Week six, believe it or not, was a very successful one for the teams at the top of their respective divisions. The ACC's top contenders were all able to notch wins against conference opponents who were a bit lower in the standings, which served to improve their rankings, as Florida State moved back up to number one in both major polls, while Georgia Tech managed to crack the top 25.
I've also managed to notice that the Coastal Division may not be as strong as the Atlantic, but there's a lot of parity between the teams at the top. Whichever team makes the title game is still anyone's guess.
1: Florida State Seminoles (5-0, 3-0 ACC)
Ranking: 1 (AP)/1 (USA Today)
Week Six Result: 43-3 W versus Wake Forest
A slow first half for the Seminoles looked like a side of FSU that we are used to seeing, given their performance against NCSU last week. Nevertheless, they regrouped and as we figured would happen, took off against Wake Forest. The second half led to a barrage of scoring, which was helped by kicker Roberto Aguayo, who was 5/5 on the day and 4/4 on PATs for a total of 19 points.
2: Clemson Tigers (3-2, 2-1 ACC)
Ranking: NR/25 (USA Today)
Week Six Result: 41-0 W versus NC State
After dismantling UNC's defense last week, Clemson continued their offensive dominance against NCSU, shutting out an ACC opponent for the first time since 1998. The Tigers forced three turnovers and held the Wolfpack to 35 passing yards, showcasing that their defensive ability can almost outdo the amazing things that Deshaun Watson is doing on the other side of the ball.
3: Louisville Cardinals (5-1, 3-1 ACC)
Week Six Result: 28-6 W at Syracuse
A solid showing against Syracuse is just what Louisville needed to ease Cardinals fans' worries after the disappointing win last week against Wake Forest. Their offense did not look rusty as it had in past weeks, as Reggie Bonnafon is getting comfortable in the quarterback slot and Brandon Radcliff is showing that he is a force on the ground.
4: Boston College Eagles (3-2, 0-1 ACC)
Week Six Result: Bye
I have them ranked this high after a bye because I'm still impressed after their huge win over USC. They obviously didn't do anything to justify moving them down, so they were going to leapfrog a team that was shut out 41-0.
5: NC State Wolfpack (4-2, 0-2 ACC)
Week Six Result: 41-0 L at Clemson
Wow. I know that a few of us would like to forget what happened last Saturday. NCSU was dominated in every facet of the game except for penalties charged against them. The running game was decent at best and Brissett's measly 35 passing yards while completing only 4 of 18 passes is unsettling, especially after seeing what he's capable of last week against FSU. The only reason I haven't dropped them below Syracuse is that their two losses came against arguably the two best teams in the conference.
6: Syracuse Orange (2-3, 0-1 ACC)
Week Six Result: 28-6 L versus Louisville
If you watched last Saturday's game, you wouldn't be able to tell that Syracuse averages close to 200 rushing yards per game. The Orange produced only 59 rushing yards in 25 attempts, signaling that Louisville's run defense was too much to handle. Their passing game remained intact, but without the rushing game they had been so reliant on, they had no hope at a victory.
7: Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-4, 0-2 ACC)
Week Six Result: 43-3 L at Florida State
So, it's another week of subpar offensive numbers for the Demon Deacons, who have had an incredibly tough time scoring points the past two weeks. They haven't had over 130 yards of offense the past two weeks and they've been plagued by turnovers. The good news is that they play Syracuse next, meaning that they have a pretty good shot at picking up at least one ACC win this season.
1: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-0, 2-0 ACC)
Ranking: 22 (AP)/23 (USA Today)
Week Six Result: 28-17 W versus Miami (FL)
The ACC finally has a second team ranked in the AP Poll! Georgia Tech has done a good job thus far of dispatching some of the better teams in the Coastal Division. The Yellow Jackets beat Miami this week and demonstrated exactly how strong their run game is, totaling 318 rushing yards. I really don't see Georgia Tech slowing down any time soon.
2: Virginia Cavaliers (4-2, 2-0 ACC)
Week Six Result: 24-19 W versus Pitt
I'm still busy building hype around the Cavaliers' defense and they're still busy not letting me down. They held Pitt under twenty points, forcing one turnover. Their offense is starting to improve numbers-wise, despite not scoring an obscene amount of points.
3: Virginia Tech Hokies (4-2, 1-1 ACC)
Week Six Result: 34-17 W at UNC
Virginia Tech did a great job this week of exploiting UNC's weak defense. They rushed just as well as they passed, dominating the time of possession (a whopping 41:03 to UNC's 18:57) and turning over the Tar Heels thrice. The Hokies needed a solid performance like that to get over a demoralizing late loss to Georgia Tech, as they are fighting to regain footing in the Coastal.
4: Miami (FL) Hurricanes (3-3, 1-2 ACC)
Week Six Result: 28-17 L at Georgia Tech
I'm still not quite sure what to make of Miami. At times, the Hurricanes have looked like a team that can win the Coastal, but they have also often looked like a team that is its own worst enemy, as they have lost 15 turnovers so far this season. They have to regroup soon, but after losses to Georgia Tech and Louisville, it's looking like the ship may have sailed on their hopes of making the ACC title game.
5: Pittsburgh Panthers (3-3, 1-1 ACC)
Week Six Result: 24-19 L at Virginia
Pitt had decent offensive numbers this week, putting up 311 yards of offense, but they just couldn't seem to get in the end zone once they reached the red zone. Virginia did a nice job of stopping them, earning the win. Also, this is the fifth straight game in which Chad Voytik has thrown an interception, doing so against every FBS opponent they have faced this season.
6: Duke Blue Devils (4-1, 0-1 ACC)
Week Six Result: Bye
Duke had a bye this week, so there isn't much to look at other than their lone ACC loss. They do have four wins, but they have all come against weak teams, which is the main reason why I have dropped them below Pitt this week.
7: North Carolina Tar Heels (2-3, 0-2 ACC)
Ranking (as if): NR/NR
Week Six Result: 34-17 L versus Virginia Tech
That defense is still the primary reason why they are 2-3, but the three turnovers they had this week aren't helping, either. If UNC isn't able to stop opposing offenses, they can't turn the ball over and hope to win. They have allowed 70 points, 50 points, and 34 points in consecutive weeks and will play No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 22 Georgia Tech in the next two weeks. It's going to be pretty rough, which is why I'm wondering if ESPN won't count UNC-ND as a Power Five matchup.