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ACC Power Rankings - Week Five

Louisville and Clemson are set up for a Top 2 showdown Saturday in Death Valley.

Florida State v Louisville Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

Let me make one things clear about how I do my power rankings: I base my rankings on how teams have performed and who they have beaten. Just because one team is undefeated or has beaten another team in the conference doesn’t mean that they should be placed above a team with a worse record or that team they beat. Strength of schedule and the quality of your wins and opponent are what I care about. Without further ado, here are my Week 5 ACC Power Rankings:

  1. Louisville (4-0, 2-0 ACC)—The Cardinals have been by far the most impressive team up to this point in the ACC calendar. Led by Lamar Jackson, who the national has already run out of words to described, Louisville leads the country in total offense at 682 yards per game, while also boasting the nation’s top scoring offense at 63.5 points per game. What puts Bobby Petrino’s team above the rest, is their 63-20 win over Florida State two weeks ago. That victory over the Seminoles is the most impressive victory of the season and will be tough to beat. Next: at Clemson
  2. Clemson (4-0, 1-0 ACC)—Dabo Swinney and his Tigers have been scrutinized for the first third of the season for their lack of offensive firepower. That narrative can shift towards the positive after Clemson’s 26-7 win at Georgia Tech—a place the Tigers had struggled at recently—where quarterback Deshaun Watson and the offense moved the ball with relative ease, even if the scoreboard didn’t reflect that. Clemson will have a chance to get themselves back into the good graces of the national pundits when Louisville visits ‘Death Valley’ Saturday night. Next: vs. Louisville
  3. Florida State (3-1, 1-0 ACC)—The Seminoles bounced back from their forgetful trip to the Bluegrass State with a 55-35 win at South Florida. Dalvin Cook finally showed his preseason All-America form, rushing for 267 yards and two touchdowns. The ‘Noles defense hasn’t lived up to expectations, particularly given the injuries to Derwin James and Josh Sweat. They’ll need to tighten up this weekend when high-powered North Carolina visits Tallahassee. Next: vs. UNC
  4. Virginia Tech (3-1, 1-0 ACC)—The Hokies finally put a stop to East Carolina’s six-game winning streak against ACC teams by way of a 54-17 drubbing at Lane Stadium. Quarterback Jerod Evans appears to be getting more and more comfortable in Justin Fuente’s offense, throwing for 282 yards, rushing for another 97, and scoring four touchdowns on the afternoon. The Hokies head into the bye week prior to traveling to Chapel Hill for their first Coastal Division matchup of the season. Next: Bye
  5. Miami (3-0, 1-0 ACC)—The Hurricanes enjoyed their bye week following their 45-10 shellacking of Appalachian State in the biggest game to ever be played in Western North Carolina. Miami hasn’t played against an overall impressive schedule, but the way they beat a Mountaineer team with a long-standing culture of winning is enough to propel the Canes over other foes. Next: at Georgia Tech
  6. North Carolina (3-1, 1-0 ACC)—The Tar Heels won in dramatic fashion Saturday afternoon, converting three fourth downs on their final drive to cap off a a 13-point fourth quarter comeback. Mitch Trubisky has settled in nicely at quarterback, earning Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors following his 453-yard, five-touchdown passing performance. Carolina travels to Tallahassee this weekend, once again looking for that program-defining win under Larry Fedora. Next: at Florida State
  7. Pittsburgh (2-2, 0-1 ACC)—The Panthers have yet to play a poor game, but find themselves at .500. Saturday’s loss in Chapel Hill is one that will probably sting for the moment after dominating possession of the ball (41:09 to 18:51) and leading by double digits in the fourth quarter. Despite the record, Pat Narduzzi has things headed in the right direction at Pitt and they will be an opponent no one wants to face the final two-thirds of the season. Next: vs. Marshall
  8. Wake Forest (4-0, 1-0 ACC)—Dave Clawson has Wake Forest undefeated! The Demon Deacons haven’t played the most vaunted of foes thus far, but they are 2-0 in true road games. The last time Wake started a season 4-0, they went on to win the ACC championship back in 2006. That may not be in reach for Clawson’s squad, but they are on track to reach the program’s first bowl since 2011. Next: at NC State
  9. Duke (2-2, 0-1 ACC)—This was expected to be a rebuilding year in Durham, and it may very well still be, but what Duke did on the road in South Bend sits only behind Louisville’s route of FSU as most impressive win in the ACC. Redshirt freshman quarterback Daniel Jones has come along in place of the injured Thomas Sirk. Credit to Dave Cutcliffe and his staff for continuing to win at a program few have had success at. Next: vs. Virginia
  10. Georgia Tech (3-1, 1-1 ACC)—The Yellow Jackets offense was as bad as it gets last Thursday night versus Clemson. I won’t penalized Paul Johnson’s team for their loss because they have already exceeded my expectations with wins over Boston College and Vanderbilt.
  11. UNC State (2-1, 0-0 ACC)—Dave Doeren still has as many ACC wins as East Carolina has in the same period with two different coaches. Also, the Wolfpack still haven’t played anyone in the non-conference since he arrived. Thankfully, the Pack tussled with Open Date last weekend, offering an undefeated football weekend on Tobacco Road. Next: vs. Wake Forest
  12. Syracuse (2-2, 0-1 ACC)—Give Dino Babers some time and he’ll have Syracuse in bowl position year after year. ‘Cuse has a solid young quarterback in Eric Dungey, who has made a fine connection with receiver Amba Etta-Tawo (12/270/2 TD at UCONN). Next: vs. Notre Dame
  13. Virginia (1-3, 0-0 ACC)—The Wahoos ran away in the fourth quarter from an undefeated Central Michigan team behind three Kurt Benkert touchdowns. Next: at Duke
  14. Boston College (2-2, 0-2 ACC)—Until Boston College wins a conference game they will be ranked last. Next: vs. Buffalo