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The ACC in SP+, Week 9: Miami, Wake Forest continue their strong play

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Maybe that loss to Miami wasn’t so bad after all.

NC State v Miami Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

It was not a tumultuous week in the ACC—or college football at large—but we did see Miami pull off an impressive win at Coastal-leading Pittsburgh, which was at least mildly surprising. The Hurricanes’ offense looked really good for the second straight week, and that does at least help put NC State’s performance at Miami in some better context. Maybe Miami is just turning a corner right now?

And welcome to the SP+ top 30, Wake Forest. It took an 8-0 start to get there, but SP+ is finally coming around on the Deacs. Wake makes six ACC teams in the top 30 this week.

ACC Standings By SP+

Team Wk 9 SP+ (Rk) Rank Change Offense Rank Defense Rank
Team Wk 9 SP+ (Rk) Rank Change Offense Rank Defense Rank
Clemson 21.1 (4) -- 46 4
Pitt 16.5 (12) -3 14 21
UNC 13.8 (22) -6 4 72
Miami 13.4 (25) 1 15 42
NC State 13.2 (26) 2 51 13
Wake Forest 12.2 (28) 9 10 61
Virginia 10.8 (35) -8 6 80
FSU 9.5 (37) -5 35 49
Virginia Tech 9.1 (39) 4 57 32
Louisville 8.9 (41) -6 16 71
Syracuse 6.9 (49) 5 65 39
Georgia Tech 5.6 (58) -8 55 54
BC 4.3 (68) -13 53 68
Duke -4.1 (91) -6 80 94

As for teams trending in the wrong direction, both Georgia Tech and Boston College had disappointing weekends. The Jackets had to have that home game against Virginia Tech to have any prayer at bowl eligibility—they finish with road trips to Miami and Notre Dame, plus the season-finale against UGA. Now they have to win two of those games, in addition to beating BC at home.

The Eagles have lost four straight after a whimper of an effort in Syracuse and they’ve been limited to 14 points or fewer in all four. Once upon a time, it looked like they might weather losing Phil Jurkovec without becoming a total disaster. Nope.

NC State held steady around the fringes of the top 25 after beating Louisville, with the Wolfpack offense now threatening to climb into the top 50. The defense remains the league’s second-best behind Clemson.

NC State is also the latest ACC team to reach bowl eligibility, joining Wake, Pitt, and UVA. Clemson and Syracuse are next in line at five wins. Everybody else has some real work to do in order to hit the six-win threshold in the final month of the season.