1. Clemson (6-0, won over BC 34-17)
Deshaun Watson himself is now responsible for more touchdowns against Boston College’s defense than every other offense BC has played combined. The Tigers are absolutely rolling and they might just roll right into the playoff. At Miami and Florida State at home are their two toughest remaining contests.
2. Florida State (6-0, won over Louisville 41-21)
In a game that was tight all the way into the late stages of the third, The Seminoles took over throughout the last 20 minutes, scoring 28 of the game’s final 35 points. Florida State’s road to the playoff is certainly tougher than Clemson’s, but don’t count out a team that knows how to win like this one.
3. Duke (5-1, Bye)
Duke was off this week. They go to Virginia Tech next Saturday.
4. UNC (5-1, won over Wake Forest 50-14)
UNC shook off a slow start and walloped Wake Forest to the tune of 538 yards of offense and half-a-hundred points. They hold steady after the more or less expected result. They are one of four teams that look capable of winning the Coastal, which might be just as messy as always.
5. Pittsburgh (5-1, won at Georgia Tech 31-28)
Pitt is surprising a lot of with their strong start. They squeaked past Georgia Tech on a late field goal to get to 2-0 in conference. If they can get by Syracuse next week and UNC can beat Virginia; that would set up a huge game between the two as far determining who wins the Coastal Division.
6. Miami (4-2, won over Virginia Tech 30-20)
Miami certainly looks to be a team capable of winning the division. The Cincinnati loss is still impossible to figure out, but other than that game, this team looks pretty solid. Unfortunately for them, they are the only Coastal contender that has to play Florida State and Clemson (the other three don’t have to play either).
7. Louisville (2-4, lost at FSU 21-41)
Every team that plays both Florida State and Clemson will likely have at least a “2” in the ACC loss column. These two teams made up two of the first three conference games for the Cards, so they don’t get knocked too hard for their record. They hung in with both Clemson and Florida State and three of their losses have come to really good teams (ironically, the not-so-good one is Auburn).
8. Virginia Tech (3-4, lost at Miami 20-30)
You’re not going to win a lot of football games when you’re minus four in the turnover margin. They fall to 1-2 in the conference and it doesn’t get any easier next week with Duke. Virginia Tech appears to be where tier three starts in the power rankings.
9. Georgia Tech (2-5, lost to Pitt 28-31)
After next week, Georgia Tech will have played the top five teams in the power rankings and Notre Dame consecutively. The schedule was always tough, but this season has quickly become a nightmare for the Jackets. They’ll have to beat either Florida State or Georgia and win everything other game if they intend to make a bowl.
10a. Wake Forest (3-4, lost at UNC 14-50)
You see, Wake’s problem this week was that they poorly executed the “do not score a touchdown” game plan. UNC then figured out that it was okay to score touchdowns in a game with Wake Forest and all was lost. Wake has scored zero total touchdowns in both of Dave Clawson’s ACC victories. Only one team behind them won though, so the Deacs stay put at 10a.
10b. NC State (4-2, Bye)
NC State hopes that this bye week will have a similar effect that last year’s did. They travel to the team they are tied with next week
12. Boston College (3-3, lost at Clemson 17-34)
BC’s elite defense was broken by Clemson on Saturday. They gave up 532 yards, most of which came through the air to Deshaun Watson. You don’t even have to look at their other games to know that is the most they have given up this year by quite a bit. The Eagles were able to hang around for a bit after getting 10 points off two Watson interceptions, but the offense just isn’t productive enough.
13. Virginia (2-4, won over Syracuse 44-38)
It took a lot of football, but Virginia got their first conference win at home against the Orange. They tied it up with a field goal as time expired, and three overtimes later they were .500 in the ACC. They go to Chapel Hill next week.
14. Syracuse (3-3, lost at Virginia 38-44)
The last two games for Syracuse were disastrous as far as bowl hopes go. They were 13th last week so they swap places with Virginia and fall to 14th. The road ahead is going to be difficult for the Orange.