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 (4-0) (2-0) (LW: 1)
Last Week: W, 56-41 over NC State; Next Week: vs. Wake Forest
Highest Position: 1; Lowest Position: 1
What is it about visiting Raleigh that Florida State just seems to struggle with? With Jameis Winston back in the lineup, the 'Noles came out very lethargic against NC State before mounting a comeback to win comfortably. But issues are becoming more and more apparent for this Florida State team, which has more questions on the defensive side of the ball than any of us could have imagined. The Wolfpack are improved, sure, but allowing 41 points to them (or anyone) just didn't seem possible for FSU up until now. Luckily, Wake Forest should cure them of that next week.
2. Clemson Tigers (2-2) (1-1) (LW: 3)
Last Week: W, 50-35 over North Carolina; Next Week: vs. North Carolina State
Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 3
It seemed like it last week, but it was confirmed Saturday: Deshaun Watson is this team's starting quarterback for good, and Chad Morris's offense is infinitely more effective with him under center. The Tigers came out firing the other day, collecting 435 yards through the air and six passing scores as well. It was the type of display that reminded you of the team's immense success in the Tajh Boyd era, and could be a prelude to a turnaround for the rest of this season now that Watson is entrenched as the starter.
3. Louisville Cardinals (4-1) (2-1) (LW: 4)
Last Week: W, 20-10 over Wake Forest; Next Week: at Syracuse
Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position:7
Louisville overcame the fact that Will Gardner was out at quarterback, looking good enough to win against Wake Forest. Though the offense is still looking very shaky lately (understandable this past week, for sure), it was a great sign for the Cards' defense that they were able to force three turnovers to help seal up the victory over the Deacs. Status remains unclear on Gardner for next week, though obviously Syracuse fans would/should hope that he doesn't suit up if they want a better shot at upsetting Louisville on Friday night.
4. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-0) (1-0) (LW: 6)
Last Week: Bye; Next Week: vs. Miami (FL)
Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 8
As the rest of the ACC fell into chaos (again) over the weekend, Georgia Tech benefits from a bye week to recuperate and assess their new reality as ACC Coastal favorites. With a 1-0 record, they do seem to have a nice angle on the title, though obviously we're still seven league games away from truly figuring it out. But their "favorite" status will be put to the test this weekend now, as Miami -- who's suddenly figured its offense out a bit -- comes to town. Tech's been able to win close games thus far, but they may need a bit more than that luck to knock off the 'Canes.
5. Virginia Cavaliers (3-2) (0-0) (LW: 7)
Last Week: W, 45-13 over Kent State; Next Week: vs. Pittsburgh
Highest Position: 3; Lowest Position: 7
In some alternate reality, Virginia's 5-0 with two wins over then-top 20 squads, and are the darlings of an early playoff conversation. But even the current state of things, which does fall short of that, really isn't that bad. They've already surpassed the low goal of two wins set by Dan and me, and after a surprisingly electric performance by backup QB Matt Johns vs. Kent State (292 total yards, three TDs), the Hoos may now have TWO more capable passers than we thought they did in preseason. The next test, Pitt, is a real chance to assert themselves in the Coastal race.
6. Miami Hurricanes (3-2) (1-1) (LW: 11)
Last Week: W, 22-10 over Duke; Next Week: at Georgia Tech
Highest Position: 5; Lowest Position: 9
Miami's biggest questions through the first few games were regarding the defense's ability to stop anyone and QB Brad Kaaya's ability to grow into the starting job. Consider both answered, at least for now. Kaaya put in another strong effort last week, with an efficient 223 yards and two scores against Duke. Plus the defense -- which had been lit up 'till this point -- held a potent Blue Devils offense to just 264 yards, while also collecting two picks. If this is the team that's going to show up every Saturday, Miami could still find its way to those lofty expectations yet.
7. Duke Blue Devils (4-1) (0-1) (LW: 2)
Last Week: L, 22-10 to Miami; Next Week: Bye
Highest Position: 5; Lowest Position: 8
This bye week might have been timed just right for Duke, which suddenly needs a week off to try and rebound from an unimpressive showing against Miami. The guiding force for the Blue Devils had been the running game up until Saturday, and you saw what happens when that gets derailed -- just 10 points for the team while being largely stifled on the ground for just 85 yards. Duke's still a factor in the wide-open divisional race, but the one-loss start has them playing catch-up now.
