augusta free press news

ACC Power Rankings Week 7: Mediocre or not, it’s getting interesting

ACC footballCould this really happen? A Coastal Division that may easily have the division winner with a couple of losses. Is the Atlantic Division heading for a title game that doesn’t involve the Clemson Tigers? After Saturday, it sure looks as though that’s very possible.

In the Atlantic, N.C. State’s dominating 33-7 win over Boston College keeps the Wolfpack undefeated along with Wake Forest, which held serve with a bye. Yes, the Tigers are right behind with just one loss, but Clemson is striking fear in no one after holding on for a 17-14 win against Syracuse.

The Atlantic could easily come down to State’s trip to Winston-Salem on Nov. 13 to battle Wake Forest, with Clemson watching from the sideline.

Thanks to a completely out-of-whack scheduling twist, the Coastal resembles a wild-west shootout. UNC has completed 75 percent of its conference slate, while current Coastal leader Pittsburgh has 75 percent of its conference schedule ahead.

The Panthers mauled Virginia Tech Saturday in Blacksburg, and at first glance appear to be in the driver’s seat for the division crown. But a deeper look at Pitt’s schedule starting with Clemson says otherwise.

Hold on, things are starting to get heated up in the league – mediocrity or not.

Atlantic Division

  1. Wake Forest (4-0, 6-0) The Deacons enjoyed the weekend off but are feeling the heat from their neighbors in Raleigh. Wake steps away from ACC play, traveling to West Point to battle Army next.
  2. NC State (2-0, 5-1) The Wolfpack used a strong second half to down Boston College, 33-7. The win propelled State into the top 20 for the first time since 2018.
  3. Clemson (3-1, 4-2) Again, it was the Tiger defense that saved the day for Clemson Friday night in the Carrier Dome against Syracuse. The Tigers picked up their first road win of the season 17-14 over the Orange. The win was sealed when Syracuse kicker Andre Szmyt missed a 48-yard game-tying field goal with 38 seconds in the game.
  4. Florida State (2-2, 2-4) FSU enjoyed a bye weekend, and will do so again this week, hosting UMass.
  5. Louisville (1-2, 3-3) Another ACC team with the weekend off. The Cardinals will host BC next.
  6. Boston College (0-2, 4-2) The Eagles had a second-half collapse against NC State. Trailing just 10-7 at intermission, BC allowed three third quarter TDs to the Wolfpack and fell 33-7.
  7. Syracuse (0-3, 3-4) The Orange gave Clemson all they could handle in the Carrier Dome. A missed field goal late in the game would have sent the game into overtime.

Coastal Division

  1. Pittsburgh (2-0, 5-1) The Panthers dominated Virginia Tech 28-7 and continue to put the bizarre early-season loss to Western Michigan in their rearview mirror. Pittsburg has a huge clash with Clemson next.
  2. Virginia (3-2, 5-2) The resurrection of the Cavaliers continues. On life support after back-to-back losses in September, surrendering 98 points along the way, Virginia has now reeled off three straight conference wins. The once down-trodden defense pitched a shutout over Duke, 48-0, on Saturday.
  3. North Carolina (3-3, 4-3) A win’s a win, and in what has been a disappointing season, the Tar Heels will take them anyway they can. Saturday, UNC pulled out a heart-stopping 45-42 win over Miami. The Heels needed a late tipped-pass interception to turn the Hurricanes away in the redzone.
  4. Georgia Tech (2-2, 3-3) The Yellow Jackets took the weekend off and maintained their position in the Coastal. GT travels to Charlottesville next Saturday evening.
  5. Virginia Tech (1-1, 3-3) OK, it was just one loss to a strong Pitt team, but the Hokies slipped three spots this week. How? The Hokies were practically lifeless on both sides of the ball. Pittsburgh put some impressive numbers up offensively on what was just an average day for star QB Kenny Pickett.
  6. Miami (0-2, 2-4) Close but no cigar for the Hurricanes in the loss to UNC. The hot seat got a bit warmer for Miami coach Manny Diaz.
  7. Duke (0-3, 3-4) Duke is seventh in the Coastal because there’s only seven teams in the division. On Saturday, the Blue Devils had no answers offensively or defensively against the resurgent Cavaliers.

Story by Scott German