Home ACC Power Rankings Week 9: FSU rolls, Miami survives, Clemson, UNC continue slide 

ACC Power Rankings Week 9: FSU rolls, Miami survives, Clemson, UNC continue slide 

Scott German
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(© Jamie Lamor Thompson – Shutterstock)

Miami fans were happy to see their Hurricanes win in overtime, 29-26 over Virginia, but not all ACC favorites over the weekend fared as well.

The ‘Canes survived a subpar performance by quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who had two interceptions, and an offense kept off-balance all afternoon by a pesky Cavalier defense.

But Drake Maye and UNC and Clemson continued to stumble as the ACC season entered the final stretch.

And how about Florida State?

The Seminoles continue to distance themselves from the also-rans in the ACC. Saturday FSU overwhelmed Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, 41-16.

Carolina, fresh off a stunning home loss to Virginia, has suddenly returned to its 2022 form on defense, losing 46-42 in Atlanta to Georgia Tech.

Clemson lost its second straight game, falling to NC State, 24-17.

Clemson, trailing 24-14 with seven minutes left elected to go for a field goal when facing a fourth-and-goal from the 1.

Clemson made the field goal, cutting the deficit to 24-17, but the Tigers were unable to get inside the NC State 10-yard line the rest of the contest.

FSU was never threatened by the Deacons. The Seminoles led 34-7 at the half and cruised the final two quarters.

At 8-0 and 6-0 in the ACC, FSU has all but punched their ticket to the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte.

After another wild weekend of ACC football, here’s how things look heading into November.

  1. FSU (8-0, 6-0 ACC) As the season heads into the home stretch, the Seminoles just keep getting better. Against Wake, FSU put the game away early, leading 34-7 at the break. Quarterback Jordan Travis threw for 359 yards and three scores.
  2. Louisville (7-1, 4-1 ACC) The Cardinals rose to No. 2 in this week’s power rankings, their highest rank this season. Armed with two Top 25 wins and a 7-1 record, Louisville enters the final month of the regular season ranked 15th. If both FSU and Louisville win out, they will meet in the ACC title game.
  3. Miami (6-2, 2-2 ACC) The roller-coaster season for Miami has the Hurricanes back into the upper echelon of the power rankings. Two consecutive overtime wins by the Hurricanes, along with the Duke, Carolina collapses, have helped Miami’s climb.
  4. Virginia Tech (4-4, 3-1 ACC) The Hokies are another team that has taken advantage of some top teams falling. Thursday Tech demolished Syracuse, 38-10, in rushing for 318 yards. Tech has feasted at home on some slumping ACC teams, but the schedule gets a bit more challenging as the calendar turns to November.
  5. Duke (5-3, 2-2 ACC) Duke was dominated defensively by Louisville, losing 23-0. The Blue Devils managed only 202 yards on offense. Quarterback Riley Leonard returned to action Saturday after reaggravating an ankle injury against Florida State, but was mostly ineffective.
  6. UNC (6-2, 3-2 ACC) Carolina dropped its second straight game Saturday, falling in Atlanta, 46-42, to Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels have now surrendered 77 points in the two-game losing streak. Just over a week ago, UNC had CFP aspirations, but now even an ACC title is all but gone.
  7. NC State (5-3, 2-2 ACC) The Wolfpack and new quarterback MJ Morris upset Clemson, 24-17, in Raleigh Saturday. Morris threw two touchdown passes and is now 2-1 since being named the State signal caller.
  8. Clemson (4-4, 2-4 ACC) Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said Clemson football’s season is “bizarre” after the NC State loss. Clemson supporters may have some different words to describe the season. Not since 2010 have the Tigers been .500 with four games remaining in the regular season. At this point even a bowl game is in jeopardy for the 2023 Tigers.
  9. Boston College (5-3, 2-2 ACC) The Eagles had a bye week. No, BC hosted hapless Connecticut and survived, 21-14. The Eagles won for the fourth straight time and moved to within one win of bowl eligibility.
  10. Georgia Tech (4-4, 3-2 ACC) The Yellow Jackets overcame an early two-touchdown deficit, and a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, to stun UNC 46-42.
  11. Virginia (2-6, 1-3 ACC) UVA took Miami to the wire, and beyond, losing 29-26 in overtime to the Hurricanes. The Cavaliers mounted an impressive running game against a stern Miami rush defense.
  12. Wake Forest (4-4, 1-4 ACC) The Demon Deacons were just dominated by FSU in every aspect, losing 41-16 Saturday.
  13. Syracuse (4-4, 0-4 ACC) The Orange put up little fight Thursday night, getting blitzed by Virgina Tech, 38-10, in Blacksburg. Injuries continue to pile up for Syracuse.
  14. Pitt (2-6, 1-3 ACC) In a season filled with lows, things reached a new bottom for Pitt as it fell on the road to No. 14 Notre Dame, 58-7. The 51-point loss was the worst Panther coach Pat Narduzzi has suffered in his head coaching career.

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.