Week 1 ACC Football Power Rankings

ACC Football: Week 1 Power Rankings

Florida State
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The first week of the college football season wasn’t a great one for the ACC. The teams at the bottom of the conference struggled, as did the teams towards the top. The league could not get a marquee win over another power-five conference team, other than Florida State beating Oklahoma State, while also experiencing some near losses against FCS teams. Despite the slow start for the league, here’s how the ACC power rankings shake out after Week 1.

14. Wake Forest

wake forest - joshua s. kelly
Joshua S. Kelly - USATODAY Sports

14. Wake Forest

wake forest - joshua s. kelly
Joshua S. Kelly - USATODAY Sports

It's not like we didn't expect it, but the Demon Deacons looked pitiful in their loss to Louisiana Monroe. Wake Forest had -3 rushing yards and fewer than 100 yards passing. That little offense seems almost impossible to fathom. If they don't beat Gardner Webb this week, the Demon Deacons will have a real chance of going winless in 2014.

13. N.C. State

NC State vs. La. Tech
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13. N.C. State

NC State vs. La. Tech
James Guillory - USATODAY Sports

N.C. State doesn't look like a team that's made a lot of progress under Dave Doren. They trailed by two touchdowns against Georgia Southern at halftime, and were barely able to make a fourth quarter comeback to get the win at home. Luckily for them, Georgia Southern may actually be the best team they play the first four weeks, so the Wolfpack has a chance to get better and build their confidence with some wins.

12. Syracuse

Dyshawn Davis Syracuse
Mark Konezny - USATODAY Sports

12. Syracuse

Dyshawn Davis Syracuse
Mark Konezny - USATODAY Sports

The Orange are quite fortunate that Villanova's kicker missed a last-minute field goal from 25 yards out, or Syracuse would have lost its opener. Things would have been a little easier had quarterback Terrel Hunt not been ejected, but Syracuse had other issues aside from having to deal with a backup quarterback, and a bye this week may actually be good for them.

11. Boston College

Boston College Football 2014 Season Preview
Greg M. Cooper - USATODAY Sports

11. Boston College

Boston College Football 2014 Season Preview
Greg M. Cooper

Boston College held just a six point lead over UMass at halftime, so they didn't exactly start fast, but they eventually out-gained their in-state rivals by over 300 yards. New quarterback Tyler Murphy showed his dual-threat ability, which is a good sign for the Eagles, even against an inferior opponent. Hosting Pitt on Friday night this week will be a good barometer for how good Boston College could be this season.

10. Georgia Tech

5
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10. Georgia Tech

5
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After a sluggish first half against Wofford, new Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas put on a great show, both through the air and on the ground. He should be fine in the long run, but the competition will gradually get tougher for the Yellow Jackets and they'll need to prove that they can give Thomas plenty of support if they're going to compete in the Coastal Division.

9. Virginia

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Geoff Burke - USATODAY Sports

9. Virginia

cover
Geoff Burke - USATODAY Sports

For Virginia, there's no shame in losing to UCLA, especially since the Cavaliers made the Bruins work hard for it. Virginia was in it until the end, and there's no telling how the game would have unfolded differently if the Cavs didn't hand UCLA three defensive touchdowns. The schedule moving forward isn't easy, but Virginia made a great first impression in 2014, creating hope they'll be more competitive and win more games than last year.

8. Pittsburgh

Iowa vs Pittsburgh Football 2014 Schedule Preview
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8. Pittsburgh

Iowa vs Pittsburgh Football 2014 Schedule Preview
Charles LeClaire - USATODAY Sports

The Panthers had a no-contest win over Delaware in Week 1, but that doesn't tell us much about them. Pittsburgh can run the ball, but that's not a surprise, while quarterback Chad Voytik only threw 13 passes and didn't even eclipse 100 yards. The Panthers hit the road the next two weeks and have a semi-challenging schedule the rest of September, so we'll soon find out what Pitt is made of.

7. North Carolina

North Carolina v Miami
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7. North Carolina

North Carolina v Miami
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North Carolina had quite the up and down opener against Liberty, a team the Tar Heels should have been able to blow out early. At times, North Carolina's offense looked potent while their defense looked dominant, but that should have been the case for the entire game. They'll need to show a lot more consistency in their next couple of games before they open up conference play.

6. Duke

duke blue devils football 2014 preview
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6. Duke

duke blue devils football 2014 preview
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After a blowout of Elon in their season opener, it's obvious that there's nothing wrong with the Duke offense, although the Blue Devil's defense wasn't quite as impressive, at least considering the competition they faced. It'll be a few weeks before Duke faces a real test, so it may be too soon to tell if Duke's defense will be better or if they'll have to ride their offense all season.

5. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech v Boston College
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5. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech v Boston College
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Michael Brewer made a good first impression in his first start with the Hokies, and the Virginia Tech defense also had an impressive performance against FCS squad William & Mary. An easy win is exactly what Frank Beamer's team needed, as they head to Ohio State this weekend, giving them an opportunity to make a big statement against a team that looked vulnerable and beatable in its opener against Navy.

4. Miami

Miami
Jamie Rhodes - USATODAY Sports

4. Miami

Miami
Jamie Rhodes - USATODAY Sports

Miami did not perform the way they wanted to on Monday night, especially after they got blasted by Louisville at the end of last season. But a road game the opening weekend of the season with a true freshman at quarterback was never going to be an easy task for the Hurricanes. Miami will have better days and they should still be considered a leading contender in the Coastal Division.

3. Louisville

Louisville
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3. Louisville

Louisville
Jamie Rhodes - USATODAY Sports

Louisville's opener in the ACC was quite impressive. The Cardinals ran the ball effectively and showcased a talented defense that Charlie Strong left behind, especially the front seven. There should be no doubt that Louisville has the talent to be a competitive team in the ACC right away, as they'll be an interesting team to watch in the conference this season.

2. Clemson

Todd Gurley
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2. Clemson

Todd Gurley
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Pay no attention to the fourth quarter or the final score of Clemson's loss to Georgia, because Todd Gurley and the Bulldog's backfield will do that to a lot of teams this year. The Tigers showed in the first half that they can play with anybody and there should be little doubt that they remain the second best team in the ACC. Expect the Clemson offense to be fine and the defense to dominate most teams other than Georgia.

1. Florida State

Florida State Football 2014
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1. Florida State

Florida State Football 2014
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No the Seminoles weren't a dominant force against Oklahoma State, and yes there was some complacency, but they're still the ACC's best and a national championship contender. More people should give Oklahoma State more credit for making things tough on the Seminoles Saturday night. It won't be as easy and seemingly effortless as it was last year, but Florida State is still the team to beat in the ACC.

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