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Week 9 ACC Power Rankings: The Coastal is in Disarray

Well this week was fun, to say the least. The Atlantic featured minimal shakeups after an eventful week 8 and the Coastal returned to its chaotic roots.

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Honestly, after what happened this week, I had no eathly idea how I could rank the ACC Coastal Division.  It is complete pandemonium, as the circle of #goacc, in which every team has an advantage over at least one other, has been completed.  It's ineptitude at its finest.

Atlantic Division

1:  Florida State Seminoles (7-0, 4-0 ACC)
Ranking:  2 (AP)/2 (USA Today)
Week Seven Result:  31-27 W versus Notre Dame

It goes without saying that Notre Dame is kicking itself after a late-game pass interference penalty that ultimately cost them a road win against a Seminoles team that hasn't lost in what is now 23 games.  Perhaps one of the more interesting game notes, however, is what Jimbo Fisher said to Jameis Winston after the game, imploring him to remain "humble".

2:  Clemson Tigers (5-2, 4-1 ACC)
Ranking:  21 (AP)/20 (USA Today)
Week Seven Result:  17-13 W at Boston College

Clemson managed to eke out a win against Boston College, scoring the final points of the game with close to ten minutes left to play.  Surprisingly, when given the stats for the game, Clemson far exceeded anything that the Eagles did offensively.  They had over 100 more offensive yards and had a huge advantage over Boston College in the 3rd down conversion department.  Despite all of that, they still almost Clemsoned this one.

3:  Louisville Cardinals (6-2, 4-2 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  30-18 W versus NC State

This one was much closer than the score indicates, as Michael Dyer had his breakout performance with Louisville, which included scoring a touchdown with :44 seconds left in the game.  Will Gardner looked comfortable being back in the starting role, and he uncharacteristically turned the ball over zero times.  Although, as I previously alluded to, Michael Dyer was the real star of this game, as he managed to amass 173 rushing yards and notching a touchdown.  Not to be outdone, however, was wide receiver DeVante Parker, who played for the first time this season after suffering a broken metatarsal.  He didn't look rusty one bit.  Some of the worst news of the night for Louisville came when Lorenzo Mauldin suffered a hamstring injury, for which he received an MRI for on Sunday.

4:  Syracuse Orange (3-4, 1-2 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  30-7 W at Wake Forest

Syracuse managed to finally snap that pesky four-game losing streak with a dominant win against Wake Forest, a team that is currently trying so incredibly hard to rebuild.  Nevertheless, Syracuse's offense returned to what has been successful for them, rushing for roughly 200 yards.  They were a little rusty from the get-go, but the Orange managed to get their first set of points on the board with about a minute left in the first quarter; they never let their feet off the gas after that.

5:  Boston College Eagles (4-3, 1-2 ACC)
Ranking: NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  17-13 L versus Clemson

Remember how I mentioned earlier that Clemson came so close to Clemsoning against the Eagles?  Well, it happened as Boston College's Tyler Rouse dropped what would have been a go-ahead touchdown pass with roughly a minute left.  Boston College ultimately failed to convert on 4th and 15, as the botched extra point earlier in the game proved costly.  Even though they came out of this game with another loss, Steve Addazio has this team in a good position, poised for success in coming seasons.

6:  NC State Wolfpack (4-4, 0-4 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  30-18 L at Louisville

After notching their fourth straight loss, NC State is finally heading into what is no doubt a much-desired bye week.  The Wolfpack's run defense could not contain Michael Dyer, who finally emerged as a standout player for the Cardinals.  One thing NC State did well was spreading out touches among their running backs, as all three rushers had over seven touches, but less than 13.  That balanced rushing attack somewhat worked, as they notched 128 yards, but they didn't necessarily stick to it.  Needless to say, there is a myriad of things to work on during this bye.

7:  Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-5, 0-3 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  30-7 L versus Syracuse

Oh Wake Forest.  The past three games, you have had a good start for the first ten minutes or so of a game.  That's something, right?  Their offense was stifled once again, as Syracuse held them to 170 yards of offense.  They are currently 126th in points scored in the FBS.  It's a shame they don't play UNC this season so that that number could get a bit of a boost.

Coastal Division

1:  Duke Blue Devils (6-1, 2-1 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  20-13 W versus UVA

As of now, the Blue Devils look poised to make a run at the Coastal Division title.  After beating both Virginia and Georgia Tech in consecutive weeks, they're playing their best football all season, which has led to them earning bowl eligibility for the third straight season, a feat made more impressive when you take into consideration that they only went to three bowl games from 1960 to 2011.  Nevertheless, this is the Coastal, meaning, well, nobody really knows what the Coastal is about.  It is an enigma and its inner machinations will never be known.

2:  Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-2, 2-2 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  48-43 L at UNC

Georgia Tech, you were looking so good only two weeks ago.  You were sitting pretty at 5-0, but in two short weeks, you gave the title race for the Coastal some verisimilitude.  I guess you knew that it really wouldn't be a true ACC Championship Game unless the Coastal representative had a 4-4 conference record.  Thanks for recognizing that.  What's even more disappointing is your inability to defeat UNC, despite your 611 yards of offense.  I'm a bit surprised you guys only scored 43 points.

3:  Virginia Cavaliers (4-3, 2-1 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  20-13 L at Duke

Just when you think that you have the Coastal Division figured out, life pulls the rug out from under you and lets you know that you are clueless.  After Georgia Tech lost their second straight game, Virginia (atypically, albeit) looked to be the team that could seemingly run away with the Coastal Division.  Those dreams were dashed, however, as they dropped a close game to Duke.

4:  Miami (FL) Hurricanes (4-3, 1-2 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  BYE

The Hurricanes were the true winners of the Coastal this week, as they didn't participate in the Coastal Chaos.  This of course means that they will lose by 24 points to Virginia Tech and then beat Florida State somehow.  Anyone have a guess as to what the attendance will be for the FSU at Miami game?

5:  Pittsburgh Panthers (4-3, 2-1 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  21-16 W versus Virginia Tech

The Panthers managed to snap a three-game losing streak this week to Virginia Tech, who is still reeling after their massive early-season upset of Ohio State (if that statement makes no sense, I get it).  By the way, their rushing game has been fantastic this season, as they're averaging about 240 rushing yards per game, putting opposing defenses to shame.

6:  North Carolina Tar Heels (3-4, 1-2 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  48-43 W versus Georgia Tech

North Carolina's defense didn't lose them a game for once, as their offense managed to provide some late-game heroics.  A 75-yard drive that began with 2:56 left in the game as they were down 43-42 culminated in a touchdown run with 11 seconds to go, sealing the Tar Heels's first win in ACC play this season, while simultaneously wrecking Georgia Tech's lead in the Coastal race.

7:  Virginia Tech Hokies (4-3, 1-2 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR
Week Seven Result:  21-16 L at Pitt

Oh how the mighty have fallen.  While that may sound a bit foreboding, it's a bit true, given the current mediocre state of Virginia Tech.  While their defense may prove to be a formidable foe, their offense is not holding up their end of the bargain, as they are having difficulty getting into the end zone enough to add up digits in the win column.  I don't often meddle in predictions, but I can certainly see Virginia Tech losing three of their next four matchups.  Although, don't take my word for it.  Consult your local soothsayer or something.