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ACC Power Rankings: Fear and Loathing on the Atlantic Coast

Clemson survives, the conference suffers some bad losses, but the kids may be alright.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Clemson Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Clemson (AP No. 9): Clemson’s defense is easily one of the best in America. Clemson’s offense is in a bad place. As bad as Saturday was, there were some positives. Clemson had a few drives rolling that only were derailed by self inflicted wounds like fumbling. Still, it feels like everyone is too much in their own head. DJ is airmailing 5-yard out routes. The coaches had that mind numbing call at the end that led to a safety after calling a particularly bland game. We still don’t particularly know what happened with Lyn-J, but he had five touches for 11 yards and is now in the transfer portal. Will Shipley is easily the best RB in the room, but as his fumble showed, you don’t want your entire offense leaning on a freshman back.

I do want to talk about something off the field real quick. All week I’ve heard about some students not being “real fans” because of this “Paws up” hand sign they’re doing. Well, a lot of the old heads decided to head out after the lightning delay and leave us with a weak crowd in a one score game, whereas a good bit of the student section returned. I get people have different reasons for leaving and I’m not saying you’re wrong, but maybe stop policing how the students fan if they’re going to be the ones who actually show up for the team? The students also started a “DJ” chant to encourage DJ Uiagelelei as he was driving.

#2 North Carolina (AP No. 21): The Heels outlasted UVA in an offensive onslaught. Now they will face Georgia Tech. I’m putting them above Virginia Tech despite VT beating them based on how each team looked this week. These teams are essentially interchangeable and I imagine will flip flop all season long.

#3 Virginia Tech: The Hokies took one of many non conferences Ls this week for the ACC, losing to old rival West Virginia. They made a comeback effort in the end, but fell short. Now, the Hokies host in state foe Richmond.

#4 Boston College: Thank God for Boston College? BC got a non-conference win by cooking Temple. Now, the Eagles can knock off an SEC foe as they host Mizzou this weekend, but they’ll have to do it without QB Phil Jurkovec.

#5 NC State: The Pack blew out Furman. Now, Clemson comes to town. I hope our offense wakes up because I will be inconsolable if we lose to Dave Doeren and his merry band of morons.

#6 Pittsburgh: Pitt beat Tennessee and then lost to Western freaking Michigan. I absolutely love this kind of nonsense. Pitt hosts New Hampshire Saturday. Hopefully they don’t embarrass the ACC again.

#7 Virginia: UVA had a great offensive performance against UNC but still lost. Now the Wahoos host Wake Forest for Friday night game.

#8 Wake Forest: The ACC’s hottest matchup this week is Wake Forest vs. Virginia. Virginia opened as a four-point favorite, but the Deacons have beat Virginia in their last four meetings. A Wake Forest win would move them to to 4-0 (2-0) before hosting Louisville the following week.

#9 Miami: the Canes got “Fetty Wapped “by Michigan State. What is Fetty Wapped, you may ask? Well, Fetty Wapping refers to rapper Fetty Wap, who famously uses the tag 1738, a reference to Remy Martin 1738 cognac. Now, technically a Fetty Wap game is the away team scoring 17 and the home team scoring 38 so the scoreboard on ESPN reads 17-38, but I’m going to enjoy this particular version of the Fetty Wap win anyway. The Canes host Central Connecticut on Saturday

#10 Louisville: The Cards knocked off arguably America’s worst fan base (Dawgs, Gamecocks, and Tide fans are still annoying though). If Louisville also can give FSU the L, well friends they may just become my second favorite ACC team.

#11 Georgia Tech: From what it sounds like, GT basically sandbagged for two games to try to beat Clemson. That didn’t quite work out but the Jackets got street cred by making us sweat. The Bees now get a shot against North Carolina. Also, shout out to Tech fans for continuing to be the antithesis of UGA fans, as they are enjoyable to be around.

#12 Duke: The Devils knocked off Northwestern to help save the ACC’s dignity. Now they host Kansas in a game that would be amazing as a basketball game, but extremely meh as a football game.

#13 Syracuse: Cuse beat Abany 62-24. Friday night they host Liberty in a game where I truly cannot cheer for either team. I suppose the Orange are the lesser of the two evils, but this is such a depraved way to spend a Friday night.

#14 Florida State: A coworker of mine mentioned the idea of FSU hiring Deion Sanders, which may actually make them competent but also means they’d be on the hook paying two coaches for less than four seasons of coaching between the buyout they have for Taggart and what they would owe Norvell. So I support that. Louisville has a chance to make FSU 0-4, which makes me feel something similar to joy for the first time in a while.