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The ACC in SP+, Week 5: Clemson stays on top; Pitt keeps rising

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 02 Pitt at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sometimes it feels like SP+ has a screw loose somewhere but then I take a look around the country and remember that seemingly every team has been a little all over the place. (Georgia and Alabama being notable exceptions.)

Like seeing Clemson jump back into the top five felt wrong initially, but looking at those teams right behind the Tigers, I don’t know which one(s) might qualify as better. It’s just that kind of year. Sure, put Clemson in the top five. Hell, throw Pittsburgh in there.

Pittsburgh is not that far off from the top five as it is and has as good a case for top team in the Coastal as anyone else at this point. The Panthers have yet to be held under 41 points in a game and just steamrolled Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Here’s the ACC:

ACC Standings by SP+

Team Wk 5 SP+ (Rk) Rank Change Offense Rank Defense Rank
Team Wk 5 SP+ (Rk) Rank Change Offense Rank Defense Rank
Clemson 22.7 (4) 3 29 2
UNC 17.7 (9) 9 2 50
Pitt 16.7 (13) 8 11 29
Miami 13.1 (25) 6 24 37
Virginia Tech 11.2 (33) 8 37 32
NC State 9.5 (38) 4 64 22
BC 9.0 (43) -9 20 71
Virginia 8.1 (47) 11 22 73
Wake Forest 6.7 (52) 2 35 69
Georgia Tech 5.8 (58) 4 65 45
Louisville 5.4 (60) 9 15 98
FSU 4.5 (63) 10 61 83
Syracuse 4.4 (64) 6 81 38
Duke -1.7 (84) -6 71 86

The nice thing for NC State about having beaten Clemson at this point is that the Tigers can be a handy tool for the Pack moving forward. They needed a late break this past weekend, but they handed Boston College its first league loss. See, that’s handy. I think ideally, Clemson wins all of its remaining games in the Atlantic but drops its road trip to Pittsburgh.

NC State and Wake Forest are the only Atlantic Division teams without a conference loss, though Florida State is the only team with more than one loss. Clemson can go and add some padding in the standings (and also hopefully beat Wake) now that State is clear of the Tigers.

I probably shouldn’t be having this conversation before we see how the next three games shake out, but I just can’t help it.