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ACC Power Rankings: Week Two

The conference is rolling right now.

Appalachian State v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The ACC has started to shift the national narrative about itself. Last week, it was FSU and UNC carrying the banner over the SEC, and this week Miami was able to bring it against another SEC brand. There are still plenty of holes, but a conference is judged by its top teams and so far, the ACC has shown they have some teams to worry about.

Let’s get into specifics for Week Two:

1. Florida State (2-0)

Last Week: Beat Southern Miss 66-13

No letdown on a short week for the Noles, who controlled the game from start to finish. The impressive part is to come back on a short week and not skip a beat. At the start, they are backing up preseason predictions that they are the team to beat in the conference.

Next Week: Saturday at Boston College

2. Miami (2-0)

Last Week: Beat Texas A&M 48-33

Miami is finally starting to carry the banner for the conference, going in and holding down home field to defeat former foe Jimbo Fisher. Tyler Van Dyke was dealing, and now fans of The U are thinking they may, finally, be back.

Next Week: Saturday versus Bethune-Cookman

3. North Carolina (2-0)

Last Week: Beat Appalachian State 40-34 (2OT)

I honestly debated if I should drop the Heels more here, but to go in and beat a charged up in-state opponent and exorcise your overtime demons means a lot. I’d also argue that the closeness was more about Carolina’s mistakes than them being evenly matched with App State, though App does deserve a ton of credit for cashing in on those mistakes. In the end, it’s a win in an emotional game after winning another emotional game to start the season. Now you try to go 3-0.

Next Week: Saturday versus Minnesota

4. Duke (2-0)

Last Week: Beat Louisiana-Lafayette 42-7

A slow start for the Blue Devils—it was 7-7 after the first—was expected after their emotional win on a short week. Duke eventually broke open the gates to follow up their huge win.

Next Week: Saturday versus Northwestern

5. Wake Forest (2-0)

Last Week: Beat Vanderbilt 36-20

This is a sneaky good win for the Deacs since it was one of the games plagued by weather delays. Yes, it’s a bottom feeder in the SEC but it’s another ACC win over the SEC, and the Deacs keep rolling along even without Hartman.

Next Week: Saturday at Old Dominion

6. Louisville (2-0)

Last Week: Beat Murray State 56-0

Louisville was the biggest question mark going into the season, and so far they are showing they’ll be a problem. Anytime you can follow up a road game—yeah, it was technically neutral in Atlanta but it’s a home game for Georgia Tech—with a blowout like this five days later at home, you’re making a statement. Suddenly, when you look at their schedule, a nine- or ten-win season doesn’t seem that outlandish.

Next Week: Saturday at Indiana

7. Syracuse (2-0)

Last Week: Beat Western Michigan 48-7

We’ve hit the part of the season where if you’re 2-0 you get a leg up over those that are 1-1, and beating a mid-level FBS team in dominating fashion with 28 points in the second quarter has to make you and your fans feel good about where you are. Don’t look past the Orange when they come to Chapel Hill on October 7th. In the meantime, the Orange get a chance to put up or shut up on national TV this weekend.

Next Week: Saturday at Purdue

8. NC State (1-1)

Last Week: Lost to Notre Dame 45-24

The weather really affected the Wolfpack, and it’s tough to fault them too much for facing off against a top 10 team, having their momentum blunted by a long weather delay, and then having to deal with Sam Hartman exorcising his ghosts against you. They’re going to get a chance to build back some momentum in the next couple weeks.

Next Week: Saturday versus VMI

9. Georgia Tech (1-1)

Last Week: Beat South Carolina State 48-13

Georgia Tech had a good showing in their loss to Louisville and then backed it up with an easy win over an overmatched SC State. We’re at the point where we have to take vibes into account and right now, the vibes in Atlanta are better than the next team on this list. That said, their next game may have them crashing back to Earth.

Next Week: Saturday at Ole Miss

10. Pitt (1-1)

Last Week: Lost to Cincinnati 27-21

The game wasn't as close as the score, as the Bearcats had a 27-7 lead on Pitt going into the fourth quarter. It’s one of the few non-conference blemishes that the ACC has suffered by one of the better teams, and the schedule doesn’t get any easier with a trip to West Virginia before hosting Carolina. You know they’ll be ready on September 23rd, as those games are always tough, but Carolina may be catching Pitt at a good time for once.

Next Week: Saturday at West Virginia

11. Virginia Tech (1-1)

Last Week: Lost to Purdue 24-17

There was a lot of thought that the Hokies would be seriously rebuilding this year, and it may all still come crashing down. After an impressive win over an ODU team that does have a recent win against them, though, they held their own against a B1G team to where it was tied in the fourth. We’ll see if they can keep it going.

Next Week: Saturday at Rutgers

12. Clemson (1-1)

Last Week: Beat Charleston Southern 66-17

Look, the final score here belies just how rough things were for the Tigers at the start. After their season opening loss to Duke, the Tigers were tied with Charleston Southern 14-14 after one, and only up 24-17 at the half. It took two halves for Clemson to really wake up and throw the hammer down, and it’s fair to say that Clemson fans are not feeling good right now.

Next Week: Saturday versus Florida Atlantic

13. Boston College (1-1)

Last Week: Beat Holy Cross 31-28

That game was too tough for the Eagles. It’s looking like a long season in Chestnut Hill—again—and the pain looks likely to continue this weekend.

Next Week: Saturday versus Florida State

14. Virginia (0-2)

Last Week: Lost to James Madison 36-35

Just a tough Saturday for the Cavs, who had to contend with the emotion of their first home game since last year’s tragic events, and then gave up 12 points to the Dukes in the fourth quarter to lose the game. This was arguably their best chance to get a win this season.

Next Week: Friday At Maryland