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Projecting ACC Football Standings With Advanced Stats: Week 7

What does this conference look like, according to advanced projections?

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

As is the norm this season, Hoya Suxa outlined the (increasingly difficult) road to six wins for the Syracuse Orange yesterday. Today, we once again look at how projections see the ACC standings playing out (and of course, where Syracuse falls within those).

First, here's how the ACC looks right now, according to S&P+ rankings:

Team S&P+
Clemson 1
Florida State 4
Duke 14
Louisville 18
Pittsburgh 38
Georgia Tech 43
Virginia Tech 45
Miami (FL) 47
Boston College 50
NC State 51
Virginia 68
Syracuse 72
North Carolina 74
Wake Forest 79

Compared to last week, the bottom has moved up a bit, but Syracuse has also fallen to meet it. After reaching a nice showing of 49 when we checked in last Tuesday, the Orange fell all the way to 72 after losing big to USF. Moral of the story? Don't lose to teams that are probably worse than you are.

The top of the league also showed improvement week over week, which is not only how SU drops in these projections, but how SU's projected wins also fall with just about every team on the schedule.

Again, this isn't the ONLY model out there, and things change constantly. But if current ratings and projections hold, the ACC standings could look something like this at the end of week 13:

Atlantic Overall Conf.
Clemson 11.02-0.98 7.1-0.9
Florida State 9.68-2.32 6.32-1.68
Louisville 6.93-5.07 5.11-2.89
NC State 6.9-5.1 2.9-5.1
Boston College 5.36-6.64 2.36-5.64
Syracuse 5.29-6.71 2.29-5.71
Wake Forest 4.15-7.85 2.15-5.85
Coastal Overall Conf.
Duke 9.58-2.42 5.68-2.42
Pittsburgh 7.18-4.82 4.79-3.21
North Carolina 6.81-5.19 3.81-4.19
Miami 6.37-5.63 3.37-4.63
Virginia Tech 5.2-6.8 3.2-4.8
Georgia Tech 5.37-6.63 2.79-5.21
Virginia 3.61-8.39 2.61-5.39

Losing a game they were supposed to win drops the Orange almost an entire game down in projected finish -- going from six wins and change to barely above five. And that potential 4-4 record in-conference we discussed last week? Now it's a number barely over two wins in the league. Boston College is in the same boat after their own, unwatchable 3-0 loss to Wake Forest.

***

So no, this isn't as cheery of a post as we saw last week, but how could it be? That Syracuse team was a middle-tier ACC squad that had the potential to beat most of the teams on its remaining schedule. This one? cratered out, apparently, and scraping by to the point where they're unlikely to win enough games to get to a bowl game. This is the nature of college football, of course. Everything changes week to week, and the ripple effects of one loss are stark during a 12-game schedule. As fans, we try to gain perspective, but... that's not always an easy task.

Luckily, we basically wipe the slate clean next week. If Syracuse wins, these numbers go up and we go back to being happy and optimistic. If not... well, we're not talking about it.