1. NC State Wolfpack (3-1, 1-0)
Last week: win 27-21 vs. Clemson. This week: vs. Louisiana Tech
They obviously got the biggest ACC Atlantic hurdle out of the way, but trips to BC and Wake remain on the horizon. Credit to Dave Doeren and the Wolfpack for rebounding from their disappointing loss to Mississippi State a few weeks ago.
2. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-0, 2-0)
Last week: win 37-17 at UVA. This week: vs. Louisville
The Deacons come in to this week ranked for the first time in forever. They’ve put up 35+ points in every game so far and UVA’s 17 last week was the most anyone has scored. If they don’t stumble in the mid term, their three game stretch of NC State, Clemson, and BC to end the season could decide the ACC Atlantic.
3. Clemson Tigers (2-2, 1-1)
Last week: loss 27-21 at NC State. This week: vs. BC
You know that “everything is fine” meme? That is Clemson right now. The offense is in shambles and the defense has a myriad of injuries. The Tigers currently rank 115th IN THE COUNTRY in passing yards per game with just 169.3 and 98th in rushing with 126.3.
4. Virginia Tech Hokies (3-1, 1-0)
Last week: win 21-10 vs. Richmond. This week: BYE
An 11 point win including only scoring 7 points in the second half is probably not what Justin Fuente was hoping when playing FCS Richmond. They’ll get a bye week this week to prepare for the biggest game remaining on their schedule: Notre Dame.
5. Boston College Eagles (4-0, 0-0
Last week: win 41-34 vs. Mizzou. This week: at Clemson
The Eagles are 4-0, but haven’t played anyone particularly good yet this season. It appears that still won’t change after this weekend when they head to Clemson. We will find out if they’re better than we expected. They could also deliver a true death knell to the Tigers’ season.
6. Pittsburgh Panthers (3-1, 0-0)
Last week: win 77-7 vs. New Hampshire. This week: at GT
The Panthers are a 2 fumbles lost and an interception thrown game against Western Michigan away from being the toast of the ACC. The good news for them is they haven’t played an ACC game so their path to another trip to Charlotte is still in front of them.
7. North Carolina Tar Heels (2-2, 1-2)
Last week: loss 45-22 at GT. This week: vs. Duke
And * poof *, just like that UNC’s ACC title hopes and CFP hopes are gone. There’s still a path to 9 wins, but ND, Wake, and NC State remain on the schedule. Mack Brown will almost certainly perform magic and still turn this season into a Top 20 class filled with 4 stars.
8. Miami Hurricanes (2-2, 0-0)
Last week: win 69-0 vs. Central Connecticut. This week: vs. UVA
FCS game so nothing to take from it. D’Eriq King didn’t play and is likely out this week against the Cavaliers meaning the Hoos will see RS-Freshman Tyler Van Dyke who has 14 career passing attempts with 11 of those coming last week.
9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-2, 1-1)
Last week: win 45-22 vs. UNC. This week: vs. Pitt
Most would have expected the Jackets to be 2-2 at this point, but nobody would have predicted a 23 point win over UNC or just a 6 point loss to Clemson. ND and UGA are still left on the schedule, but they have 6 ACC games left that they should at least be competitive in to push for a bowl game.
10. Louisville Cardinals (3-1, 1-0)
Last week: win 31-23 at FSU. This week: at Wake
Malik Cunningham is doing his best Lamar Jackson impression and it has worked out so far this season. He’s totaled 998 yards through the air and 5 touchdown passes while also leading the Cardinals with 263 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground. If the defense performs above average the rest of the season, the Cards could contend for the Atlantic.
11. Virginia Cavaliers (2-2, 0-2)
Last week: loss 37-17 vs. Wake. This week: at Miami
After discovering the defense wasn’t great, the UVA offense decided to not show up and see if they could still win an ACC game. That answer was a resounding no. Better efforts are going to have to come quickly if the Cavaliers want to make a bowl game for the 5th* consecutive season.
* Yes, they didn’t play in a bowl last year, but they could have with the 5-5 record.
12. Syracuse Orange (3-1, 0-0)
Last week: win 24-21 vs. Liberty. This week: at FSU
The Orange have turned in a pretty stellar season to date. Most would almost certainly take a 3-1 record through four games. Unfortunately, it looks like the Orange have one of the harder ACC schedules with Pitt and VT from the Coastal. Six wins and a bowl is possible, but they have to win this week in Tallahassee.
13. Duke Blue Devils (3-1, 0-0)
Last week: win 52-33 vs. Kansas. This week: at UNC
This ranking is 100% a product of preseason expectations. Five teams ahead of the Blue Devils have worse records and nobody but Wake Forest has two power 5 wins on the season. All that is to say, it is likely still going to be hard to get three more wins because nobody believes Duke is any good.
14. Florida State Seminoles (0-4, 0-2)
Last week: loss 31-23 vs. Louisville. This week: vs. Syracuse
At 0-4 and looking the way they’ve looked, forget about sniffing a bowl, they are going to have a hard time getting three wins for the season. Nobody could have expected this fall from grace with the loaded rosters FSU turns out every season.