. UNC. This week: vs. UVA
The Panthers are two losses to Western Michigan and Miami from being undefeated this season. Those two are a combined 11-10 on the season. Just absolutely head-scratching losses for the Panthers and a season that Pitt fans will be asking “what if?” for years to come.
4. NC State Wolfpack (7-3, 4-2)
Last game: loss 45-42 at Wake. This week: vs. Cuse
Like the Pitt fans, Wolfpack fans are similarly frustrated by the 2021 season. They’re 4 points from being undefeated in the ACC, but instead aren’t going to come close to winning the division. For better or worse though, Dave Doeren has saved his job yet again.
5. North Carolina Tar Heels (5-5, 3-4)
Last game: loss 30-23 vs. Pitt. This week: vs. Wofford
The Heels have alternated wins and losses for the past 8 weeks. They just cant get out of their own way. No matter the product on the field the Heels are still rolling on the recruiting trail with a stellar class for next year including four of the top five players from Virginia.
6. Virginia Cavaliers (6-4, 4-2)
Last game: loss 28-3 vs. ND. This week: at Pitt
So I think we all had our suspicions confirmed that if UVA is without Brennan Armstrong, the offense is going to struggle. They did, but the missed tackles from the defense didn’t help against Notre Dame either. Hope is still alive for another Coastal Division title, but both sides of the ball are going to need to play better.
7. Louisville Cardinals (5-5, 3-4)
Last game: win 41-3 vs. Cuse. This week: at Duke
The Cardinals have all but wrapped up another bowl and if Malik Cunningham returns next year he could be an early Heisman favorite. Duke won’t challenge them, but hosting rival Kentucky could allow the Cardinals to put a cherry on top of their regular season.
8. Virginia Tech Hokies (5-5, 3-3)
Last game: win 48-17. This week: at Miami
9:30 in the morning on a Tuesday after a win is as good a time as any to fire your coach. Why not? Now it’ll be interesting to see if the Hokies play inspired or pack it in the rest of the season.
9. Miami Hurricanes (5-5, 3-3)
Last game: loss 31-28 at FSU. This week: vs. VT
So as Fuente exits VT, Manny Diaz will look to keep his job this weekend when the Hokies come to town. The Canes still get to play Duke so they’ll almost certainly make a bowl, but 7-5 looks a lot better than 6-6.
10. Florida State Seminoles (4-6, 3-4)
Last game: win 31-28 vs. Miami. This week: at BC
Nobody thought the Noles would come close to a bowl after that 0-4 start, but scoring the final 10 points last week against the Canes kept the bowl drive alive. Hell, now BC and Florida both look beatable even for the dreadful Seminoles.
11. Boston College Eagles (6-4, 2-4)
Last game: win 41-30 at GT. This week: vs. FSU
They’ve rolled off two wins after looking listless for more than a month. A win this weekend against FSU and ruining Wake’s season the final weekend of the year could really send a statement for next year.
12. Syracuse Orange (5-5, 2-4)
Last game: loss 41-3 at Louisville. This week: at NC State.
The best example of Jekyll and Hyde in the ACC, the Orange at one point lose three straight by a field goal. They then gave everyone two weeks of optimism with wins over VT and BC. Then last week they got curb stomped by the Cardinals. NC State and Pitt remain so for Babers and Co to get to a bowl it’ll be by way of an upset.
13. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-7, 2-6)
Last game: loss 41-30 vs. BC. This week: at ND
Geoff Collins seat has to be getting warm at this point. That win over UNC loses a little more luster and feels a lot further away every week.
14. Duke Blue Devils (3-7, 0-6)
Last game: loss 48-17 at VT. This week: vs. Louisville
Here’s how the votes broke down. Shoutout Wiley (again).