1. Clemson (Last Week: 77-16 W vs Louisville)
Previous Rankings: 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1
Clemson’s apparently going to go wire-to-wire on this thing as the #1 ACC school. Lame. Three Clemson RBs cleared the century mark in the game, with none of them carrying the ball more than eight times. Travis Etienne, Lyn-J Dixon, and Tavien Feaster combined for 370 yards rushing and 4 TDs on just 18 carries. QBs Trevor Lawrence and Chase Brice combined for 5 TD passes on just 14 total completions. All told, the Clemson offense averaged 11.60 yards/play (!!!) in this game with a 75.0% success rate (!!!!!!).
2. Syracuse (Last Week: 41-24 W @ Wake Forest)
Previous Rankings: 13 / 10 / 8 / 6 / 4 / 10 / 8 / 6 / 4
Syracuse won this game by 17 points, yet their postgame win expectancy was just 26.3%. Go figure. The Orange defense was really bad in this one, but they did force 3 TOs (1 INT, 2 fumbles) to salvage the day. Each turnover is worth approximately 5 points, so that pretty much closes the gap on the game. The ‘Cuse offense did their job well enough, though. Eric Dungey had a very pedestrian day passing (23-of-35, 157 yards), but he did run for 119 yards and a TD. Seriously, why couldn’t Syracuse have had this offensive effort a week earlier?!
3. NC State (Last Week: 47-28 W vs Florida State)
Previous Rankings: 6 / 5 / 4 / 3 / 3 / 3 / 2 / 2 / 6
The Wolfpack bounced back after two losses to handle Florida State. Ryan Finley completed 21-of-27 passes for 240 yards and 3 TDs, Reggie Gallaspy ran 21 times for 106 yards, Jakobi Meyers hauled in 9 passes for 125 yards and a TD, and true freshman Ricky Person, Jr, scored the first 3 TDs of his promising career. The defense also racked up 5 sacks as this one never really felt in doubt. A weak finishing kick to the regular season sets the Pack up with an opportunity at 10+ wins for the first time since 2002.
4. Boston College (Last Week: 31-21 W @ Virginia Tech)
Previous Rankings: 3 / 3 / 2 / 7 / 7 / 6 / 6 / 5 / 3
If AJ Dillon is hurt, this team is completely different. Kudos to Eugene Levy’s son (not really his son... I don’t think, at least), Travis, for stepping up when Dillon went out. Levy finished with 75 yards and 2 TDs rushing while adding 28 yards receiving. Prior to exiting the game, Dillon ran for 96 yards and a TD on 24 carries (workhorse). Boston College has a huge showdown with Clemson up next, but if Dillon can’t go, that uphill battle gets even steeper. As well as the backup Eagles RBs have played this year, they’re no Dillon.
5. Pittsburgh (Last Week: 23-13 W @ Virginia)
Previous Rankings: 8 / 13 / 10 / 12 / JV-NR / 9 / 13 / 12 / 9
The Pittsburgh Panthers... are... the lone team... atop the Coastal Division standings. What in the actual ****?! Man, things are just weird. Coastal Division football, amirite? Darrin Hall was a one-man wrecking crew for Pitt against UVa, rushing 19 times for 229 yards and 3 TDs. The Panthers defense did a fantastic job in bottling up UVa QB Bryce Perkins ability to run (15 carries, -7 yards) and forcing him to be a pocket passer, which allowed the Pitt D to get consistent pressure (5 sacks) and force Perkins into the weakest part of his game. Great coaching job by Pat Narduzzi. It really was like watching a Michigan State game.
6. Georgia Tech (Last Week: 38-28 W @ North Carolina)
Previous Rankings: 5 / 9 / 12 / 10 / 10 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 7
The offense is really starting to come together. The defense is still abysmal, but... that offense! The Yellow Jackets averaged 7.43 yards per play in route to a tougher-than-it-should-have-been victory. Hey! The Jackets even completed two passes in the game (for 104 yards and a TD... ha)!
7. Virginia (Last Week: 13-23 L vs Pittsburgh)
Previous Rankings: 7 / 8 / 9 / 5 / 8 / 7 / 5 / 3 / 2
Seriously, UVa. You’re having the best season you’ve had in a long dang time and you have the division right there in your hands and... you crap the bed. Hard. I mean, this Pitt team lost to UNC, and yet you lose by double-digits to them on your home turf for the whole world to see. ACC Coastal Division Football: The tree in the forest that we all heard fall, but none of us wish we had because it sounds like Gilbert Gottfried singing a Mariah Carey Christmas album.
