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ACC Power Rankings: Week 11

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Clemson clinches the Atlantic division, but the Coastal is still in the air.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Virginia Tech Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Clemson (10-0, 7-0) (LW:#1)

Clemson slaughters NC State, and now people are mad that the Tigers went hurry up and we’re throwing at the end before Mikey Dukes ran it in for the final touchdown. I guess the thing is, is that Clemson went pretty conservative in the second half and were using third and fourth string players. Would the “classier” move have been to come out with guns blazing in the third, let Trevor and the boys get it up to 70, and then start running out the clock? Clemson tried to throw a jump ball to Will Swinney. This was really just Clemson trying to get young guys some exposure and having a bit of fun. Sure, probably the bad blood between the programs probably helped fuel the reaction, but if Dabo and Company wanted to really, really embarrass NC State, then it would’ve gotten much uglier than it did. For what it’s worth, Coach Doeren didn’t take exception to it, instead acknowledging that Clemson was using back-ups and it is their job to stop them.

#2 Notre Dame (7-2, 4-0 vs ACC)

While Clemson was rolling in Raleigh, just down the road in Durham Notre Dame stomped Duke 38-7. #21 Navy comes to South Bend on Saturday.

#3 Virginia (7-3, 5-2) (LW:T#4)

The Cavs survived a surprisingly good performance from Georgia Tech to maintain their spot in the driver’s seat of the Coastal. UVA has a bye this week.

#4 Virginia Tech (6-3, 3-2) (LW:#6)

You have to hand it to Virginia Tech. Back in September, the Hokies looked like a dying program that was humiliated by Duke. Now, the Virginia Tech knocked off ranked Wake Forest to continue their impressive run. The Hokies can sew up bowl eligibility with a win at Georgia Tech Saturday and are still in the Coastal race.

#5 Wake Forest (7-2, 3-2) (LW:#2)

In a way, we all knew this was coming. If Wake wins, we get an Atlantic Division championship game in Death Valley. But alas, Wake flops, losing to Virginia Tech 36-17 because the rest of this conference can’t have nice things. From a Clemson fan perspective, this was honestly fine. As they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. As nice as a “big” game for the division would be, knowing for certain that we’re going to Charlotte is a nice feeling. Plus at this point it isn’t like playing a ranked Wake vs unranked Wake has that much bearing on our playoff hopes. Win and we’re in.

#6 Miami (6-4, 4-3) (LW:#9)

Much like what was said about Virginia Tech, you have to give the Canes credit for their turn around over the past few weeks, including their 52-27 senior day drubbing of Louisville, thus locking the Canes in as bowl eligible. The U will have a bye this weekend.

#7 Pitt (6-3, 3-2) (LW:#7)

Pitt didn’t play football over the weekend, but just like life, Pitt, um, finds away.

It’s nice to know that even when Pitt football isn’t playing, the Panthers’ other programs are still keeping the spirit of Pitt going. Pitt hosts North Carolina Thursday.

#8 Louisville (5-4, 3-3) (LW:T#4)

The Cards had been the talk of the league the past few weeks as they’ve looked night and day better than last season, but they took a huge tumble falling to Miami 56-27. Fortunately, Louisville can get back on track on the road at NC State Saturday.

#9 North Carolina (4-5, 3-3) (LW:#8)

The Heels had the weekend off. They’ll face Pitt Thursday.

#10 Florida State (5-5, 4-4) (LW:#12)

Shout out Odell Haggins for rallying the troops to a 38-31 win over Boston College after a wild week at Florida State. Haggins was named interim head coach after Willie Taggart was let go, and this week rumors have swirled about who the Noles will hire as a replacement. Names that have made the rounds social media have included, but are not limited to: Urban Meyer, Deion Sanders, Steve Spurrier, and Nick Saban. Glad Noles fans are being realistic about these things. FSU plays Alabama State on Saturday.

#11 Duke (4-5, 2-4) (LW:#10)

As much of a positive turnaround as Virginia Tech has had since their loss to Duke, Duke has had almost an opposite reaction. Duke was smashed 38-7 at home by the same Notre Dame team that barely survived against Virginia Tech. The Devils will need to win two of their next three to go bowling. They can get off to a good start on that this weekend as they host a downtrodden Syracuse team.

#12 Boston College (5-6, 3-4) (LW:#11)

Boston College fell short 38-31 against an inspired Florida State team. BC has the weekend off before hosting Notre Dame.

#13 NC State (4-5, 1-4) (LW:#13)

NC State is hilariously bad and it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of folks. I don’t know which was falling a part worse: the Wolfpack team or that turf. Certainly wasn’t a great night for NC State sports medicine nor the turfgrass science department. State hosts Louisville on Saturday night.

#14 Syracuse (3-6, 0-5) (LW:#14)

The Orangemen had a bye over the weekend. They’ll head to Duke on Saturday.

#15 Georgia Tech (2-7, 1-5) (LW:#15)

Good for the Yellow Jackets giving UVA a scare. James Graham had 229 yards and two TDs through the air in Georgia Tech’s five point loss in Charlottesville. Tech is certainly progressing as the season goes along. Jackets host Virginia Tech Saturday.