ACC Football Power Rankings 2014: Week Five
No. 1 Florida State Seminoles
You already know what happened with FSU this week. The Seminoles managed to escape Clemson in a game that they were largely outplayed in. But they did win, even without Jameis Winston, and so they remain No. 1 in these ACC power rankings.
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No. 2 Clemson Tigers
Despite dropping to 1-2, the Tigers actually look like the obvious No. 2 team in the ACC right now. Other teams have better records but nobody has played a tougher schedule than Clemson to start the season.
No. 3 Pittsburgh Panthers
Like Clemson, the Pitt Panthers don’t have the best record in the ACC. In fact, the Panthers lost their first game this week, falling to the Iowa Hawkeyes 24-20. But the Panthers have actually moved up to No. 3 this by virtue of having played a couple tough teams so far, and earning what looks like a very decent win over Boston College.
No. 4 Boston College Eagles
The Eagles managed to avoid a letdown after their colossal upset of the USC Trojans two weeks ago and moved to 3-1, with a 40-10 victory over Maine.
No. 5 Duke Blue Devils
Duke is 4-0 and we still don’t know a whole lot about them. The Blue Devils’ opening stretch has been as easy as Clemson’s was tough. Still, the rest of the conference has been so mediocre, Duke almost has to be in the top five just by default.
No. 6 Virginia Cavaliers
The Cavaliers looked like they were about to score another upset for the ACC over a top 25 team this week but ended up falling short, in a 41-33 road loss to the BYU Cougars. The Cavaliers dropped to 2-2 but have now beaten Louisville and put a scare into two ranked teams. And one of those teams was the UCLA Bruins, who annihilated the Arizona State Sun Devils in Tempe on Thursday night, 62-27. The Virginia defense is looking better and better as the weeks go by.
No. 7 Louisville Cardinals
The Cardinals have looked good aside from their 23-21 loss to Virginia a couple weeks ago. The Cardinals moved to 3-1 this week with a 34-3 victory over FIU.
No. 8 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech moved to 4-0 after a 27-24 victory over Virginia Tech this weekend. Before that, the Yellow Jackets hadn’t played a solid team. Maybe they still haven’t.
No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies
Since upsetting the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Hokies have lost back-to-back games and fallen to 2-2. Maybe Ohio State just isn’t very good this season, because it certainly doesn’t look like Virginia Tech is right now.
No. 10 North Carolina Tar Heels
UNC, the once Coastal-division favorites, now look like their season is on the brink of completely falling apart. After two ugly wins over Liberty and San Diego State, the Tar Heels lost 70-41 to ECU at home this week. This week, UNC has the misfortune of playing Clemson in Death Valley. Not exactly an ideal situation for a team that seriously needs to bounce back with a victory.
No. 11 Syracuse Orange
If you took a glance at the box score from Syracuse’s game against the Maryland Terrapins this weekend, you would probably guess that the Orange won big. The Orange piled up nearly 600 yards of offense (including 370 yards on the ground), held Maryland to only 369 yards, gained nine more first downs than the Terrapins, and won the time of possession by about five minutes. But mistakes at all the wrong times undid the Orange and they suffered their first loss of the season, 34-20.
No. 12 Miami Hurricanes
Miami managed to hang around with the Nebraska Cornhuskers for a while this weekend, but ultimately fell 41-31. The good news is that QB Brad Kaaya is progressing, finishing with 359 yards and three touchdowns (though he also threw two interceptions). The bad news is that Miami’s defense looks awful right now.
No. 13 NC State Wolfpack
Like Duke, NC State is 4-0 thanks at least in part to a very weak schedule. Unlike Duke, the Wolfpack haven’t been dominant in each of their wins. After near losses to Georgia Southern and Old Dominion to start the year, the Wolfpack need to beat someone decent to prove that they don’t belong at the bottom of these ACC power rankings. The Wolfpack will have an opportunity to earn some respect this weekend, when they face Florida State.
No. 14 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest managed to beat Army at home this weekend but they are still in no danger of losing their place at the bottom of these ACC football power rankings. The Demon Deacons are now 2-2, after playing as weak a non-conference schedule as anyone in the league.