Home FSU finishes perfect in ACC, Louisville cracks Top 10: ACC Week 12 Power Rankings 

FSU finishes perfect in ACC, Louisville cracks Top 10: ACC Week 12 Power Rankings 

Scott German
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(© Jamie Lamor Thompson – Shutterstock)

FSU turned back Miami with a late interception to prevail over the ‘Canes on Saturday. The Seminoles victory caps a perfect 8-0 ACC regular season.

Strangely, FSU closes out the season with two non-conference opponents, North Alabama and rival Florida.

Meanwhile, Louisville turned back stubborn Virginia, 34-27, on Thursday night. The Cardinals win put UL into the AP Top 10, at No. 9.

Louisville is one of three ACC schools in the rankings, along with FSU (No. 4) and North Carolina (No. 22).

The Cardinals and Seminoles have been the only two teams in the ACC this season that have been consistently good.

FSU is perfect at 10-0, while Louisville has a 9-1 mark. The lone blemish: a completely unexplainable loss at Pitt.

That loss is what’s keeping the Cardinals from knocking on the CFP door.

Most of the remaining teams in the conference have had rollercoaster-like seasons.

One and two are easy; here’s the roundup of the others.

  1. FSU (10-0, 8-0 ACC) The Seminoles beat rival Miami, 27-20, on Saturday. There might be some concern, however. The Hurricanes controlled the line of scrimmage and had the ball near midfield late in the game before an interception ended the game. Florida State was a two-touchdown favorite, and never could put Miami away.
  2. Louisville (9-1, 6-1 ACC) It wasn’teasy, but Louisville came from behind to beat Virginia Thursday. Louisville is one win away from clinching second place in the conference and a trip to Charlotte. The defense was tested by UVA, but UL will be facing a struggling Miami offense next.
  3. NC State (7-3, 4-2 ACC) The Wolfpack defense came to the rescue again Saturday, helping NC State turn back Wake Forest, 26-6. NC State limited the Demon Deacons to 163 total yards, only seven rushing. Dave Doeren’s effort this season will put him on the radar for schools looking for a head coach.
  4. North Carolina (8-2, 4-2 ACC) The Duke-Carolina game Saturday had the vibe of a Duke-Carolina basketball game usually played a few blocks away in the Dean Smith Center. The Tar Heels were lucky to survive Duke, they did, and kept their slim hopes of making the ACC title game alive. The UNC defense again was inept.
  5. Clemson (6-4, 3-4 ACC) The Tigers are slowly clawing their way back up the rankings. Credit to Clemson for responding to back-to-back losses against NC State and Miami. Against Georgia Tech, the Tigers dominated from start to finish. Clemson closes with North and South Carolina.
  6. Duke (6-4, 3-3 ACC) Despite a slew of injuries, the Blue Devils continue to play tough. Playing in Chapel Hill Saturday, Duke would not go away, before falling in double OT. Mike Elko is a solid coach that will join NC State’s Doeren in getting plenty of off-season attention.
  7. Miami (6-4, 2-4 ACC) The Hurricanes benched starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke and went with freshman Emory Williams Saturday in Tallahassee. Miami’s defense did a quality job against FSU, but quarterback play plagued the Hurricanes once more. Williams suffered an ankle injury on the last drive of the game, and Van Dyke came in, only to proceed to throw a game-ending interception.
  8. Virginia Tech (5-5 4-2 ACC) Coming off a blowout loss in Louisville, the Hokies responded well Saturday, blowing out Boston College, 48-22. QB Kyron Drones gave a monstrous performance, throwing for over 200 yards and rushing for over 100. Tech is one win away from bowl eligibility.
  9. Georgia Tech (5-5, 4-3 ACC) It was simply not Georgia Tech’s day Saturday at Clemson. The Yellow Jackets offense was bottled up all game by a Clemson defense that was superb. GT faces an almost must-win game with Syracuse next if they are going bowling. The Yellow Jackets finish with Georgia.
  10. Wake Forest (4-6, 1-6 ACC) TheDemon Deacons were simply awful offensively Saturday against NC State. How awful? 166 total yards of offense. Wake Forest next faces Notre Dame, so that will end postseason possibilities for Wake.
  11. Syracuse (5-5, 1-5 ACC) The Orange moved from the bottom of the power rankings to No. 11, beating dreadful Pitt, 28-13. The contest was played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. It was the 100thanniversary of football being played in Yankee Stadium.
  12. Virginia (2-8, 1-5 ACC) UVA had Louisville on the ropes, then like a good house guest let the Cardinals off. That and some questionable officiating calls. Aside from Georgia Tech, Virginia has played well over the last month. The Cavaliers, behind true-freshman QB Anthony Colandrea, played well against a strong UL defense.
  13. Boston College (6-4, 3-3 ACC) The Eagles were terrible Saturday against VT. The defense made Hokie quarterback Kyron Drones look Heisman-like. BC became bowl-eligible last week. Saturday’s performance by the Eagles gave us a sneak preview of how the bowl season has deteriorated.
  14. Pitt (2-8, 1-5 ACC) Despiteplaying the game in Yankee Stadium, it was a rotten day for Pitt losing Saturday to Syracuse. The Panthers committed four turnovers and could not move the ball on offense.

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.