This is by no means an end all, be all to how good the teams in the ACC are or how I see them finishing. This is simply where I see each team now based on what I've seen to this point in the season.
1. Florida State Seminoles (21-3, 8-1, 1st in Atlantic, 1st Overall) - Far and away the best team in the league right now. James Ramsey is batting a cool .427 with 9 home runs, and is 2 RBI's away from leading the team in that category as well. The Seminoles are sporting a stout 3.16 team ERA, including no higher than 3.67 from any of their weekend starters. FSU is coming off a week which saw it take two games from Stetson and two of three from a competent Wake Forest club at home. They take on top ranked Florida tonight in Jacksonville before getting Virginia Tech this weekend at home.
2. North Carolina Tar Heels (19-5, 7-2, T-1st in Coastal, T-2nd Overall) - Colin Moran (.389) and three other Tar Heel regulars are batting over .300, and the team ERA is a staggering 2.60. Two Tar Heel weekend starters have ERA's under 2. You better keep them off the board, because their pitchers aren't going to let you get on it. These guys are fresh off taking two from 5th ranked NC State at home, which is more than a solid series win. UNC gets into action this week with a midweek scrap with No. 23 Coastal Carolina, and then a weekend set against Wake Forest at home. They get the nod over Miami right now based on the series win over NC State.
3. Miami Hurricanes (19-5, 7-2, T-1st in Coastal, T-2nd Overall) - Peter O'Brien is a monster. He's batting 44 points higher (.388), has 5 more home runs (8), and 11 more RBI's (28) than the next closest guy in any of those categories on Miami's team. He's not their only guy though; 7 of Miami's regular starters hit above .284, and they're hitting at a .297 clip as a team. With a team ERA of 3.15, they have two weekend starters with ERA's hovering above 2. The Canes took two of three at home against Maryland, and play St. Thomas University on Wednesday before rolling into Doug Kingsmore this weekend to take on our Tigers.
Rest of the rankings after the jump...
4. NC State Wolfpack (16-6, 6-3, 2nd in Atlantic, 4th Overall) - Chris Diaz is swinging at a .378 average, and the Wolfpack are hitting .295 as a team, but their pitching has been exceptional so far this year. Their 2.88 ERA nearly halves the 5.52 ERA their opponents have at this point. NC State is also fielding at a .968 rate, so their pitching and defense have been keeping them in every game this season. They just lost a tight series at Chapel Hill, and now have a game against East Carolina on Wednesday before getting Virginia at home this weekend.
5. Virginia Cavaliers (15-8-1, 5-4, 3rd in Coastal, 5th Overall) - Typical Virginia baseball: near the top of the ACC in batting average, near the bottom in home runs. Goes to show you that doing the little things really do add up for most teams. 7 regular starters bat over .300, and their 3.29 ERA isn't too shabby either. These guys also have a .972 fielding position. Put simply: they play good baseball and are a treat to watch on the diamond. They are coming off their sweep of Clemson and are getting ready to take on Towson twice this week before traveling to Raleigh to take on NC State this weekend.
6. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (17-9, 4-5, 3rd in Atlantic, T-6th Overall) - 5 everyday players are at .300+, and Brian Holmes has a sparkling 1.49 ERA, including a no hitter earlier this year against Marshall. The Deacs will give up their share of runs, as the team ERA is sitting at 4.11, but they tend to score enough runs to push past that. Wake Forest took 1 game from Florida State at home this past weekend, but has a midweek date with High Point before traveling to Chapel Hill to face a tough Tar Heel squad.
7. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (15-9, 4-5, 4th in Coastal, T-6th Overall) - The Jackets are hitting .304 as a team, led by Sam Dove's .418 average. That's about as far as the good news goes, however, as their team ERA is 4.31 and they just dropped out of the rankings after being as high as 15 in some polls. This team is confusing; all the potential is there, they look set to do well, and then they drop two games to a poor Boston College team. No excuse for that, these guys will definitely have the chance to rebound though, with two games against Georgia Southern in the middle of the week before Duke comes to Atlanta for the weekend.
8. Clemson Tigers (11-11, 3-6, 4th in Atlantic, 9th Overall) - I'm surprised to even be putting us here. We're hitting .265 as a team, and it doesn't seem like we've hit a ball with a runner in scoring position since we played BC. Richie's average has dropped at least 160 points in the past 2-3 weeks; he's now at .316. We make errors at the most costly times, and surrender walks when we can least afford to on the mound. Our 3.61 ERA isn't bad, but it doesn't tell the whole story. This team has more than enough work cut out for it in the remainder of it's games. After getting swept by Virginia, it'd be nice to see us come to play and take one from Georgia, PC, and Miami.
9. Maryland Terrapins (16-9, 2-7, T-5 in Atlantic, T-11 Overall) - Maryland is hitting worse than we are, at .262, with only one regular player hitting above .300 (KJ Hockaday, .337). Their team ERA is at 2.66 though, so they are flat getting after it on the mound. Their guys don't walk many batters and they play defense (.971 fielding percentage), and this in turn keeps them in games with many teams that would be deemed "above their talent level". The Terps lost 2 in Coral Gables this past weekend and play St. John's in a midweek game before heading to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College this weekend.
10. Duke Blue Devils (10-14, 3-5, 5th in Coastal, 8th Overall) - Duke is hitting .285 on the season, and their team ERA is 4.01, and it's showing. Their pitchers walk and hit a LOT of batters, resulting in unnecessary pressure on the defense and unncessary runs. Duke did just sweep Virginia Tech this past weekend in Blacksburg though, and they face Davidson in the midweek before heading to Atlanta to face the Jackets.
11. Virginia Tech Hokies (17-8, 2-6, 6th in Coastal, 10th Overall) - Yes, I know. They are 9 games over .500. Fact of the matter is, beating up on Ivy League teams and then getting swept at home by Duke will get you nowhere in my Power Rankings. Apparently the Seth Greenburg mentality has transferred over to the baseball field up there in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech is hitting .293 as a team, and has a 4.25 ERA, but I'm taking strength of schedule strongly into account here. They just got swept by Duke at home, and we'll find out how good they are when they go to Tallahassee to face FSU this weekend.
12. Boston College Eagles (9-13, 2-7, T-5th in Atlantic, T-11th Overall) - Even WE swept them.
These rankings are definitely subject to change over the course of the season, with many of these teams proving to be either late bloomers or frauds. This IS the ACC after all.