We’re halfway through the season and it’s still nearly impossible to rank these teams aside from Clemson and Georgia Tech. Two of the conference’s three ranked teams (Wake Forest and Virginia) lost on Saturday, leaving Clemson as the lone remaining ACC team in the top 25. For the first time since the third week of the season, no team in the conference has a bye, so maybe we’ll know more after this weekend. Without further ado, here are the week 8 ACC power rankings.
1. #3 Clemson Tigers 6-0 (4-0)
The Tigers had an extra week to prepare for the Seminoles and they took care of business. After very nearly falling to the Tar Heels and potentially jeopardizing their playoff chances, I expect Clemson to be laser-focused the rest of the way. They’ll travel to Louisville this weekend to take on a Cardinals team coming off a big win over Wake Forest.
Next: Saturday at Louisville
2. Wake Forest Demon Deacons 5-1 (1-1)
Wake was the last undefeated ACC team outside of Clemson coming into this past Saturday, but Louisville managed to pull off the upset, 62-59, in an absolute shootout. Any time you give up 60+ points, it’s concerning. They’ll look to regroup against FSU.
Next: Saturday vs. Florida State
3. North Carolina Tar Heels 3-3 (2-1)
The Tar Heels were off this weekend, giving them two weeks to get ready for a Virginia Tech team that’s been difficult to pinpoint. Of course, the same could be said about the Heels, who are a few plays away from being either 6-0 or 1-5. A road win over the Hokies would put Carolina in great shape moving forward in the Coastal.
Next: Saturday at Virginia Tech
4. Virginia Cavaliers 4-2 (2-1)
After looking like the one team that could potentially separate itself in the Coastal division, Virginia has now lost two straight and is right back in the middle of the mayhem. The Cavaliers failed to score a touchdown in an ugly loss to Miami on Saturday. Their upcoming matchup with the Blue Devils will be critical for both squads.
Next: Saturday vs. Duke
5. Pittsburgh Panthers 4-2 (1-1)
You could argue that Pitt should be higher on this list based on resume alone, but again, it’s still hard to tell where any of these teams belong after Clemson. After having this past week off, the Panthers will travel to Syracuse for a Friday night showdown.
Next: Friday at Syracuse
6. Duke Blue Devils 4-2 (2-1)
Not many conclusions could be drawn about the Blue Devils after they handled a putrid Georgia Tech team on Saturday. We’ll know more about this team when they go on the road to take on Virginia in a matchup has serious implications in regards to the Coastal division race.
Next: Saturday at Virginia
7. Miami Hurricanes 3-3 (1-2)
Miami received a big confidence boost when it took down a top-20 Virginia team. Originally perceived as one of the favorites in the Coastal, the Hurricanes have not looked the part for the majority of the year, but maybe this win could be a turning point. They’ll look to keep the momentum rolling against the Yellow Jackets.
Next: Saturday vs. Georgia Tech
8. Louisville Cardinals 4-2 (2-1)
Similar to Miami, Louisville picked up a huge win over a top-20 team this past weekend. After handing the Demon Deacons their first loss of the season, can the Cardinals do the same to Clemson on Saturday?
Next: Saturday vs. Clemson
9. Florida State Seminoles 3-3 (2-2)
Both of Florida State’s ACC defeats have happened on the road against quality opponents. However, it’s impossible to ignore their loss to Boise State and close call with Louisiana-Monroe. The Seminoles have a chance to prove they’re legit when they take on Wake Forest this weekend.
Next: Saturday at Wake Forest
10. NC State Wolfpack 4-2 (1-1)
Even though NC State won on Saturday, its ranking suffered because of upsets that occurred elsewhere in the conference. The 4-2 record looks nice, but the Wolfpack haven’t proved much to this point. The latter half of the season should tell us a lot more about this team.
Next: Saturday at Boston College
11. Virginia Tech Hokies 4-2 (1-2)
The Hokies are in a similar situation as NC State. You’d think a 4-2 team would be closer to the top, but they haven’t done anything to warrant a higher ranking. A road win over Miami is a nice resume boost but that gets overshadowed by a 35-point blowout loss to Duke. VT has a big opportunity ahead of them this Saturday when the Tar Heels come to town.
Next: Saturday vs. North Carolina
12. Syracuse Orange 3-3 (0-2)
Before the season, many thought Syracuse would be the second best team in the conference behind Clemson. That has not the been the case. Things didn’t get any better this past weekend as the Orange fell to NC State, 16-10. They’ll try for their first ACC win on Friday night against Pitt.
Next: Friday vs. Pittsburgh
13. Boston College Eagles 3-3 (1-2)
BC’s failure to close out games has it sitting just one spot from the bottom, but it’s worth noting that the team’s two conference losses have come by a combined five points. Even in their 24-point loss to Kansas, the Eagles were competitive for the majority of the game. After a week off to regroup, they’ll try to turn their luck around against the Wolfpack.
Next: Saturday vs. NC State
14. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 1-5 (0-3)
The Yellow Jackets are the clear-cut worst team in the conference right now. Their 41-23 loss to Duke on Saturday appears closer than it actually was, as they were essentially buried before halftime.
Next: Saturday at Miami