1. Clemson (10-0, 7-0, won at Syracuse 37-27)
The Tigers win in the Carrier Dome was a little closer than they may have liked, perhaps because of a hangover from their huge win last week. Regardless, the nation’s top team got the win and moved to 10-0. Wake and South Carolina remain.
2. North Carolina (9-1, 6-0, won over Miami 59-21)
UNC exploded all over the Canes in the second quarter, scoring 24 points and going into halftime with a 31-0 lead. It was 45-0 before Miami could even get on the board. UNC will play in Blacksburg next week for Frank Beamer’s last home game, and a win punches their ticket to Charlotte.
3. Florida State (8-2, 6-2, won over NC State 34-17)
The Noles turned the ball over five times to the Wolfpack's one. They still won by 17 points. They are not as good as they were the last two years, but they’re still just as resilient. Sean Maguire was very good in relief of Everett Golson’s terribleness.
4. Louisville (6-4, 5-2, won over Virginia 38-31)
The Cardinals roll continues as they get by an improving Virginia squad. The offense has put up much better numbers the last weeks. Whether that is a result of adjustments or competition can be argued. Brandon Radcliff had a huge day, rushing for 146 yards to get the Ville bowl eligible.
5. Pittsburgh (7-3, 5-1, won at Duke 31-13
Pitt is still mathematically alive in the Coastal. They used a big second half to get past the reeling Blue Devils, but now must win out and have UNC lose out to get to Charlotte. That is going to be very unlikely. Louisville and at Miami make up the home stretch.
6. Virginia Tech (5-5, 3-3, won at Georgia Tech 23-21)
Virginia Tech rallied to beat Georgia Tech on Thursday and got within one game of bowl eligibility. They play UNC at home next week for #goacc legend Frank Beamer’s final home game. The Hokies will be in all black and there was a rumor that Metallica will actually be live in Lane Stadium (no idea if there is any reason to actually believe this or not).
7. Miami (6-4, 3-3, lost at UNC 21-59)
One step forward and one step back for the Hurricanes, who fall to .500 in the ACC after Saturday. They’ve looked good sometimes this season, and completely inept sometimes. Statistics wise, the game was much closer than the score, but a -3 turnover margin didn’t help the Canes at all. They are already going to a bowl, and which bowl will be decided by their next two games against Georgia Tech and at Pitt.
8. Duke (6-4, 3-3, lost to Pitt 13-31)
The wheels have come off the wagon for a Blue Devil team that looked like the Coastal favorites earlier this year. The defense gave up 448 yards to a mediocre Pitt offense. They would keep dropping in the rankings, but everybody behind them keeps losing too. Road contests against Virginia and Wake Forest end the season.
9. NC State (6-4, 2-4, lost at Florida State 17-34)
NC State needed to force some turnovers in Tallahassee to have a good shot, and they were wildly successful in doing that. Unfortunately, it didn’t matter one lick and they were still on the wrong end of 34-17 game. A poor offensive performance did the Pack in, with one single scoring drive that started outside the FSU 30 yard line. Zero points after the first quarter is never a good thing.
10. Virginia (3-7, 2-4, lost to Louisville 31-38)
Four of Virginia’s seven losses have come by seven or fewer points. The Cavaliers have gotten better and more competitive as the year has progressed, but it’s too little too late as any chance at bowl eligibility slipped away this weekend with their seven point loss at Louisville. They have now lost 15 straight road games.
11. Syracuse (3-7, 1-5, lost to Clemson 27-37)
Syracuse gave a good run at the nation’s top team, but ultimately came up short. The loss gives Syracuse seven straight, ending their bowl chances. They finish up the season at NC State and then at home versus Boston College.
12. Georgia Tech (3-7, 1-6, lost to Virginia Tech 21-23)
Georgia Tech’s offense has been nothing close to what it was supposed to be this season, and their 3-7 record shows it. They jumped on Virginia Tech early, grabbing a 14-0 first quarter lead, only to get outscored 23-7 the rest of the way. This preseason playoff contender will not be playing in a bowl game.
13. Wake Forest (3-7, 1-5, lost at Notre Dame 7-28)
Wake outgained Notre Dame by 58 yards, dominated time of possession, and was only -1 in the turnover margin, but still lost by 21 points. The Deacs will have a difficult time avoiding a 3-9 finish with Clemson and Duke left.
14. Boston College (3-7, 0-7, bye)
Boston College’s offense was much more productive this week. Okay, that wasn’t very nice.