1. Clemson (9-0, 6-0, won over FSU 23-13)
The playoff committee is terrible, but giving the Tigers the number one spot is something that they did right. Clemson came off a shootout victory against NC State and won a grind it out style game against the Seminoles. They can win in so many ways. They should cruise to Charlotte from here
2a. Florida State (7-2, 5-2, lost at Clemson 13-23)
Florida State played well and had their shots to win in Death Valley. They were stopped on 4th and 1 around midfield when the deficit was only three, and The Tigers effectively ended the game on the ensuing drive. That’s what you get for running a toss play on 4th and 1 with the game on the line. (see NC State vs. Louisville).
2b. North Carolina (8-1, 5-0, won over Duke 66-31)
Marquise Williams threw for 18,867,398 yards as UNC ran over Duke, then stopped, reversed, and ran over them again. UNC is now in prime position to be in Charlotte for the title game. Picking between UNC and Florida State for the two spot was hard, so I’m going to wuss out and give them a tie.
4. Louisville (5-4, 4-2, won over Syracuse 44-17)
The Cardinals have made the journey from the top tier of these rankings to the bottom and now back to the top. Their win over Syracuse makes them 5-1 over their last six games. They also scored over 40 points for the first time against a FBS opponent. Kyle Bolin was good at quarterback. Four turnovers prevented them from racking up even more offense.
5. Pittsburgh (6-3, 4-1, lost to Notre Dame 42-30)
The competition level went up for the Panthers and they dropped two straight. Nathan Peterman went 12-31, which in my expert football opinion, is not a good completion percentage. The Panthers scored the last 13 points of the game, so it was not as close as it appeared. They remain fifth because Notre Dame is a pretty good team.
6. Miami (6-3, 3-2, won over Virginia 27-21)
Just three games ago Miami lost at home 58-0. Now they feel like a good football team again. Is there a more difficult team in the ACC to understand than the Hurricanes? Regardless, two straight victories gets them some trust and a bump up to number six.
7. Duke (6-3, 3-2, lost at UNC 31-66)
Duke has had two crushing defeats the last two weeks in two very different ways. This week they made the unwise decision to not field a secondary, and well, nastiness happened for the Blue Devils. Next up is Pitt, at Virginia, and Wake, so it’s not unfeasible for them to win out, but they will need some regrouping after Saturday
8. Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3, bye)
The Hokies were on a bye. They go to Georgia Tech next week.
9. NC State (6-3, 2-3, won at Boston College 24-8)
This was the year it was bound to happen. NC State finally ended the ugly losing streak in Chestnut Hill and beat the Eagles. They have a huge opportunity next week when they go to Tallahassee.
10. Virginia (3-6, 2-3, lost at Miami 21-27)
Virginia has lost 14 (!!!) straight road games, and you’re not going to win many games on the road if you lose all of them. The Cavaliers could’ve been in the above .500 category in conference if they had won at Miami, but they didn’t, so they’re not
11. Georgia Tech (3-6, 1-5, bye)
The Yellow Jackets were on a bye. They host Virginia Tech next week and have to win out to go to a bowl
12. Wake Forest (3-6, 1-5, bye)
Wake Forest was also idle this week. They end the season at Notre Dame, at Clemson, and home versus Duke. Yikes
13. Syracuse (3-6, 1-4, lost at Louisville 17-44)
The Orange took a 10-7 lead with 14 seconds to play in the first quarter. They were outscored the rest of the game 34-7. The defense is really bad, giving up 579 yards to Louisville. The nation’s top team comes to the Carrier Dome next week.
14. Boston College (3-7, 0-7, lost to NC State 8-24)
The Eagles have given up more than 20 points just three times this year, but are 3-7. That’s telling. The only thing offensive about this team is the weird and rather annoying music they play between EVERY SINGLE PLAY. I love Steve Addazio, but he was dealt a bad hand offensively this year, and it’s been a shame to see that great defense go entirely to waste.