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.
Welp, no bowl game for Syracuse. You probably expected it, but it doesn't make it hurt less, y'know? Other teams are in similar spots, though, so if you want to change your mindset when reading through these rankings, perhaps you focus on that? Otherwise, not sure what else to say. This sucks, though the conference at least has a few quality teams (hooray for them). And if you're at all curious about who's a #disloyalidiot? Here's the voting breakdown.
1. Florida State Seminoles (11-0) (8-0) (LW: 1)
Last Week: W, 20-17 over Boston College; Next Week: vs. Florida
Highest Position: 1; Lowest Position: 1
They can't do this forever, right? RIGHT?! Despite the unlikelihood of this high-wire act continuing for the full length of the schedule, Florida State remains undefeated, doing just enough to win each and every game coming up on a second straight regular season. The 'Noles are banged up, and yet continue to do what's asked of them: win. Why penalize them for that, especially when the whole point of the Selection Committee was to avoid doing so?
T-2. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-2) (6-2) (LW: 2)
Last Week: Bye; Next Week: at Georgia
Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 5
Georgia Tech did not play this weekend, yet won on Thursday when Duke fell to North Carolina. The loss by the Blue Devils officially gave the Wreck the Coastal title and a real shot to potentially win the ACC in Charlotte vs. Florida State. Now, winning that game may not land them in the playoffs -- though it would certainly help to have consecutive wins over Georgia AND FSU, respectively. But league titles are league titles. Tech could be a top-12 or so team next week with a win this weekend.
T-2. Louisville Cardinals (8-3) (5-3) (LW: 3)
Last Week: W, 31-28 over Notre Dame; Next Week: vs. Kentucky
Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 3
Louisville is scary. Let's just get that out of the way. At 8-3, they could very conceivably be 11-0, and nearly every contributor on this team is young. While Florida State is at the top of the heap at the moment, we may be talking about the Cardinals next year with the same unabated dread once the schedule's released. Count on them to get win no. 9 this weekend and put themselves in line for a potential Orange Bowl/Gator Bowl bid.
4. Clemson Tigers (8-3) (6-2) (LW: 4)
Last Week: W, 28-0 over Georgia State; Next Week: vs. South Carolina
Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 4
If ever Clemson was going to beat the Gamecocks (recent vintage), this could be it. But given the Tigers' offensive struggles, it's impossible to know what we'll get in this rivalry game. Clemson looked to sleepwalk through last week's win over lowly Georgia State, and at this point, there's not telling what you'll get (or won't get) from this meager attack. Couple that with the Dabo Swinney-to-Florida rumor mill, aaaaand they should be on high alert...
5. Duke Blue Devils (8-3) (4-3) (LW: 5)
Last Week: L, 45-20 to North Carolina; Next Week: vs. Wake Forest
Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 6
Oof. For weeks, Duke seemed to do just enough to find wins. And then the last two games happened and a magical run to a second straight Coastal title is now a bid to the Belk Bowl (mark it down). That's nothing to be ashamed of for Duke -- lest we forget where they were just a few years ago. But now things seem unfinished for them. Should also note that I'd love a season like Duke's for Syracuse... just saying.
6. Boston College Eagles (6-5) (3-4) (LW: 7)
Last Week: L, 20-17 to Florida State; Next Week: vs. Syracuse
Highest Position: 5; Lowest Position: 7
I'm going to let Spencer Hall describe BC for you, as he did in this week's Threat Watch:
7. Miami Hurricanes (6-5) (3-4) (LW: 6)
Last Week: L, 30-13 to Virginia; Next Week: vs. Pittsburgh
Highest Position: 6; Lowest Position: 9
What's the deal, Miami? Every time people are ready to believe in you again, you do something like lose by 17 to Virginia. So maybe they're not "back." They're already bowl eligible, obviously, but they need to beat Pitt to avoid getting sent to some remote location to beat up on a C-USA team. No clue if they can get that done, now. Probably depends which 'Canes squad shows up.
8. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-5) (4-3) (LW: 8)
Last Week: W, 45-20 over Duke; Next Week: vs. NC State
Highest Position: 7; Lowest Position: 9
How? Another terrible start and yet this team is probably going 7-5 in the regular season AND finishing ahead of Duke in the Coastal. So, how does this happen? From what I can tell, Larry Feodra's UNC teams have appeared to come out flat for each season, and then find their way by year's end. So while he's done a great job coaching turnarounds out of an obviously talented group, they might need to do a better job prepping in the offseason.
9. Virginia Cavaliers (5-6) (2-4) (LW: 10)
Last Week: W, 30-13 over Miami; Next Week: at Virginia Tech
Highest Position: 8; Lowest Position: 10
One of the Virginia teams is making a bowl game. Just not both of them. And surprisingly, that team could end up being the Hoos -- who could potentially save Mike London's job with a victory. UVa hasn't beaten Tech in 11 years, but if ever there was a time for them to do it, this would be it. But given the typical #goacc-ness of it all, watch Tech wins by 20 in a game that's never close.
10. NC State Wolfpack (6-5) (2-5) (LW: T-11)
Last Week: Bye; Next Week: at North Carolina
Highest Position: 8; Lowest Position: 12
State's still bad, so they may finish the season plummeting back toward the bottom of these rankings after a loss to North Carlina. But for now, they're bowling and have a shot at a third straight ACC win and and an outright fifth-place finish in the Atlantic. Do you believe in Dave Doeren yet? Does anyone? Tough to figure out how to feel about this team, as we've said all year.
T-11. Pittsburgh Panthers (5-6) (3-4) (LW: T-11)
Last Week: W, 30-7 over Syracuse; Next Week: at Miami
Highest Position: 10; Lowest Position: 12
The Panthers made quick work of Syracuse on Saturday -- exploiting a mistake-ridden Orange team for 30 points and overall, embarrassing SU in front of Heinz Field's meager crowd. Pitt ran all over Syracuse's defense and even without James Conner for the second half, still racked up over 260 yards on the ground. Miami is also looking shaky now... so maybe Pitt CAN get themselves to the postseason?
12. Virginia Tech Hokies (5-6) (2-5) (LW: 9)
Last Week: L, 6-3 to Wake Forest (2OT); Next Week: vs. Virginia
Highest Position: 11; Lowest Position: 12
Worst. Game. Ever. If you tuned into this on Saturday, my condolences. Worst of all, the contest didn't really do anything but a) Move Frank Beamer close to being fired, b) Put Wake Forest in a tie for sixth place in the Atlantic with Syracuse, and c) Remove Syracuse from contention of being involved in the worst game of the year. You should feel at least a little disappointed about all of these things, in one way or another.
13. Syracuse Orange (3-8) (1-6) (LW: 13)
Last Week: L, 30-7 to Pittsburgh; Next Week: at Boston College
Highest Position: 13; Lowest Position: 13
I have to re-watch this game tonight. It's going to be bad. Like, hilariously, miserably bad. Does Syracuse have an offensive strategy? Are there adjustments made from week-to-week, or from drive-to-drive? I'm just not sure anymore. All I know is that Saturday looked like some sort of putrid display of just going through the motions to lose a game. I don't like it as a fan, and neither should you.
14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-8) (1-6) (LW: 14)
Last Week: W, 6-3 over Virginia Tech (2OT); Next Week: at Duke
Highest Position: 14; Lowest Position: 14
Can the good vibes continue for Wake in the final game of the season? If so, they'll pull themselves out of the ACC cellar and end a very trying season on a surprising high note. You can see the growth this Deacons defense has undergone throughout the year, and that's a great sign -- though with several veteran pieces on the way out the door, can it continue next year? More to come.