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ACC Power Rankings: Welcome Back

Despite some rough goings, the league actually came out without too many black eyes.

NCAA Football: Florida A&M at North Carolina Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Clemson (1-0) Next Game: 9/10 vs Furman, 3:30 PM ACC Network

I mean yeah, it was tight for a while, but I think anyone would be content with a 31-point win over a conference rival on the road in week 1. Ugly at times, but fortunately we have two good weeks at home with non-conference games that can be used to clean some stuff up before heading into the Wake Forest game. Cade Klubnik’s drive was super impressive. I definitely want to see him get at least a full quarter against Furman. Not ready to count out DJ yet. He had some solid moments and showed improvement over last year. All in all, a lot to build on.

#2 Pitt (1-0) Next Game: 9/10 vs Tennessee ABC

The Backyard Brawl returned in a glorious, angry, drunk way. Pitt got a good win over their rival. Now they host Tennessee in what should also be a gloriously wild game. I think I heard that the stadium ran out of beer, which probably needs to be addressed before the Vols come to the Steel City. I’m definitely going to have to set up my second screen for this one while watching Clemson-Furman, because this may be the most fun matchup of the weekend.

#3 NC State (1-0) Next Game: 9/10 vs Charleston Southern 12:30 PM ESPN3.

Sheesh. The trendy darkhorse ACC pick looked rough at ECU. Given all of the heartbreak NC State fans have had, I guess they finally deserve to have the other team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for a change. Again, week one can be weird. Like Clemson, they can use this weekend to fine tune some things.

#4 Miami (1-0) Next Game: 9/10 vs Southern Miss.

The Canes kicked off the Mario Cristobal era with a thumping of in-state foe Bethune Cookman. Really not too much to say there, as they beat an outmatched opponent. USM will probably be another blowout, but who knows, maybe they’ll surprise us.

#5 Florida State (2-0) Next Game: 9/16 at Louisville.

Must I talk about the ‘Noles? Are the ‘Noles back? Does Brian Kelly regret bringing his fam-uh-lee down to Baton Rouge? All of these questions emerge after FSU’s wild opening win over LSU in Nola. Let’s pump the brakes on Florida State being “back”, but they may be better than they’ve been over the past few seasons. They will certainly be interesting to watch. After two games (FSU crushed Duquesne during week 0), the ‘Noles get a weekend off before a Friday game at Louisville.

#6 Wake Forest (1-0) Next Game: 9/10 @ Vanderbilt 12:00 PM ACC Network.

Wake opened with an easy dub over VMI. The bigger news is Sam Hartman is back after suffering from a blood clotting issue during the off-season. I’ll be excited to see Sam in his first action of the season as the Deacons take on their evil twin Vanderbilt in Nashville.

#7 Syracuse (1-0) Next Game: 9/10 @ UConn 7:00 PM CBSSN

Syracuse looked very much improved in a shocking win over Louisville. This is probably a do or die year for Dino Babers. Assuming they pick up a road win against UConn, they’ll be rolling into a home date vs Purdue with some real momentum on their side.

#8 North Carolina (2-0) Next Game: 9/10 @ Georgia State 12:00 PM ESPNU

Oh boy. Where to start? UNC looked fine but not good in their week 0 opener against Florida A&M, who had multiple players ineligible. That FAMU team did not look good Sunday against Jackson State, for what its worth. UNC then gave up 40 fourth quarter points to Appalachian state and held on to a win in Boone by the skin of their teeth. Many people have questioned why UNC even went to Boone, but I can understand doing it for an in-state school. I do not, however, understand why UNC is going back on the road to Georgia State this weekend. G5 games on the road are a sneaky thing, as we saw in Boone, and while Georgia State games aren’t as wild as Appalachian State, I’m sure Turner Field will be packed out for this. Seems like the Heels like to play with fire, and they may just get burnt against a GSU team that gave South Carolina all it could handle in the first half.

#9 Virginia (1-0) Next Game: 9/10 @ Illinois 4:00 PM ESPNU

Congrats to Tony Elliott for win number one in Charlottesville. UVA heads to Champagne to face Illinois.

#10 Duke (1-0) Next Game: 9/10 @ Northwestern, 12:00 PM, FS1

Duke rolled Temple 30-0 to start the season, now we get a nerd fight on Saturday when they face Northwestern.

#11 Georgia Tech (0-1) Next Game: 9/10 vs Western Carolina 7:30 PM, ACC Network Extra/ESPN+

Tech looked improved. They made us sweat for three quarters and were able to get pressure on DJ. All in all, I think that game went about as well as one could reasonably expect it to have gone for Georgia Tech. Saturday night against WCU should be a blowout and a chance to see Taisun Phommachahn get some reps at QB.

#12 Boston College (0-1) Next Game: 9/10 at Virginia Tech 8:00 PM ACC Network

Yikes. I really thought BC was heading in the right direction this season. Past two seasons they have given Clemson a tough game. But a season opening loss to Rutgers? It may be a long season for Jeff Hafley and company. This game against Virginia Tech may be pretty sloppy.

#13 Louisville (0-1) Next Game: 9/9 @ UCF 7:30 PM ESPN2

Woof. Bad start for the Cards against Syracuse. UCF on Friday won’t be pretty. Fortunately I’ll be enjoying Jason Isbell, Billy Strings, and Willie Nelson at Willie’s Outlaw Fest in Alpharetta that night.

#14 Virginia Tech (0-1) Next Game: 9/10 vs Boston College 8:00 PM ACC Network

For the second time in 4 seasons Virginia Tech has gone to Old Dominion and come away with a loss. They also had a loss to Liberty in 2020. As funny as UVA basketball losing to #16 UMBC was, the Hokies consistently getting snake bit against in state G5 schools is arguably worse. And at least UVA redeemed themselves with a National Championship the next year. The Hokies football team is still looking at the empty trophy case “reserved” for their first one. Also, while no one is shocked or mad that Frank Beamer was supporting his son, you know seeing old Frank on SEC Network + in a Gamecock polo during Saturday’s game had to be salt in the wounds for Virginia Tech fans.