8. Duke (Last Week: 20-12 W @ Miami)
Previous Rankings: 4 / 4 / 5 / 2 / 6 / 5 / 3 / 8 / 10
Duke played in a monsoon down in Miami and came away with a victory they probably didn’t deserve. Postgame win expectancy for Duke: 32.0%. Deon Jackson took the first play from scrimmage 75 yards for a TD, but the Duke offense managed just 215 yards for the entire rest of the game, and Daniel Jones had a horrible day passing (no surprise given the conditions). The Blue Devils defense gave up 5.71 yards/play. So how did Duke win? They had a +23.6 yard advantage in average starting field position in a game where neither offense could reach a 30.0% success rate.
9. Miami (Last Week: 12-20 L vs Duke)
Previous Rankings: 9 / 7 / 8 / 4 / 2 / 2 / 7 / 4 / 5
Da U is back... to being disappointing at football. Miami probably should have won this game, but they didn’t. With the poor play and uncertainty at QB, the Miami offense finally moved to a run-heavy attack. Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas (drop the beat!) combined for 30 carries, 257 yards and 2 TDs. Unfortunately for Miami, DeeJay Dallas also dropped the ball twice, losing two fumbles. That’s not how the Turnover Chain works, DeeJay!
10. Virginia Tech (Last Week: 21-31 L vs Boston College)
Previous Rankings: 2 / 2 / 3 / 13 / 5 / 4 / 4 / 7 / 8
Ryan Willis threw for 281 yards and 3 TDs (vs 1 INT) while also rushing for 49 yards. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the complete summary of the VT offense. What happened to VT’s rushing attack? People keep talking about the defense falling off, but in the last three games, no Hokie RB has gone for more than 51 yards on the ground in a single game. The ground game has been Ryan Willis or bust (or worse - abandonment).
11. North Carolina (Last Week: 28-38 L vs Georgia Tech)
Previous Rankings: 14 / JV-NR / JV-NR / 11 / JV-1 / JV-1 / 12 / 11 / 12
Officially not bowl eligible. The offense moved the ball well enough with a 5.58 yards/play average, but they turned the ball over three times thanks to a trio of Nathan Elliott INTs. Jace Ruder came in late to go 4-of-5 for 80 yards and a TD, but it was inconsequential as the Tar Heels defense had no answer for the Georgia Tech ground game. Captain Red Bull did actually run the ball more than he passed it for once... but he kept handing it off to their least effective RB on the day (Antonio Williams: 13 carries, 33 yards). hahahaha
12. Florida State (Last Week: 28-47 L @ NC State)
Previous Rankings: 10 / 12 / JV-1 / 9 / 11 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 11
Things just... Well, this ain’t the year for the Seminoles. James Blackman did have some great moments in his first start of the season for FSU, throwing for 421 yards and 4 TDs (vs 1 INT), but the ground game was non-existent and the offensive line was still very poor. Tamorrion Terry and DJ Matthews combined for 275 yards and 3 TDs receiving for the ‘Noles, who now carry on with their brutal back half schedule with Notre Dame, Boston College, and Florida still to go. Bowl eligibility
probably definitely ain’t happening.
13. Wake Forest (Last Week: 24-41 L vs Syracuse)
Previous Rankings: 12 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 12 / 11 / 13 / 13
Aaaaaaaand snap back to reality for Wake. Plus the Deacs lost their starting QB for the year. Yeesh. Wake had a 73.7% postgame win expectancy and still lost. Double yeesh. Don’t turn the ball over and finish drives with TDs instead of FGs. Seems simple enough...
14. Louisville (Last Week: 16-77 L @ Clemson)
Previous Rankings: 11 / 11 / 12 / 14 / 12 / JV-2 / 14 / 14 / 14
The only reason Louisville’s still getting a ranking is because I feel bad for them (not really, though - I laugh a lot thinking about how horrible they are this year). But seriously, Bobby Petrino got beat like he kicked Dabo’s dog. Louisville’s offense wasn’t atrocious in this one, but when the other team averages 7.14 yards/play MORE than your team, you’re gonna have a bad day. Louisville is now 0-6 in conference play and it’s getting less and less likely that Petrino will still be employed come Christmas (he’ll still be getting paid, though, so don’t feel bad for him).