ACC Power Rankings
ACC Power Rankings-Week 5
The ACC has come back down to earth after big wins by Clemson and Miami over SEC opponents. Last Thursday night the ACC had another opportunity to have a good performance on the national stage when Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech met up. However, the game was not well-played, with the Hokies winning 17-10 in a game where neither team reached 300 total yards. It was also another poor week for North Carolina, as they got destroyed by East Carolina 55-31. The Tar Heels gave up at least 13 points in each quarter. Duke only beat Troy by a touchdown which begs the question if the Blue Devils have taken a step back this year after going bowling last season.
Boston College made Florida State work but eventually lost the game 48-34. The Eagles had a 17-3 lead before the Noles turned it on and started clicking on offense. Pittsburgh picked up their second straight ACC victory when they defeated an inconsistent Virginia team 14-3. There were some things to like, but overall I would call it a down week in the ACC. Miami and Clemson both had blowout wins, and UNC's bad loss will really hurt the perception of the conference. North Carolina had high expectations to compete for a division title this year, but they are off to a 1-3 start and look to be spiraling out of control. Regardless of the misfortunes, here are the five teams that are playing the best right now in the ACC.
5. Virginia Tech
The Hokies got a key win at Georgia Tech last Thursday which means that they control their own destiny in the race for the Coastal division crown. Their defense is the best in the conference, but their offense is still a major work in progress. They should handle UNC at home this weekend, but then again, nothing is a given in the Coastal division.
The Canes blew out a winless USF team, and quarterback Stephen Morris looked plenty healthy. Running back Duke Johnson also put up solid numbers, which is promising for Canes fans. This weekend they host Georgia Tech in a another key division showdown. This is an early must-win for the Yellow Jackets, so I expect them to put up a good fight against the Canes.
The Terps cracked the AP top 25, checking in at No. 25 despite not even playing. They are still undefeated and travel to Tallahassee this weekend for a battle of ranked ACC teams. Florida State's defense looked vulnerable last week so it will be interesting to see how well this Maryland team can run the football. This is probably the most meaningful game Edsall has coached while at Maryland, and it is also a division game. We will learn a lot about Maryland from this game
2. Florida State
Florida State fell behind 17-3 before rallying for a 14-point win. Their rush defense looked suspect giving up 200 yards on the ground to a bad BC team. Quarterback Jameis Winston had another great day, but he will be facing his toughest test yet this weekend against Maryland. If the Noles look ahead to Clemson, then they could find themselves on the losing end of a game like the one this weekend in Tallahassee.
Clemson's offense bounced back against Wake Forest with a 56-7 win. Tajh Boyd looked in good form, as well as Sammy Watkins. This week the Tigers travel to play Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. The Cuse will be fired up for this one, but Clemson has better talent and better coaching. The Tigers should escape with an easy win, holding down their No. 1 spot in the ACC power rankings.