Each week, the TNIAAM football staff ranks all 14 ACC teams in a completely subjective manner, just like everyone else on the internet. Feel like we're completely off base? Chime in with your own ACC power rankings below.
This thing's in flames. So if there's anything that could help you feel better about the current state of SU football, just take a glance below and you'll find a bevy of other teams that are potentially worse off than the Orange, but with more talent. It's frightening. If you're at all curious about who's a #disloyalidiot? Here's the voting breakdown.
1. Florida State Seminoles (6-0) (4-0) (LW: 1)
Last Week: W, 38-20 over Syracuse; Next Week: vs. Notre Dame
Highest Position: 1; Lowest Position: 1
There's a lot going on at Florida State right now. I mean, A LOT. So while the initial reaction following FSU's victory over Syracuse is to just say "on to the next" and set sights to College Gameday's visit to Tallahassee on Saturday, it's just not that simple. There are real questions about whether or not Jameis Winston will still be the Seminoles' quarterback by the end of the season, so despite being unbeaten, there's more doubt about them than any other playoff contender at the moment.
2. Clemson Tigers (4-2) (3-1) (LW: 2)
Last Week: W, 23-17 over Louisville; Next Week: at Boston College
Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 2
Clemson picked up a big win in terms of the Coastal race, beating out fellow second-place contender, Louisville, in a close battle on Saturday. And while that W looks nice on paper, it doesn't come without a price either. Quarterback Deshaun Watson, who'd engineered the team's recent offensive resurgence, is now out five weeks with a hand injury. That's not a death knell for this Tigers team, but certainly doesn't help matters, either. They'll plug in Cole Stoudt once again and hope he's better than he was the first time around.
T-3. Virginia Cavaliers (4-2) (2-0) (LW: 4)
Last Week: Bye; Next Week: at Duke
Highest Position: 3; Lowest Position: 6
UVa is officially the only Coastal team unbeaten in conference play. We're only about two weeks or so into intra-conference contests starting in earnest, yet no one should really be all that surprised to see the division in turmoil. Granted, the Hoos ARE a very sound defensive team but also have two losses (both to quality teams, though). Their biggest test of the season looms down in Durham, where they could gain a real stranglehold on first place in the division with a victory over Duke on Saturday.
T-3. Louisville Cardinals (5-2) (3-2) (LW: 5)
Last Week: L, 23-17 to Clemson; Next Week: vs. NC State
Highest Position: 3; Lowest Position: 5
Louisville lost to Clemson, but really don't get penalized for that fact, which is fine. The team's defense still held its own against the Tigers' high-powered attack and overall, they performed commendably in a tough road environment down in Death Valley. The Cardinals are still just one win away from bowl eligibility in their first ACC season, though with at least a couple tough games remaining (FSU, Notre Dame), they're better off picking up that sixth victory sooner rather than later.
5. Duke Blue Devils (5-1) (1-1) (LW: 7)
Last Week: W, 31-25 over Georgia Tech; Next Week: vs. Virginia
Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 5
Anyone who left the defending Coastal champs for dead after just one loss has not been paying attention. Because what Duke did to Georgia Tech on Saturday -- forced turnovers and hung with the Wreck on offense (and then some) -- is exactly why they're still on the short list of teams that could head to Charlotte this December. Anthony Boone still needs to start delivering better results, of course, but as long as he has support from elsewhere (242 team rushing yards and three forced turnovers this week), they stand a great chance to win about every game left on the slate.
6. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-1) (2-1) (LW: 3)
Last Week: L, 31-25 to Duke; Next Week: at North Carolina
Highest Position: 5; Lowest Position: 7
You knew the underwhelming undefeated season couldn't last. And finally, against Duke, it came to an end. That removes the division "favorite" label for right now, sure, but one more loss by Duke and a win over UVa and the crown could still belong to the Yellow Jackets. They just need to cut back on those turnovers. Because if this team can throw for 200 yards AND run for nearly 300 (without losing the football), they stand a chance against just about anyone.
7. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-2) (1-1) (LW: 6)
Last Week: Bye; Next Week: at Pittsburgh
Highest Position: 6; Lowest Position: 8
You've probably forgotten about Virginia Tech at this point -- what with the bye last week and the underwhelming performances since upsetting Ohio State in September. But as much as you'd like to push the Hokies aside, this is yet another Coastal team that can go on a run through that odd division and end up winning the whole thing. Now can and will are two different things, obviously, so we'll see how this all shakes out. Despite plenty of questions on offense, the ceiling is still 10-2 on this season in Blacksburg for the time being.
