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The ACC in SP+, Week 10: Clemson’s death machine is fully operational

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NCAA Football: Boston College at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Since its close shave in Chapel Hill, Clemson is 3-0, with an average margin of victory of over 39 points. The Tigers have allowed a grand total of 31 points in that time, and that’s despite playing some of the league’s better offenses in FSU, Louisville, and Boston College.

Maybe the Tigers are playing angry over feeling slighted and overly criticized by national media types, or maybe they’ve ironed out a few problems. In any case, they are back to looking unstoppable. Hooray!

ACC Standings by SP+ Rating

Team Wk 10 SP+ Rtg (Rank) SP+ Rank Change Offense Rank Defense Rank
Team Wk 10 SP+ Rtg (Rank) SP+ Rank Change Offense Rank Defense Rank
Clemson 28.0 (5) 1 8 5
Miami 11.1 (30) 1 71 15
Virginia 6.5 (41) -6 96 18
Florida State 4.8 (47) 10 46 62
Wake Forest 4.4 (49) -4 40 69
UNC 3.6 (50) 5 54 59
Pitt 3.5 (51) 1 114 12
Virginia Tech 1.5 (57) 2 64 65
NC State 1.5 (58) 2 90 41
Louisville 1.1 (61) 2 38 89
Duke 1.0 (63) -7 95 37
Boston College -0.7 (68) -6 30 102
Syracuse -2.8 (79) -12 98 53
Georgia Tech -7.2 (98) -3 110 52

The league has three top-15 defenses but only one offense in the top 35. More defense-oriented games tend to look sloppier to our eyes, and that certainly ain’t helping the ACC’s reputation.

Florida State is the biggest positive mover this week, as the Noles played well in smacking Syracuse around last weekend. The Orange have lost three straight and now are firmly in that next-to-last spot. The Syracuse offense has just completely fallen off a cliff behind its poor line play. But, uh, at least the Orange have gotten Clemson out of the way already.

Syracuse was in a similar spot to NC State heading into 2019 and like NC State hasn’t weathered a transition at quarterback very well.