1. Clemson (3-0, Bye Week)
Clemson had an early off week as they get set for their showdown with the Fighting Irish. They retain the top spot over Florida State, who also did not play.
2. Florida State (3-0, Bye Week)
The Noles shouldn’t have much trouble going to 2-0 in the ACC when they come off this week’s bye and travel to Winston-Salem.
3. Duke (3-1, won over Georgia Tech 34-20)
What an outstanding rebound victory for the Blue Devils. Duke took control of the game with touchdowns on their second, third, and fourth drive and never trailed after that as they established themselves as the new favorite to win the coastal. They continue to battle back and forth with NC State, but Duke gets the nod over the Pack this week after beating a ranked opponent.
4. NC State (4-0, won at South Alabama 63-13)
The Wolfpack played their best game so far against what was perceived to be their toughest opponent yet. The offense was quite literally unstoppable for most of the first half, scoring touchdowns on their first five drives of the game. With a few of State’s supposedly toughest opponents looking underwhelming so far, the Pack could certainly make a run at something bigger than just a bowl game. We’ll see what they’ve got when the ACC schedule commences against Louisville.
5. Georgia Tech (2-2, lost at Duke 20-34)
Tech is not quite what we thought they were. They were supposed to step into the neighborhood of Florida State and Clemson this season, but their loss to Duke on Saturday has all but washed away that belief. They’ll try to get the offense out its funk next week when they play UNC. The Jackets are still a good team, and they should still contend for the coastal, but the number of teams poised to make a run at Florida State and Clemson is dwindling.
6. Miami (3-0, Bye Week)
Miami jumps Virginia Tech because the Hokies continue to schedule ECU for some reason. They travel to Cincinnati next week in a game they should be able to win, and doing so would give them a lot of momentum heading into ACC play.
7. UNC (3-1, won over Delaware 41-14)
Backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw four touchdown passes to help UNC blow this game wide open. It was 13-7 at halftime, and a late third quarter Delaware touchdown brought it back to within six at 20-14. UNC then proceeded to put the ball in the end zone on their next three possessions and put the Hens out of business for good. They slide into seventh by way of jumping Virginia Tech.
8. Virginia Tech (2-2, lost at ECU 28-35)
Despite being the superior team almost every year, Virginia Tech is just 4-3 against East Carolina since 2008. The Pirates derailed a promising start for last year’s team, and now they’ve done it again. The Hokies defense has underwhelmed, and the 169 rushing yards they gave up to backup quarterback James Summers won’t help build any confidence. They certainly don’t look like the ACC title contender that some predicted them to be, but it’s still early. Regardless, Tech’s first step back to national prominence has got to be buying out all future series’ against ECU.
9. Pittsburgh (2-1, Bye Week)
The gap between Pitt, Boston College, and Louisville is very small, but neither the Eagles nor the Cards did enough to warrant jumping Pitt on their bye week.
10a. Boston College (3-1, won over NIU 17-14)
BC edged out what is, by all indications, a pretty solid NIU team. The defense is certainly a force to be reckoned with, while the offense is obviously still a work in progress. Somebody with the last name Flutie threw a touchdown pass, which was cool. The Eagles face a big test next week when they head to Durham to take on Duke.
10b. Louisville (1-3, won over Samford 45-3)
Louisville got their first win after a difficult stretch start the year had them sitting at 0-3. Lamar Jackson had a solid game throwing the football and a very good game running it. They took care of business against their only real cupcake of the year, and now they hope to gain some momentum next week against NC State.
12. Syracuse (3-1, lost to LSU 24-34)
Scott Shafer’s team had perhaps the most unexpected performance of the weekend. Don’t fault them for not being able to stop Leonard Fournette, because there isn’t a team that can. Instead focus on the fact that this Orange team, which most thought would be the laughing stock of the ACC, ran out a 5th string walk-on quarterback and took the number eight team in the country into the 4th quarter. This of course contradicts the overtime win against Central Michigan, and the true Syracuse is probably somewhere in between these two performances. Their next two games are against USF and Virginia, so it’s not unthinkable to say they could be 5-1.
13. Wake Forest (2-2, lost to Indiana 24-31)
Wake rallied late but it wasn’t enough to send Indiana home with an L. Backup quarterback Kendall Hinton shouldered quite the load, throwing the ball 46 times and carrying it another 22. He needs to become a better passer, but the Deacs offense appears to have improved with Hinton on the field. Unfortunately though, things could get ugly next week when the Seminoles come to town.
14. Virginia (1-3, lost to Boise State 14-56)
Virginia looked like a tough team to figure out after the way they played against Notre Dame. They appear to have cleared up the confusion pretty quickly. The first play of the game, a pick six for Boise State, did a pretty good job summing up how this game was going to go. The Hoos could be in for another rough season if they don’t quickly find a way to get better at football.