The entire ACC has a game under their belts now and the rest of the country’s internal bias regarding the conference got some big support.
1. Clemson Tigers (0-1, 0-0)
Last week: loss 10-3 vs UGA. This week: vs. SC State
Everyone thought Clemson’s weak point was their offensive line and it showed against one of the best defenses in the country. DJ Uiagalelei was running for his life nearly all night while UGA tallied 7 sacks and 8 tackles for loss. The Tigers will probably be fine for their ACC slate, but confidence won’t be very high if they can make another College Football Playoff.
2. Miami Hurricanes (0-1, 0-0)
Last week: loss 44-13 vs. Alabama. This week: vs. Appalachian State
Nobody beats Alabama, so losing to them in week one isn’t that embarrassing for the Canes. Being down 27-0 and 41-3 however is slightly embarrassing. The Canes have to regroup as they host App State this weekend in Miami. Not the same App of old, but still plenty good enough to contend with Miami.
3. Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0, 1-0)
Last week: win 17-10 vs. UNC. This week: vs. Mid-Tennessee State
The Hokies got off to a fast start in their ACC slate last weekend, but begin their four straight games in their out of conference schedule this week. MTSU probably should not be able to hang with the Hokies, but they will have to avoid a look ahead spot to next week’s game at West Virginia to avoid a tight game or loss.
4. North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1, 0-1)
Last week: loss 10-17 at VT. This week: vs. Georgia State
Certainly not the start many expected from the Heels. The defense did their part limiting Tech to under 300 yards and forcing two turnovers. Heisman contender Sam Howell did not though going 17-32 for only 208 yards and 3 interceptions. Perhaps replacing so many skilled position players is difficult?
5. NC State Wolfpack (1-0, 0-0)
Last week: win 45-0 vs. USF. This week: at Mississippi State
The Wolfpack served a bit of a message to the ACC last week with a drubbing of USF. No, USF is not going to be good, but to put up 45 points in a shutout against an FBS team is always impressive. If they can travel to Starkville this weekend and have a similar performance, their game against Clemson in two weeks could be an early season Atlantic Division Championship.
6. Pittsburgh Panthers (1-0, 0-0)
Last week: win 51-7 vs. UMass. This week: at Tennessee
The Panthers did what they were supposed to do by handling UMass. Their game this week in Knoxville could be one of the better matchups to watch. Kenny Pickett was excellent last week and while the Panthers established the run with 223 yards on the ground, nobody had more than 8 carries.
7. Florida State Seminoles (0-1, 0-0)
Last week: loss 41-28 vs. Notre Dame. This week: vs. Jacksonville State
I’ll admit, at 38-20 and having seen ND roll off three straight TDs in the 3rd quarter, I buried FSU. Credit to them for clawing back and forcing OT before coming up just short. While they probably aren’t bound for the CFP again this year, the Irish are still a Top 10 team and FSU might be ahead of schedule.
8. Virginia Cavaliers (1-0, 0-0)
Last week: win 43-0 vs. W&M. This week: vs. Illinois
UVA held serve against the FCS opponent on their schedule. Now starts their extremely difficult FBS portion of their out of conference schedule with a trip to BYU and ND still left. Illinois had a big win against Nebraska week 1 before laying an egg against UTSA. Not likely to happen, but the Hoos need to avoid looking forward to next week’s game vs. UNC.
9. Boston College Eagles (1-0, 0-0)
Last week: win 51-0 vs. Colgate. This week: at UMass
I get BC is in the northeast, but Colgate, UMass, and Temple to start the season isn’t inspiring anyone. The Eagles will likely be 3-0 heading into their game against Missouri and we’ll still have no idea what they have.
10. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0, 0-0)
Last week: win 42-10 vs. ODU. This week: vs. Norfolk State
Wake handled their business against a down ODU team and gets their FCS opponent this week. They won’t lose, but covering what is likely to be a massive number could be hard with FSU next week.
11. Syracuse Orange (1-0, 0-0)
Last week: win 29-9 at Ohio. This week: vs. Rutgers
The Orange entered last week’s game as a road underdog, but shocked many with a handling of Ohio. The defense still struggled allowing 346 yards and not forcing any turnovers, but a road win is a road win. Cuse enters this week as a home dog against a Rutgers team flying high after destroying Temple last week, 61-14.
12. Louisville Cardinals (0-1, 0-0)
Last week: loss 43-24 vs. Ole Miss. This week: vs. Eastern Kentucky
Not sure a 19 point loss can be considered “close,” but it wasn’t even that close. The Cardinals were down 26-0 entering halftime and at one point Malik Cunningham was their leading passer, rusher, and receiver. He ended the game only as their leading passer and rusher. The Cards’ defense ultimately gave up 569 yards and allowed Matt Corral to pass for 381. Yikes.
13. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (0-1, 0-0)
Last week: loss 22-21 vs. Northern Illinois. This week: vs. Kennesaw State
The Jackets entered the year with the most difficult schedule in the country. Last week was supposed to be one of their “easy” wins. Clemson, UNC, and Pitt follow this week with Notre Dame and UGA still remaining after that.
14. Duke Blue Devils (0-1, 0-0)
Last week: loss 28-31 at Charlotte. This week: vs. NC A&T
Credit to Duke for scheduling a game at Charlotte. That’s the extent of the positive talk about Duke. It could be a very long season.