T-8. Boston College Eagles (4-2) (1-1) (LW: 9)
Last Week: W, 30-14 over NC State; Next Week: vs. Clemson
Highest Position: 7; Lowest Position: 9
If you wanted a team in the Atlantic's bottom-four to separate from the rest, it seems Boston College has done so, thoroughly thumping NC State on Saturday and getting itself the first of three must-win toss-up games for bowl eligibility. While QB Tyler Murphy's effectiveness through the air continues to fade, his abilities on the ground remain a lethal weapon against shoddy front-sevens. Murphy carved up State for 132 yards and two scores a couple days ago, giving him 711 rushing yards and eight rushing TDs on the season.
T-8. Miami Hurricanes (4-3) (1-2) (LW: 8)
Last Week: W, 55-34 over Cincinnati; Next Week: Bye
Highest Position: 8; Lowest Position: 9
So THIS is what Miami's offense looks like when it's truly firing on all cylinders. Cincinnati was overwhelmed from the start against the Hurricanes, and the U was relentless throughout -- beating the Bearcats in every facet of the game. Granted, Miami also managed to surrender 34 points too. But that's to be expected when you can force a one-dimensional, pass-dependent game like this one upon your opponent. The 'Canes can be successful with Brad Kaaya under center. Just not consistent, yet.
10. Pittsburgh Panthers (3-3) (1-1) (LW: 11)
Last Week: Bye; Next Week: vs. Virginia Tech
Highest Position: 10; Lowest Position: 11
Pitt's season probably comes down to Thursday night against the Hokies -- the type of contest the Panthers are either bound to win or lose, depending on your perspective. But either way, it's an elimination game for Pitt, both in terms of Coastal chances and bowl eligibility. When you look at the remaining schedule (and recent Pitt struggles), it's possible there are no wins remaining. Or if they win here, there could be several. Thursday night will tell us an awful lot about what the rest of the year will yield.
11. NC State Wolfpack (4-3) (0-3) (LW: 10)
Last Week: L, 30-14 to Boston College; Next Week: at Louisville
Highest Position: 10; Lowest Position: 13
Hey, remember that time people started buying into State after a 4-0 start against deplorable competition? Well, that ship's sailed and they're back to teeth gnashing in Raleigh as the team is now 4-3 overall, and (yup) 0-11 in the ACC under Dave Doeren. They've been competitive in very few conference games in the new regime so far, and Saturday's loss to Boston College was no different. Since the start of 2013, State's been within single digits of an ACC opponent just once: a 27-19 loss to North Carolina.
12. North Carolina Tar Heels (2-4) (0-2) (LW: 12)
Last Week: L, 50-43 to Notre Dame; Next Week: vs. Georgia Tech
Highest Position: 10; Lowest Position: 12
Give credit to North Carolina for catching Notre Dame napping and testing the Irish for a full 60 minutes. They also may have exposed the Irish defense, which to that point, had looked fairly unflappable and now has a ton of questions. I mean, 43 points? To a UNC team that hasn't looked like they can get it together all season? The Tar Heels may have given themselves a shot of life as well, perfect timing with their season on the line against Georgia Tech. Lose that one, and Larry Fedora could be firmly on the hot seat for Carolina.
13. Syracuse Orange (2-4) (0-2) (LW: 13)
Last Week: L, 38-20 to Florida State; Next Week: at Wake Forest
Highest Position: 11; Lowest Position: 13
In a role reversal, Syracuse's offense seemed to surprise and delight for portions of Saturday's loss to Florida State, while the defense (the secondary, in particular) appeared lost more often than not. It was still a defeat, of course, but you have to like what the young pieces of the Orange attack showed off against the 'Noles -- especially freshmen A.J. Long and Steve Ishmael, who have firmly established themselves as the future of the program. They're not "back on track" by any means, but SU fans probably feel a little bit better heading into this Wake matchup than they previously did.
14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-4) (0-2) (LW: 14)
Last Week: Bye; Next Week: vs. Syracuse
Highest Position: 14; Lowest Position: 14
Wake needed the bye week to regroup, and now they face what should be an interesting test in a retooled Orange offensive attack. The Demon Deacons' defensive backs should be able to match up well with SU's receivers, but what can they do to stop the rushing attack? And offensively, how can QB John Wolford beat Syracuse's aggressive pass-rush? It won't be an easy week for Wake Forest, but this could still end up being a close game if team strengths cancel one another out (highly possible).