Home ACC Power Rankings Week 7: The ACC landscape through seven weeks of the season 

ACC Power Rankings Week 7: The ACC landscape through seven weeks of the season 

Scott German
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(© Jamie Lamor Thompson – Shutterstock)

About halfway through the 2023 college football season, the battle for the top spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference is starting to get clear.

Saturday began the separation between the contenders and the pretenders.

FSU and North Carolina had statement wins, while Louisville went down in flames in the Steel City, leaving just two teams in the conference with unblemished marks, both in league play and overall.

The race for Charlotte is still up for grabs with the Seminoles and Tar Heels neck and neck. But don’t sleep on Duke, which is also undefeated in ACC action, with only a loss to Notre Dame on its mark.

Could Duke be the best team in the ACC?

Other than the late loss to ND, the Blue Devils have been impressive this season. Saturday Duke destroyed neighborhood rival NC State, 24-3. After a bye week coming up, Duke and FSU meet in Tallahassee. That game may answer the question about how good Duke is.

Here’s the latest look at how things are shaping up around the ACC.

  1. FSU (6-0, 4-0 ACC) The Seminoles look the part of a national contender against Syracuse, crushing the Orange, 41-3. FSU is off to its first 6-0 start in eight years.
  2. UNC (6-0, 3-0 ACC) Carolina’s offense was potent enough, but the reinstatement of wide receiver Tez Walker put the Tar Heels into another gear. The UNC defense is to be dealt with as well, forcing four turnovers in a 41-31 win over Miami.
  3. Duke (5-1, 2-0 ACC) No Riley Leonard? Didn’t matter as backup QB Henry Belin and the Blue Devils moved at will against NC State, winning 24-3.
  4. Louisville (6-1, 3-1 ACC) This was the perfect trap game for Louisville. Fresh off a thumping of Notre Dame, the Cardinals rolled into Pittsburgh licking their chops. And fell flat on their faces, losing 38-21.
  5. Clemson (4-2, 2-2 ACC) The Tigers had a bye Saturday and will battle a desperate Miami team this weekend. Clemson might not be in the race for the conference title, but a loss to reeling Miami won’t sit well in Death Valley.
  6. Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-1 ACC) The Yellow Jackets moved up two pegs this week, on a bye weekend. The second half of the 2023 campaign will be interesting for GT, some very winnable games, and some potential lopsided losses may be in store.
  7. Virginia Tech (3-4, 2-1 ACC) Blacksburg has a pulse again. With QB Kyron Drones, the Hokies offense has come alive. In destroying Wake Forest, 30-13, Tech appeared solid on both sides of the ball.
  8. Wake Forest (3-3, 0-3 ACC) Things are moving in the wrong direction in Winston-Salem. A benching of starting QB Mitch Griffis led to nothing. The Demon Deacons’ only touchdown against Virginia Tech came on special teams.
  9. Syracuse (4-3, 0-3 ACC) The collapse continues for Syracuse. After winning their first four games to start the year the Orange dropped their third straight, getting clobbered by FSU.
  10. Miami (4-2, 0-2 ACC) The Hurricanes may never recover from the unacceptable collapse against GT. In Chapel Hill Saturday, Miami simply had no answers on defense against UNC.
  11. NC State (4-3, 1-2 ACC) Offensively, the Wolfpack is a disaster. A field goal was all they could muster in a 24-3 loss to Duke. State may eventually land at the bottom before the season concludes.
  12. Boston College (3-3, 1-2 ACC) The Eagles had a bye Saturday. Things might be turning around for BC, and they could play the spoiler in the second half of the season.
  13. Pitt (2-4, 1-2 ACC) The Panthers roared back in the second half to knock off Louisville. After changing quarterbacks, the Panthers looked sharp in the final half against the Cardinals.
  14. Virginia (1-5, 0-2 ACC) The Cavaliers had a bye weekend, but things will heat up quickly for UVA. Next up for Virginia is a visit to UNC. Three of UVA’s next five games are against ranked teams, two on the road.

Scott German

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.