Last week was a pretty big one in the ACC. While this blog was obviously a little more interested in the UNC-Florida State game, the conference slate also featured a matchup of two top five teams. Now that week five is in the books, how is the conference shaping up?
1. Clemson (5-0 overall, 2-0 ACC)
The Tigers won the aforementioned top five matchup and are in control of things in the Atlantic Division. They beat Louisville, and the other likely Atlantic contender, FSU, lost last week. The Tigers essentially have a two game lead over their major rivals in the division. Once again, they appear to be in good shape to make a run at a College Football Playoff appearance.
Next: at Boston College
2. Louisville (4-1 overall, 2-1 ACC)
Despite the loss, Louisville isn’t in that bad shape. They still have the current Heisman Trophy favorite, and will likely be a overwhelming favorite in six of their last seven games. If the ACC were to somehow get two teams in the playoffs, Louisville would be in the best shape to be the second.
3. Miami (4-0 overall, 1-0 ACC)
They might now have played the toughest schedule, but the Hurricanes are undefeated and have looked good in all four games. Their next three games will tell us what this team really is.
Next: vs. Florida State
4. North Carolina (4-1 overall, 2-0 ACC)
Last week’s win at Florida State has potentially set up the Tar Heels to replicate last year’s record. Like Miami, the next couple weeks will tell us where this team stands in 2016.
Next: vs. Virginia Tech
5. Virginia Tech (3-1 overall, 1-0 ACC)
It’s hard to split up the three teams that appear to be the most realistic Coastal Division contenders. The Hokies play Miami and UNC in their next two games. After the little round robin between the three, the Coastal will probably have a clear favorite.
Next: at North Carolina
6. Florida State (3-2 overall, 0-2 ACC)
Despite currently having the same conference record as Boston College, it’s difficult to drop FSU much lower than this. They’re not the playoff contender some people thought they were coming into the season. However, they’re still good.
Next: at Miami
7. Pitt (3-2 overall, 0-1 ACC)
The Panthers are a miracle UNC touchdown away from being 4-1 and being talked about in the Coastal Division picture instead of the Heels. They got back on track with a win over Marshall last weekend. They have a string of tough games starting at the end of the month that will tell us where they’re at.
Next: vs. Georgia Tech
8. NC State (3-1 overall, 1-0 ACC)
State handled Wake Forest pretty easily at the weekend. They have a tough schedule the rest of the way, but for now, they occupy the higher end of the ACC’s middle class.
Next: vs. Notre Dame
9. Wake Forest (4-1 overall, 1-1 ACC)
The Demon Deacons may have lost their first game, but they’re still two wins away from a bowl. Good for you, Wake.
Next: vs. Syracuse
10. Georgia Tech (3-2 overall, 1-2 ACC)
This week saw Paul Johnson get upset postgame about the expectations his team faces in comparison to the rest of the conference. The Yellow Jackets still have the schedule of a possible bowl team, but for now they do fall towards the bottom of the conference.
Next: at Pitt
11. Syracuse (2-3 overall, 0-1, ACC)
Good news for Syracuse is that their offense can put up points. However, their defense can also put up points. For the other team.
Next: at Wake Forest
12. Duke (2-3 overall, 0-2 ACC)
That Notre Dame win no longer looks that great, and they just lost to Virginia.
Next: vs. Army
13. Virginia (2-3 overall, 1-0 ACC)
They won a conference game, so there’s that.
14. Boston College (3-2 overall, 0-2 ACC)
The Eagles offense put up over 30 points for the second straight game. However, neither opponent was good and it’s still been a long time since they’ve won an ACC game.
Next: vs. Clemson