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ACC Power Rankings: Week 6

You’re probably not surprised who’s on top...and the bottom.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Virginia Tech Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

After five games, the picture in the ACC is becoming clearer. Thanks to a quirk of the rotating schedule, Clemson drew Virginia Tech on the road this year, providing what many think is a possible preview of the ACC Championship game. Miami thinks they are in contention for that Charlotte slot. Meanwhile in the Atlantic, the fight is on for second place.

Let’s see where everyone stands.

1) Clemson 5-0, (3-0)

Any doubts about Clemon’s ability to move on beyond Deshaun Watson were erased this past weekend with their thoroughly dominating performace against the Hokies. Clemson entered into a raucos Lane Stadium, stared “Enter Sandman” in the face, and not only took the Hokies’ hand, they ripped it right off.

The avoided the trap against BC, have beaten the likes of Louisville and VT on the road, and are looking like strong contnders to try and repeat as National Champions.

2) Miami, 3-0 (1-0)

The U put to rest the demons of their last visit to Durham, and seem to answer the hype about them, at least in the beginning of the year. They still have seven conference games left, and there are plenty of opportunities to be tripped up, but Miami showed they will be in the upper echelon of the Coastal this season.

The next step is to head down to Tallahassee for their rescheduled date against Florida State, as the Canes won’t have any more weekends off for the rest of the season. That could be huge as you get later in the season

3) Louisville, 4-1 (1-1)

Another win over a doormat team, but they go up as they aren’t the only team to have been made to look foolish against Clemson. Big game for the Cards this Thursday in Raleigh, as they have a chance to stay in contention for the Atlantic Crown should Clemson start stumbling.

4) NC State, 4-1, (2-0)

Big win for the Wolfpack as they avoided a massive trap game sandwiched in between FSU and Louisville. It’s never fun having to play a Thursday after a Saturday, but they are at home, and Louisville has to battle the feeling that they are only playing for second place in the Atlantic.

The question here will be if fans will be a help or start to clinch waiting for some inevitable NC State...stuff (we’ll keep this clean, it is a family blog after all).

5) Florida State, 1-2, (1-1)

The Noles finally get their first win, and do it in heartstopping fashion. In a season marked with losing their quarterback, losing to NC State, losing a tuneup game, and having to move another due to a hurricane, a win in the last second like that can be just the thing to turn the season around. Remember, FSU suffered a few hard losses at the beginning of last year before ended up in the Orange Bowl.

This Saturday will define the rest of their season. Win and they still can run their way to a NY6 bowl. Lose and it’s tough to see them succeeding with Louisville and Clemson still on the slate.

6) Virginia Tech, 4-1, (0-1)

They fall this much just because they lost in such dominating fashion on Saturday, but the Coastal is still there for the taking. They may very well get a repeat against Clemson, as the Tigers were the toughest team left on their schedule. If The U stays undefeated till November 4th, that game will be for the Coastal title.

The Hokies get to bounceback this weekend against Boston College. As they’ve shown, it’s not an easy assignment, but Clemson they aren’t.

7) Georgia Tech, 3-1, (2-0)

The Yellow Jackets asserted themselves in the ACC race by dominating Carolina on Saturday. The final score, however, belied the fact that had Carolina had even a decent offense on the field it would have been a close game. Expect the rest of the league to study the game tape of the Carolina defense to see how to guard against the option attack.

That said, they still have a great chance to earn the Coastal crown as the season progresses.

8) Virginia, 3-1, (0-0)

It’s tough to get a real read on the Cavs as they sat out this week before playing nothing but ACC games the rest of the way. Winning in Boise State is impressive, but the rubber meets the road this weekend when they host Duke. Beat the Devils, and the seemingly forever rebuild UVA has been under may finally be done.

9) Duke, 4-1, (1-1)

It was almost cruel, in a way, that Duke didn’t get a chance to savor a win over their rivals by having to play on a Friday night. Let’s all take a moment to feel sorry for them.

OK, done. Next.

10) Wake Forest, 4-1, (1-1)

The Deacs are still in great shape to sneak into a bowl game, but one does wonder just how deflated they will be after taking such a gut shot this past weekend. They had FSU on the ropes and couldn’t quite pull it out. Where do they go from here?

Teams beter not sleep on Wake, starting with the Tigers this Saturday. Wake is not going to go into the game afraid, and after a couple of huge games, does Clemson suffer a letdown?

11) Pittsburgh, 2-3, (0-1)

Maybe they aren’t as horrible as everyone thought, completely demolishing Rice this past Saturday. They get Syracuse in their “rivalry” game this weekend, and then draw NC State a week after playing Louisville. The Panthers aren’t going to compete for the Coastal, but a path to a bowl game is in their sights.

12) Boston College, 2-3, (0-1)

BC dominated Central Michigan in a cold and rainy day in Chestnut Hill, and after showing the ability to be feisty against Clemson, the Eagles get a dejected Virginia Tech team. There’s a lot of pressure on VT to win this game, as the Coastal is still very much in their eyesight, but a loss against the Eagles make a trip to Charlotte really tough. BC, however, really has no pressure as everyone expects them to lose. Toss in a Saturday night start, and you have the makings of a possible upset.

Eh, probably not.

13) Syracuse, 2-3, (0-1)

The rest of the season is going to be about trying to find wins for the Orange. What was thought to be an easier win against Pitt doesn’t quite look so easy now, and with both BC and Wake showing signs of life, it’s tough to find four more wins for Syracuse. The story is different had they sprung the upset, as State was a prime candidate. Might be time for the Orange to start thinking about basketball season.

Speaking of which...

14) North Carolina, 1-4, (0-3)

Winless in the conference, injury depleted, redshirt freshman looking like a freshman, Carolina has just lost too many winable games. They can change the course of their season by springing an upset this Saturday, but that seems unlikely considering their inability to hold a lead and the ridiculous attrition on the roster.

It’ll be interesting to see the crowd in Kenan Saturday, as well as the rest of the season. There’s still a lot of talent and potential on this team. If the injuries can just stop, Carolina might be able to swing an upset somewhere on the way. We’ll see what they have with the Irish coming to town.