Folks, after a long offseason, we’re finally back to this wild weird world we call ACC football. Now, a bit of housekeeping to get started. During my time doing these rankings the big controversy has involved including quasi-ACC affiliate Notre Dame. Last year they were a full fledge member, so it was an easy choice to add them. This year, we’ll be Notre Dame free. Like many of us, I’ve been taking it on the chin in 2020 and 2021, so my bit of self care is making sure I don’t have to follow Notre Dame football more than necessary.
#1 Clemson (0-1) Next Game: 9/11 vs SC State.
Clemson starts out 0-1 for the first time since 2014 but I don’t think anyone will argue that Clemson isn’t also the ACC’s best team. Brent Venables and company gave us a masterpiece on defense. The offense was, well, offensive. Things will get better as the year goes on, but it may be a work in progress.
#2 Virginia Tech (1-0) Next Game: 9/11 vs MTSU
In a shocking turn of events, Virginia Tech got the weekend going with a big upset of a then top 10 North Carolina team. It is a huge win for the Hokies! A Clemson vs. Virginia Tech game in Charlotte certainly would not be bad.
#3 North Carolina (0-1) Next Game: 9/11 vs Georgia State
The hipster pick to win the ACC dropped their opener at Virginia Tech. UNC certainly isn’t out of the running in the Coastal Division, but maybe we should pump the breaks on the idea that they might dethrone Clemson. They’ll have a nice rebound game with Georgia State on Saturday.
#4 Miami (0-1) Next Game: 9/11 vs Appalachian State
Miami was absolutely eviscerated by Alabama (44-13), but we all expected that to happen. Good on the Canes for scheduling the big boys, though. Now the U will host an App State team that they can’t overlook.
Welcome to the painful world where we now have to cheer for Dave Doeren to be decent so Clemson can get a ranked win. Yeah, I don’t like it anymore than you do. Just swallow your pride and do it for the betterment of the schedule. They are 2.5 point favorites on the road.
#6 Pittsburgh (1-0) Next Game: 9/11 @ Tennessee
Pitt-Vols may be one of the better games of a very bland week 2 slate. I’m actually excited for this one.
#7 Boston College (1-0) Next Game: 9/11 vs UMass
BC sliced through Colgate 51-0. Now they get a miserable UMass team. Jeff Halfley is definitely flexing his offense’s muscles in these first games.
#8 FSU (0-1) Next Game: 9/11 vs Jacksonville State
Okay, it’s easy for us to feel sorry for ourselves after the loss to UGA, but FSU may have had the most painful weekend. They hang tough with Notre Dame only to ice their own kicker, who made a 51-yarder, but missed the much shorter FG after the review. Absolutely brutal! We’ll see if this game was indicative of the Noles being “back” or if this was a fluke.
#9 Virginia (1-0) Next Game: 9/11 vs Illinois.
We get a rare treat this week as UVA-Illinois kicks off at 11 AM. I personally enjoy some Brett Bielema football with my brunch.
#10 Wake Forest (1-0) Next Game: 9/11 vs Norfolk State
Wake had a 42-10 win over Old Dominion. Now they take on Norfolk State. They get FSU after that. That’s when we’ll learn a lot about both teams.
#11 Syracuse (1-0) Next Game: 9/11 vs Rutgers
Cuse handled their business against Ohio. We’ll see how this game with Rutgers goes. Syracuse is a slight underdog.
#12 Louisville (0-1) Next Game: 9/11 vs Eastern Kentucky
Louisville was slaughtered by Ole Miss in their opener (43-24). Even without Kiffin on the sidelines, Matt Corral threw all over the Cardinals. Scott Satterfield’s bunch has a chance to rebound against EKU.
#13 Georgia Tech (0-1) Next Game: 9/11 vs Kennesaw State
Ooooh, boy. Tech had a rough weekend, falling 22-21 to Northern Illinois. It doesn’t get much better this weekend as FCS program Kennesaw State isn’t a team to thumb your nose at. The Owls have taken advantage of the plethora of talent in the metro Atlanta area and may have enough to knock off the Yellow Jackets.
#14 Duke (0-1): 9/10 vs NC A&T
Absolute brutal loss to Charlotte by Duke. It’ll be interesting to see if David Cutcliffe can right the ship as the cross town NC A&T Aggies visit Duke.