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The ACC in SP+, Week 8: Points are plentiful, as usual

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And NC State didn’t drop much.

NC State v Miami Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

In several ways, this is an ideal ACC football season, at least from my narrow fan-based perspective: there is no dominant team, there’s plenty of offense, just about everyone is competitive, and Duke has reclaimed tomato-can status.

Now, not all of these circumstances are helpful for what NC State is trying to accomplish this season—Wake has the good fortune to have Duke on its schedule, for instance—but from an entertainment perspective, this type of year is tough to beat.

I mean, Pittsburgh is probably the best team in the league this year, with a Heisman candidate at quarterback. What is this, 1980?

ACC Standings By SP+

Team Wk 8 SP+ (Rk) Rank Change Offense Rank Defense Rank
Team Wk 8 SP+ (Rk) Rank Change Offense Rank Defense Rank
Clemson 21.6 (4) -- 35 3
Pitt 17.8 (9) 2 15 14
UNC 15.0 (16) 1 6 54
Miami 12.6 (26) 1 21 37
Virginia 12.0 (27) 4 7 66
NC State 11.9 (28) -3 56 17
FSU 10.6 (32) 18 19 53
Louisville 9.8 (35) 18 11 77
Wake Forest 9.6 (37) 7 13 76
Virginia Tech 7.6 (43) 9 57 38
Georgia Tech 6.8 (50) 1 47 50
Syracuse 6.4 (54) 4 58 42
BC 6.2 (55) -12 39 64
Duke -0.6 (85) -- 73 81

Half the league ranks among the top 25 in offensive SP+, but only three teams crack the top 25 in defensive SP+. (NC State is still one of those, despite the performance Saturday.) It’s been a good year for quarterbacks and offense in the ACC, which would normally be ideal for league perception nationally, but Clemson’s decline and the lack of a true playoff contender both dominate the storyline. Alas.

But if you like points and close games, then this is the conference for you! Who needs the playoffs, anyway? Let Oregon or whoever go in there and have some false hope for one season. Clemson will probably be back shortly, so we may as well enjoy a different look while we can.