clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Week 14 ACC Power Rankings

New, 67 comments

Clemson is back to being the only good team in the state of South Carolina, Miami is falling apart, and the SEC is getting thrashed by the ACC.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

A Win Is a Win

1. Florida State: 12-0 (8-0)
Last: W 24-19 vs. Florida
Next: Georgia Tech (ACCCG)
Previous Ranking: 1

Still Better Than the SEC East

2. Georgia Tech: 10-2 (6-2)
Last: W 30-24 at Georgia (OT)
Next: Florida State (ACCCG)
Previous Ranking: 2

3. Clemson: 9-3 (6-2)
Last: W 35-17 vs. South Carolina
Next: Bowl Game TBD (Projected: Russell Athletic Bowl)
Previous Ranking: 4

4. Louisville: 9-3 (5-3)
Last: W 44-40 vs. Kentucky
Next: Bowl Game TBD (Projected: Music City Bowl) 
Previous Ranking: 3

A Notch Below, But Still Solid Bowl Teams

5. Duke: 9-3 (5-3)
Last: W 41-21 vs. Wake Forest
Next: Bowl Bid TBD (Projected Pinstripe Bowl)
Previous Ranking: 6

6. Boston College: 7-5 (4-4)
Last: W 28-7 vs. Syracuse
Next: Bowl Bid TBD (Projected Military Bowl)
Previous Ranking: 8

Bad Bowl Teams and Below

7. Virginia Tech: 6-6 (3-5)
Last: W 24-20 vs. Virginia
Next: Bowl Bid TBD (Projected Quick Lane Bowl)
Previous Ranking: 10

8. Pittsburgh: 6-6 (4-4)
Last: W 35-23 at Miami
Next: Bowl Bid TBD (Projected Independence Bowl)
Previous Ranking: 11

9. NC State: 7-5 (3-5)
Last: W 35-7 at North Carolina
Next: Bowl Bid TBD (Projected Belk Bowl)
Previous Ranking: 12

10. North Carolina: 6-6 (4-4)
Last: L 7-35 vs. NC State
Next: Bowl Bid TBD (Projected Outside ACC Bowl Lineup)
Previous Ranking: 5

11. Virginia: 5-7 (3-5)
Last: L 20-24 at Virginia Tech
Next: Basketball Season
Previous Ranking: 7

12. Miami: 6-6 (3-5)
Last: L 23-35 vs. Pittsburgh
Next: Bowl Bid TBD (Projected Bitcoin Bowl)
Previous Ranking: 9

13. Syracuse: 3-9 (1-7)
Last: L 7-28 at Boston College
Next: A Cold Winter
Previous Ranking: 13

14. Wake Forest: 3-9 (1-7)
Last: L 21-41 at Duke
Next: Hiking, because they're going to be bad in basketball too so they will need a nice hobby 
Last ranking: 14

South Carolina at Clemson

Dabo finally out-did his rival and moved to 2-5 against Head Ball Coach. Chad Morris, who I believe was coaching his last game in orange, was able to work around Watson's limitations while still getting great production out of the freshman. Watson's performance on a torn ACL is the stuff of legend and we posted a full article on his effort that you can check out here.

Artavis Scott, another true freshman, had a career day with 202 all-purpose yards. He turned end-around tosses into first downs and touchdowns. He ran out of the wildcat. He returned kicks. He is already a special player, but he is going to be the next in the long line of star receivers Clemson has produced over the last half decade.

Wayne Gallman ran for 191 yards and a touchdown. He hit on multiple explosive runs including a 32-yarder. The Gamecock front seven was bad and the redshirt freshman plowed right on through. He completely exposed them and somehow Clemson's offensive line won the battle up-front... handily. Yes, you read that right! Clemson won in the trenches on offense and defense. If South Carolina has to matchup against Pittsburgh or Boston College in a bowl game, they're in trouble.

The game didn't start as smoothly as those numbers may have you believe though. After Clemson missed an opportunity with a dropped pass and missed field goal, South Carolina came back with a Pharoh Cooper touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. Recent history made that lead scary, but Clemson scored on three of the next four drives and outscored the Cocks 35-10 from that point forward.

Basically the only negative was the bogus late-hit and targeting call on Stephone Anthony. It seemed like a fairly mild shove in which helmets happened to make contact. Seemingly all college football fans feel this rule is not working well and since these poor calls are being reviewed and upheld, it makes me hopeful they'll look at this and fix it over the offseason. Now, enjoy the highlights and Go Tigers!

Around the ACC

It comes as less of a shock this year than it would in most others, but the ACC swept their SEC rivals, going a perfect 4-0. Louisville got themselves in a shootout, and pulled out a 44-40 win over Kentucky despite losing QB Reggie Bonnafon to injury. QB Will Gardner was already out (also with a knee injury) so they turned the reigns over to third string QB, Kyle Bolin. Bolin made some mistakes, but threw 381 yards and three TDs in the win. DeVante Parker largely carried the Cardinals with 180 of those yards and all three of the receiving touchdowns.

Georgia Tech probably had the most surprising win of the day coming back to beat Georgia after surrendering the go-ahead touchdown with just 18 seconds remaining. Up three, Georgia squib kicked it to the Jackets who took the ball with good field position, completed one pass, and drilled the game tying kick. They won in the first overtime, ruining Georgia's season. The win all but clinches an Orange Bowl berth for Tech. Should they win it, it'll be an 11-win season.

FSU won another squeak it out game type game where they fell behind early. With Georgia Tech's win, Clemson is a lock to play their bowl game in Orlando so we can join the rest of the free world in cheering against FSU.

Virginia still couldn't beat Virginia Tech and won't go bowling because of it. It wasn't a pretty game as neither team looked too impressive - especially on offense. Virginia has now lost 11 straight to their in-state rival. Imagine having a streak twice as bad as the one we just ended and then losing to a six loss Hokie team that lost to little ol' Wake Forest the week prior.

Speaking of Wake, they lost again this week. Their offense was better than usual (progress) but their special teams crushed them and they ended up getting beat up by the best sports school in the state, Duke. It looks like Duke is on their way to repeating as the best football, basketball, and baseball school in the North Carolina. When you're also the best academic school, there's not much else they can have on you.

Lastly, Miami has completely fallen apart down the stretch. They were 6-3 with games against FSU, UVA, and Pitt remaining. They lost a close game to FSU and looked like a quality team that would rebound, but got blasted in Scott Stadium and then laid an egg against  Pittsburgh. They're still bowl eligible, but I can't imagine many Miami fans want to see Al Golden on the sidelines in December.

Note: Bowl projections are largely influenced by which bowl wins the lottery process for Notre Dame, making projections less accurate than in previous years.