We were so close to getting a new name at the top. And then we weren’t. Oh well, at least Miami showed their true colors!
1. Clemson Tigers (4-0, 2-0)
Last week: win 51-45 at Wake. This week: vs. NC State
The Tigers escaped a double OT victory on the road, which is what good teams are supposed to do. Wake throwing a endzone fade on 4th and 5 from the 15 was a little head scratching. We’ll see if there is any come down from a hard fought victory last week when NC State goes to Clemson on Saturday.
2. NC State Wolfpack (4-0, 0-0)
Last week: win 41-10 vs. UConn. This week: at Clemson
This will be NC State’s Super Bowl. Yes, they could win out and make the CFP, but the Pack have had this Clemson game circled on the calendar since the schedule came out.
3. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-1, 0-1)
Last week: loss 51-45 vs. Clemson. This week: at FSU
Wake did almost everything they needed to do to secure the upset, but playing a little conservative at the end of the game might have ended up costing them the game. They still have plenty to play for as an 11-1 Wake team would surely play in a NY6 bowl.
4. Florida State Seminoles (4-0, 2-0)
Last week: win 44-14 vs. BC. This week: vs. Wake
Despite out love, college football remains open to somewhat lucky breaks. Take FSU who is undefeated and now ranked for the first time since the Reagan administration. In reality, they’re 7 points away from being 2-2. Wins are win though.
5. Pittsburgh Panthers (3-1, 0-0)
Last week: win 45-24 vs. Rhode Island. This week: vs. GT
Thanks to all the top games going on in the Atlantic, the Panthers have begun to fly under the radar. They’ll continue to do that this week playing a interim coach lead GT team. Pitt doesn’t have anymore ranked teams on their schedule and will likely be favored in all of them with the exception of the finale against Miami on the road.
6. Syracuse Orange (4-0, 2-0)
Last week: win 22-20 vs. UVA. This week: vs. Wagner
Like FSU, Cuse is undefeated despite being exceptionally close to a 2-2 record. They were able to come out over UVA last week, but the Hoos might have started to show some flaws in what was a well respected offense heading into that game.
7. North Carolina Tar Heels (3-1, 0-0)
Last week: loss 45-32 vs. Notre Dame. This week: vs. VT
UNC playing Notre Dame might have been the biggest “programs” game nobody watched last week. The Heels came up short apparently and only made it close after the Irish took their foot off the gas pedal up 45-20 in the 4th quarter. UNC still has everything in front of them with all of their conference games remaining, but Pitt, Wake, and NC State are all on that slate.
8. Miami Hurricanes (2-2, 0-0)
Last week: loss 45-31 vs. MTSU. This week: BYE
Maybe the U isn’t actually back?
9. Louisville Cardinals (2-2, 0-2)
Last week: win 41-3 vs. USF. This week: at BC
The Cardinals got bone smoked in the first game of the season at Syracuse, but have played well the last three games. Two games on the road against BC and UVA over the next two weekends before the schedule gets really hard down the stretch with 6 straight ranked (probably) teams: Pitt, Wake, JMU, Clemson, NC State, and Kentucky.
10. Duke Blue Devils (3-1, 0-0)
Last week: loss 35-27 at Kansas. This week: vs. UVA
Northwestern and Kansas on the out of conference slate is an admirable schedule. Yes, the Blue Devils lost, but they’ve proven to be the surprise of the conference so far. Conference play start now and we’ll see if the Blue Devils just benefited from a soft schedule.
11. Virginia Tech Hokies (2-2, 1-0)
Last week: loss 33-10 vs. WVU. This week: at UNC
Well, it was competitive for a half with the Eers taking just a 13-7 lead into hafltime. The Hokies held on to the ball well enough, but 35 rushing yards on 18 attempts isn’t going to beat many teams with Grant Wells still taking the snaps.
12. Virginia Cavaliers (2-2, 0-1)
Last: loss at Syracuse. This week: at Duke
Snatching losses from the jaws of victory since the early 20th century. The good news is the defense looks significantly better and there is an actual rushing attack, but Brennan Armstrong obviously needs to find himself if the Hoos want to get to 6 wins this season.
13. Boston College Eagles (1-3, 0-2)
Last week: loss 44-14 at FSU. This week: vs. Louisville
It’s rough now, but it is going to get worse with all of the heavy hitters from the Atlantic Division remaining to go with Notre Dame. At least UConn is still on the schedule, so a second win should be in their reach.
14. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-3, 0-1)
Last week: loss 27-10 at UCF. This week: at Pitt
We knew it was coming. Poor Geoff Collins never was able to get the Yellow Jackets off the ground and was fired after going 10-28 in his first 38 games. Good thing for him is he got the bag, with his buyout looking to be in the $11 million range.