8. NC State Wolfpack (4-1) (0-1) (LW: 10)
Last Week: L, 56-41 to Florida State; Next Week: at Clemson
Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 10
What the hell was that? NC State very much looked the part of giant killer on Saturday -- especially on offense -- piling up 520 yards against the "vaunted" Florida State defense. QB Jacoby Brissett was a man possessed with nearly 400 total yards, plus three TDs, and this team appears to have the Doeren system completely in place now. Of course, what hurts them is a very tough early conference schedule, so we'll see what happens next vs. Clemson. They may not be a "contender" just yet, but knocking on the door in year two is already better than expected for the new regime.
9. Virginia Tech Hokies (3-2) (0-1) (LW: 9)
Last Week: W, 35-17 over Western Michigan: at North Carolina
Highest Position: 5; Lowest Position:9
One team's divisional hopes hang in the balance in Chapel Hill this Saturday, as the loser between the Hokies and Heels falls to 0-2 in the ACC. At least on the Hokies side, a win would help with a lot of negative feelings going on within that program right now, as yet another player (this time, RB Shai McKenzie) was lost for the season to injury. Tech's had some hard luck this season, though it's (again) the offense that has really stood in its way from being great. They'll have to learn to put up points going into the UNC game if they want to win there.
10. Boston College Eagles (3-2) (0-1) (LW: 5)
Last Week: L, 24-21 to Colorado State; Next Week: Bye
Highest Position: 9; Lowest Position: 11
Following a very underwhelming loss against Colorado State, that USC upset almost seems like a distant memory for this Eagles team now. Defenses are starting to key in to Tyler Murphy's running, and without a capable passing game to help out when he's thwarted, the offense gets stuck in a malaise. Add in a miserable effort by the BC defense in terms of stopping Colorado State's attack (430 total yards for the Rams), and that's how you lose at home to a Mountain West team. The bye week's very welcome here.
11. Pittsburgh Panthers (3-2) (1-0) (LW: 8)
Last Week: L, 21-10 to Akron; Next Week: Bye
Highest Position: 10; Lowest Position: 13
Oh, Pitt, you guys have one of these TOO now? We're twins! For those who missed it, the mighty Akron Zips marched right into Pittsburgh and Bowden'd the hell out of them. With James Conner only operating at marginal effectiveness (keep an eye on those high rushing attempt numbers!), the Panthers offense was up the river without a paddle and it showed. Akron's win never seemed in doubt and all of those dreams of any real success this year for Pitt have already come crashing to the ground.
12. Syracuse Orange (2-2) (0-0) (LW: 13)
Last Week: L, 31-15 to Notre Dame; Next Week: vs. Louisville
Highest Position: 10; Lowest Position: 13
Another game, another instance of Syracuse completely beating themselves out of a very attainable win. On the one hand, you can look at Syracuse as a team that could be 4-0 if it could just get out if its own way. On the other, a team that could be 1-3 if not for some luck. So yeah, this season's on the brink of being an unmitigated disaster due to unforced errors and some VERY inept play-calling, plus a tough schedule. That's depressing. Next team...
12. North Carolina Tar Heels (2-1) (0-0) (LW: 9)
Last Week: L, 50-35 to Clemson; Next Week: vs. North Carolina
Highest Position: 12; Lowest Position: 13
In the last two weeks, North Carolina has allowed a combined total of 121 points. I don't care who you're playing against... that's embarrassing. UNC's only saving grace, though? They can score points as well, with 76 of their own in the same stretch. So while it's easy to start counting them out in the Coastal, is there a team that can really out-score them, or stop them? This division is a tirefire, and the Tar Heels could be the hottest part of the inferno.
14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-3) (0-1) (LW: 14)
Last Week: L, 20-10 to Louisville; Next Week: at Florida State
Highest Position: 14; Lowest Position: 14
Wake's defense continues to put in some solid performances, but the offense... three turnovers were just too much to overcome against an under-manned Louisville team on Saturday. QB John Wolford can get there, but he still needs time. Next week probably won't do him much good either, going up against a Florida State defense that's hoping to rebound from a bad performance. #PrayForWake