The ACC did not get off to a good start in Week 1. The conference could have put a stamp on being the conference in the land, instead they pretty much flopped in every power 5 game. I know it’s early, but I’m not sure that there is a playoff team in the conference. That is my hot take of the week.
1. Clemson. I’m not sold on Clemson’s offense at all, but they can prove a lot against Auburn this week, who gave Clemson all they could handle last year. Clemson has a lot of losable games on the schedule, which is scary when you have an unknown at QB.
2. FSU. I’m not ready to drop the Noles in the rankings yet, but it may not take long for that to happen. Their roster still goes toe to toe with Clemson, so if they can find a solution at QB, they could make a run at the playoff, but they can only afford one loss the rest of the way, if that. They’ve got one week to figure out the QB situation before ACC play starts.
3. Virginia Tech. The Hokies were easily the most impressive ACC team this weekend. Their new QB, Josh Jackson, is a baller. They also established themselves as the team to beat in the Coastal.
4. Louisville. I was unable to watch any of the Cards’ game, but based on the scores I saw throughout the game, the concerns about Louisville are real. Lamar Jackson can only do so much, and beating Purdue in a nailbiter isn’t something that should happen to a team with the defending Heisman winner. They travel to Chapel Hill this weekend, which should be an interesting game.
5. Miami. It’ll be interesting to see how Miami stacks up against FSU, but they’ve got another cupcake before that game. On another note, how is Miami ranked 18th? I shouldn’t be surprised but...
6. NC State. The Pack has no business being in the middle of the ACC, but they will be if they can’t finish games. State won’t get blown out of any game this year, unless they have hang over games, which has obviously been a huge issue in the past. The door is open to finish second in the Atlantic and I wouldn’t bet on State to finish there, but they could if they can finish games in the fourth quarter.
7. Georgia Tech. I gave State the edge over the Jackets because I have more faith in State having a good season than I do Tech. It looks like the Jackets found themselves a QB, but we’ll see if the defense can play like they did in the first half on Monday night, and not the second.
8. Wake Forest. The Deacons head up to Chestnut Hill this week for a game they need to win if they want to make a bowl. They can keep moving up over the next couple weeks by default if teams in front of them lose.
9. Syracuse. The Orange handled business and they’ve got two more cupcakes before putting their team up for a real test. Syracuse is my sleeper/surprise team, even if that only means winning 6 or 7 games in the Atlantic.
10. Duke. Nice win over Central for the Dukies. I like that they play this game but it would help if Central was more competitive.
11. UNC-Chapel Hill. Not a great look losing to Cal, especially considering the game wasn’t as close as the score indicated, and it puts the Heels behind the eight ball in terms of making a bowl. I’m not suggesting this will happen, but just some food for thought: how many losses does it take for Larry Fedora to feel his seat heat up?
12. Pittsburgh. I thought Pitt was gonna be a good team this year, and if week one is any indication, they won’t be. Needing OT to beat Youngstown State is not a good start, especially heading into games against Penn State and Oklahoma State.
13. Boston College. *yawn* Still terrified of our trip up north though.
14. Virginia. UVA won their first game for the first time since 2013, and I’m sure winning by 18 feels good for the Wahoos, even against Bill and Mary.