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The ACC in SP+, Week 12: No divisions, just tiers

Wake and Pitt in free fall

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Virginia Tech Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

According to the latest SP+ ratings and rankings, Florida State remains head and shoulders above the rest of the conference. That makes sense considering the Seminoles remain perfect on the year, but obviously the Jordan Travis injury is the giant question mark for them moving forward. FSU did move up into the Top 5 this week via SP+, so that’s some positive news among all the handwringing down in Tallahassee this week.

NC State’s rating improved by 0.8 points with the win over Virginia Tech, but the ranking remained the same. In case you were wondering if there is such a thing as a UNC booster built into the SP+ formula, the fact that the Tar Heels remain in the Top 20 despite losing three of their last five (with one of those two wins being over an FCS squad) tells you all you need to know. Sagarin has them at a more accurate, but still probably too high, 28th.

The ACC After Week 12

Team Week 12 SP+ (Rank) Rank Change Offense (Rank) Defense (Rank)
Team Week 12 SP+ (Rank) Rank Change Offense (Rank) Defense (Rank)
Florida State 23.9 (5) 2 38.3 (7) 16.4 (9)
North Carolina 12.1 (18) 0 37.8 (9) 26.8 (64)
Louisville 12.0 (19) 2 32.0 (27) 20.1 (23)
Clemson 10.2 (24) -4 29.4 (43) 19.0 (15)
Miami 9.3 (27) -1 30.5 (38) 23.3 (38)
Duke 7.0 (36) -3 27.9 (54) 21.5 (30)
NC State 6.3 (42) 0 24.5 (75) 19.8 (22)
Virginia Tech 1.2 (60) 2 24.9 (73) 25.3 (54)
Georgia Tech -1.7 (68) 2 29.6 (42) 30.6 (94)
Syracuse -2.6 (70) -5 21.9 (85) 24.7 (51)
Boston College -4.3 (76) 0 23.4 (78) 27.6 (72)
Pittsburgh -7.4 (87) -9 19.7 (102) 25.9 (57)
Wake Forest -8.9 (92) -18 18.8 (108) 26.5 (61)
Virginia -9.5 (96) 1 21.8 (89) 31.0 (99)

Looking at SP+ from a tiered perspective has it playing out about right.

  • Tier 1: Florida State
  • Tier 2: North Carolina, Louisville, Clemson, Miami, Duke, NC State
  • Tier 3: Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech
  • Tier 4: Syracuse, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Virginia

Pittsburgh has dropped 19 spots over the last two weeks, but that’s nothing compared to Wake Forest’s 28-spot drop. Clearly the advanced numbers are catching up to what’s happening on the field with the Panthers and Demon Deacons.