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Final ACC Power Rankings of 2014: Things Settle Into Place

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Take a look at the season's final ACC power rankings, in which four ACC teams managed to secure wins over SEC squads. It was a great day for the Atlantic Coast Conference as a whole. Oh and State won.

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Atlantic Division

1:  Florida State Seminoles (12-0, 8-0 ACC)
Ranking:  2 (AP)/2 (USA Today)/3 (Playoff, not updated)
Week 14 Result:  24-19 W versus Florida

Another close week came to pass for the Seminoles, as they managed to stave off a late comeback from a Florida team that was watering at the mouth for a win against their playoff-bound (for now) rivals.  Florida State can now set all of its sights on Georgia Tech, a team that, given FSU's history with close games, will likely make the ACC Championship quite the interesting matchup.  Unfortunately, it'll probably end with Aguayo hitting a 60 yard field goal, or something.

2:  Louisville Cardinals (9-3, 5-3 ACC)
Ranking:  21 (AP)/20 (USA Today)/22 (Playoff, not updated)
Week 14 Result:  44-40 W versus Kentucky

As Mark Ennis said on Saturday:

His observation was completely true.  Louisville couldn't manage to stop hemorrhaging turnovers throughout this game, coughing up the ball four times.  Much like the Clemson game, Kentucky was not kept in it by their own offense, but rather by the efforts of their defense.  Now, Louisville will have to adjust to 3rd-stringer Kyle Bolin in the slot for the bowl game, as Reggie Bonnafon tore his ACL against UK.  He looked solid in the UK game though, giving much hope to UofL fans.

3:  Clemson Tigers (9-3, 6-2 ACC)
Ranking:  19 (AP)/19 (USA Today)/21 (Playoff, not updated)
Week 14 Result:  35-17 W versus South Carolina

For the first time as the permanent head coach of Clemson, Dabo Swinney managed to defeat the South Carolina Gamecocks--and they left no doubt about their Palmetto State supremacy this season.   Clemson managed to put the final nail in the coffin for what has been an extremely disappointing season for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks.

4:  NC State Wolfpack (7-5, 3-5 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR/NR
Week 14 Result:  35-7 W at North Carolina

The past two weeks have left Wolfpack fans sitting on cloud nine.  After gaining bowl eligibility against Wake Forest and then crushing North Carolina, the Wolfpack is headed into bowl season and the coming years with a clear vision in mind:  success.

This week's beatdown of North Carolina in Chapel Hill served as a great ending to an, at times, tumultuous season.  NC State managed to brace themselves for a tough fight.  Big props to the NC State defense, which managed to hold a tough Carolina offense to only 7 points.

Also:

Well, I can't argue with that.

5:  Boston College Eagles (7-5, 4-4 ACC)
Ranking: NR/NR/NR
Week 14 Result:  28-7 W versus Syracuse

Boston College did an excellent job against Syracuse this week, taking out their post-Florida State frustrations on the Orange.  Boston College's defense looked superb against Syracuse, allowing roughly 60 passing and rushing yards.  Syracuse couldn't get anything done, and the two picks that the Eagles came away with certainly didn't help.

6:  Syracuse Orange (3-9, 1-7 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR/NR
Week 14 Result:  28-7 L versus Boston College

Syracuse managed to finally end its season this week.  The Orange had their bowl hopes dashed weeks ago, but they kept their heads up and trudged onward.  With no postseason in sight, the Orange are completely locked onto 2015.

7:  Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-9, 1-7 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR/NR
Week 14 Result:  41-21 L at Duke

One week after earning their only ACC win of the season in the worst game of the year, the Demon Deacons managed to give in-state rival Duke a run for their money for the first half or so.  After that, Duke took off and the rest was history.  This game is just another in the long line of run game futility that has plagued Wake Forest this season, as their ground game accounted for only 62 yards.

Coastal Division

1:  Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-2, 6-2 ACC)
Ranking:  12 (AP)/12 (USA Today)/16 (Playoff, not updated)
Week 14 Result:  30-24 W at Georgia

The Yellow Jackets certainly looked like a team that can pull off a win against Florida State.  After getting the late game lead against Georgia, they gave up a late touchdown, but managed to send the game to overtime with a 53-yard field goal as time expired.  Georgia Tech ultimately won in overtime, adding to another week ACC over SEC win.

2:  Duke Blue Devils (9-3, 5-3 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR/NR
Week 14 Result:  41-21 W versus Wake Forest

After losing in embarrassing fashion to UNC, Duke couldn't afford to lose to Wake Forest.  Fortunately for them, they were playing Wake Forest.  Duke managed to jump out in front early, but pulled away in the second half.

How'd Duke celebrate the win?  BULLDOZERS

3:  Pittsburgh Panthers (6-6, 4-4 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR/NR
Week 14 Result:  35-23 W at Miami
Pitt did what it needed to do.  On November 16th, after having suffered a loss at the hands of the Tar Heels, Pitt was sitting at 4-6, knowing that they would need to win out in order to earn bowl eligibility.  After defeating Syracuse, Pitt went up against Miami, a team that was coming off of two consecutive losses.  Pitt did a great job of limiting Duke Johnson's efficiency, leading them to a much-deserved 6-6 record.
4:  North Carolina Tar Heels (6-6, 4-4 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR/NR
Week 14 Result:  35-7 L versus NC STATE

While UNC didn't have to rely on its matchup with NC State to gain bowl eligibility, it certainly wanted to pull off a win against an in-state rival that had seemingly been on a roller coaster ride this season.  Instead, their defense failed to once again contain the opposition.  The only difference between this game and others played by UNC is that their offense was not able to get anything done until the very late stages of the game.

5:  Miami (FL) Hurricanes (6-6, 3-5 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR/NR
Week 14 Result: 35-23 L versus Pitt

Three straight losses have doomed Miami to a mediocre 6-6 record, something that looked like a longshot after about three quarters only a few weeks ago.  Now, the Hurricanes have to try their hardest to regroup for the bowl game, all while the possibility of Al Golden leaving for a better job looms overhead.

6:  Virginia Tech Hokies (6-6, 3-5 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR/NR
Week 14 Result:   24-20 W versus Virginia

No words can accurately surmise this season for Virginia Tech.  They've been the only team to bring down Ohio State (yet), but they also lost to Wake Forest in what is perhaps the worst football game of the season.  Everything was redeemed, however (kind of, not really), when the Hokies managed to win the Commonwealth Cup, defeating Virginia in close fashion.  With that win, Virginia Tech has taken the streak of Hokies bowl appearances to 22, the largest in the FBS at the moment.

7:  Virginia Cavaliers (5-7, 3-5 ACC)
Ranking:  NR/NR/NR
Week 14 Result:  24-20 L at Virginia Tech

Virginia managed to cap off an extremely disappointing season with a loss to their biggest rival, one who had a season that almost rivaled theirs in terms of futility.  After starting out the season at 4-2, Virginia managed to lose in inconceivable fashion, all while Mike London is retained for another season.  Go figure.