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ACC Football Power Rankings: Clemson, UNC heading to Charlotte with losses

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(© Jamie Lamor Thompson – Shutterstock)

The ACC regular season ended with a whimper, as three of four conference teams lost to SEC rivals. Florida State was the lone conference winner against a state rival, as FSU turned back Florida, 45-38.

As expected, Georgia shellacked Georgia Tech, but Clemson saw its College Football Playoff hopes fizzle with a stunning 31-30 home loss to South Carolina, and in the process have its 40-game home winning streak end.

In the Bluegrass State, Kentucky doubled-up Louisville 26-13; the Cardinals, after winning, four straight closed the regular season, lost two of their last three games.

So, the ACC Championship game on Saturday in Charlotte welcomes two teams that arrive limping into Bank of America Stadium. A trip to the Orange Bowl awaits the winner, but the game certainly lost a bit of its luster because of Saturday’s results.

It was certainly an up-and-down season for the conference. About the only stability was indeed Clemson, who was No. 1 in the first ACC power rankings and was never lower in the Atlantic Division while the Coastal was chaotic all season.

Atlantic Division

  1. Clemson (10-2, 8-0 ACC) The Tigers limp into the ACC title game after a 31-30 loss to South Carolina.
  2. FSU (9-3, 5-3 ACC) The Seminoles beat their in-state rival, Florida, 45-38. It was the highest scoring game in the series history. FSU finished the 2022 regular season strong, winning five straight.
  3. NC State (8-4, 4-4 ACC) Behind their fourth-string quarterback, a former scout-team player, Ben Finley, the Wolfpack finished strong, beating UNC.
  4. Louisville (7-5, 4-4 ACC) The Cardinals lost to Kentucky 26-13 in their regular-season finale.
  5. Syracuse (7-5, 4-4 ACC) The Orange snapped a five-game losing streak, beating Boston College, 32-23. Syracuse finished the game scoring the final 26 points.
  6. Wake Forest (7-5, 3-5 ACC) WF lost four of five to finish regular-season play.
  7. Boston College (3-9, 2-6 ACC) Tough season concludes for BC. The Eagles played tough in their last game against Syracuse.

Coastal Division

  1. North Carolina (9-3, 6-2 ACC) UNC closed the regular season losing two straight. The Tar Heels get a chance to turn things around in the ACC title game with Clemson.
  2. Pittsburgh (8-4, 5-3 ACC) The reigning ACC champion finished strong, winning four straight, including a 42-16 win over Miami Saturday.
  3. 3. Duke (8-4, 5-3 ACC) Just go ahead and Give Duke coach Mike Elko his ACC Coach of the YearDuke’s 34-31 win over Wake Forest gave the Blue Devils their first eight-win season since 2014.
  4. Georgia Tech (5-7, 4-4 ACC) A wild year for GT, that saw its coach fired early, only to regroup and finish even in ACC play.
  5. Miami (5-7, 3-5 ACC) The Hurricane looked horrible and bored in a 42-16 loss to Pittsburgh Saturday. First-year coach Mario Cristobal is officially on the hot seat.
  6. Virginia (3-7, 1-6 ACC) and Virginia Tech (3-8, 1-6 ACC)

Scott German

Scott German covers UVA Athletics for AFP, and is the co-host of “Street Knowledge” podcasts focusing on UVA Athletics with AFP editor Chris Graham. Scott has been around the ‘Hoos his whole life. As a reporter, he was on site for UVA basketball’s Final Fours, in 1981 and 1984, and has covered UVA football in bowl games dating back to its first, the 1984 Peach Bowl.