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ACC Power Rankings: Desperately Seeking Another Good Team

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Clemson lays a historic beatdown on Georgia Tech, FSU pulls a huge upset, and Notre Dame stumbles into a win.

NCAA Football: Military Bowl-North Carolina vs Temple Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Clemson (5-0, 4-0) LW: #1 Next Game: 10/24 vs Syracuse 12:00 PM ACCN.

Just wow. I don’t know what else to say about Clemson’s 73-7 win against Georgia Tech. Trevor Lawrence threw five touchdowns and 404 yards in the 404, causing the most damage in Atlanta since General Sherman. Nyles Pinckney scored a touchdown in the Fridge package. Hunter Helms threw a touchdown. Even Will Spiers got to some work at QB.

It was noteworthy to not see DJ Uiagelelei, but he had a bit of shoulder stiffness this week. Getting Taisun Phommachanh and Hunter Helms some work was probably needed since DJ has gotten most of the backup reps this year anyway. It could get even more fun Saturday as a bad Syracuse comes to the Valley as 40+ point underdogs.

#2 Notre Dame (4-0, 3-0) LW: #2 Next Game: 10/24 @ Pitt 3:30 PM ABC.

Notre Dame pulled out a 12-7 win over Louisville. If you’re a fan of the Fighting Irish and watched your team slug it out with Louisville in a low scoring affair while watching Clemson break 70 on the GT team that beat Louisville, then you’ve got to be at least a little nervous. Fortunately for ND, Clemson is a few weeks away. This weekend, The Irish head to the Steel City for a test with a Pittsburgh team looking win after losing without their QB last weekend.

#3 Miami (4-1, 3-1) LW: #4 Next Game: 10/24 vs UVA 8:00 PM ACCN.

The Canes rebounded with a nice 31-19 win against Pitt. Miami’s schedule sets up very favorably for the rest of the season, so the idea of the Canes in Charlotte seems reasonable. They have an opportunity to keep it rolling against Virginia on Saturday.

#4 North Carolina (3-1, 3-1) LW: #3 Next Game: 10/24 vs NC State 12:00 PM ESPN.

I think we all knew UNC being one of the nation’s top five teams was a farce due to the oddities of this season, but I don’t think we figured a struggling FSU team would beat the Heels. I definitely don’t know that anyone saw FSU taking a 31-7 lead to the half. You have to admire the Heels for rallying and outscoring FSU 21-0 in the second half and coming just short of making the comeback. We definitely need to pump the brakes on the UNC expectations in year two of Mac Brown. The Heels host NC State on Saturday.

#5 Virginia Tech (3-1, 3-1) LW: #5 Next Game: 10/24 @ Wake Forest 3:30 PM Regional Sports Affiliate.

VT ripped through BC 40-14. The Hokies travel to Winston-Salem on Saturday for a date with the Demon Deacons.

#6 NC State (4-1, 4-1) LW: #6 Next Game: 10/24 @ UNC 12:00 PM ESPN.

NC State beat Duke 31-20, which is good for the Pack. The bad news? Starting QB Devin Leary went down with a broken fibula and is expected to miss 4-8 weeks. That’s rough for him, and means that NC State will have to figure out what to do at QB. We’ll see how the Pack responds to the adversity as they face rival UNC Saturday.

#7 Boston College (3-2, 2-2) LW: #7 Next Game: 10/24 vs Ga Tech 4:00 PM ACCN.

BC fell 40-14 to Virginia Tech. You’re probably wondering to yourself “Matt, why didn’t they drop in this week’s rankings?” Well, kind reader, it’s because even after losing by 26 to a ranked VT team, they’re still in better shape than the rest of this motley crew at the bottom of the conference, as you will soon see. BC can get back on track with a win over GT on Saturday.

#8 Wake Forest (2-2, 1-2) LW: #14 Next Game: 10/24 vs Va Tech 3:30 PM RSN.

Wake knocked off UVA 40-23 to get their first conference win. The Hokies now come to Winston-Salem, which probably won’t go as well for the Deacs.

#9 Pitt (3-3, 2-3) LW: #9 Next Game: 10/24 vs Notre Dame 3:30 PM ABC.

Pitt started out well enough, but couldn’t hang with Miami. Pitt now sits at .500 and 2-3 in the ACC. The Panthers host Notre Dame as a 10.5 point underdog. Last season, the Panthers gave the Fighting Irish a handful in Notre Dame, and you’ve got to think that Pitt can keep this one on interesting given how lethargic the Notre Dame offense has been.

#10 Georgia Tech (2-3, 2-2) LW: #8 Next Game 10/24 @ Boston College 4:00 PM ACCN.

What a weekend for sports in Georgia. The Braves blew a 3-1 lead in the NLCS, the Falcons got their first win of the season, but as many fans have entered #TankForTrevor mode, the win wasn’t well received, as you can imagine, UGA couldn’t put Bama away, and Georgia Tech suffers a beatdown of epic proportions. There was a lot of chirping about Dabo running up the score, but when the third and 4th string QBs play most of the second half and even a punter gets snaps it’s safe to say that running up the score wasn’t the intention.

It honestly might not have been as bad of a beatdown if it had been at Clemson because Dabo would’ve had the whole bench to empty and not just the travel squad. Much to the disappointment of the inebriated Tech dad sitting behind me, we didn’t bring Herbstreit to throw it to. I don’t think GT is quite as bad as the score indicated, but they are still a long way from being good. We’ll see how the Jackets regroup heading to Boston College.

#11 Virginia (1-3, 1-3) LW: #10 Next Game: 10/24 @ Miami 8:00 PM ACCN.

It’s pretty outstanding how quickly UVA went from “team that was physical against Clemson” to “team that can’t get out of it’s own way.” This UVA team is looking more like what we expected from the post-Bryce Perkins Wahoos. The hits keep on coming as the Cavs will head to South Beach to take on Miami Saturday night.

#12 Florida State (2-3, 1-3) LW: #15 Next Game: 10/24 @ Louisville 12:00 PM RSN.

A cool thing about the ACC is occasionally you can see a basketball school like Florida State pull off a big upset of a top-five football school like UNC. What an awesome moment for those plucky, upstart Noles. Who knows, maybe one day FSU might just have themselves a decent little football team.

#13 Louisville (1-4, 0-4) LW: #11 Next Game: 10/24 vs FSU 12:00 PM RSN.

Tough game for Louisville, who was only able to muster a touchdown against Notre Dame, falling short 12-7. None of us expected Louisville to start 0-4 in the conference. With FSU suddenly looking competent, 0-5 may be coming soon.

#14 Duke (1-5, 1-5) LW: #12 Next Game: 10/31 vs Charlotte 7:00 PM RSN.

The Duke frustrations continue as the Devils fell 31-20 to NC State. Duke has an off weekend to hopefully get itself together.

#15 Syracuse (1-4, 1-2) LW: #13 Next Game: 10/24 @ Clemson 12:00 PM ACCN.

Ooooooh, boy. After coming in as a home underdog to Liberty, Syracuse fell 38-21 to the Flames. Liberty’s running backs ran for a combined 338 yards and four touchdowns on the day. I expect this to mean Travis Etienne and the rest of our running back stable could have a career day. As of this writing, Clemson is a 45.5 favorite at home against Syracuse. I have no clue if we’ll actually cover that or not, but after seeing Clemson beat GT by 66 points, it doesn’t seem that unreasonable.