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October 17, 2013

The Wolfpacker's ACC Power Rankings



The staff of The Wolfpacker will meet once a week for the rest of the college football season to list the ACC squads from best to worst, in our collective opinion.

The results are below:

1. No. 3 Clemson (6-0, 4-0 ACC)


Last week: Beat Boston College, 24-14
This week: Host No. 5 Florida State - Saturday, 8 p.m., ABC
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: Clemson has spent the whole season here, but never been a unanimous No. 1 according to our voters. Next week should give us our first unanimous No. 1 team after Clemson and Florida State square off in one of the biggest ACC games in a long time. Too bad they're in the same division because this game could draw more national interest than the ACC Championship game.

2. No. 5 Florida State (5-0, 3-0)


Last week: Off
This week: Travel to No. 3 Clemson - Saturday, 8 p.m., ABC
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: The Seminoles did have a bye week to prepare for Clemson in a top-five match-up, but FSU does have to go on the road for this one. If FSU is able to get the win on the road, there is no debating that they are for real.

3. No. 10 Miami (5-0, 1-0)


Last week: Off
This week: Travel to North Carolina - Thursday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: Miami holds strong at No. 3 in our power rankings and they have ascended to No. 10 nationally in the AP rankings. The Hurricanes have outscored opponents, 226-80, which includes a 21-16 win over then-No. 12 Florida.

4. No. 19 Virginia Tech (6-1, 3-0)


Last week: Beat Pittsburgh, 19-9
This week: Host Duke - Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: The Hokies have experienced some close calls recently and have won their last five games by an average of eight points. The slate hasn't exactly been against a murderer's row of opponents — at East Carolina, home against Marshall (three overtimes), at Georgia Tech and home against North Carolina and Pittsburgh — but they keep on winning. Their only loss is to No. 1 Alabama in the season opener.

5. Maryland (5-1, 1-1)


Last week: Beat Virginia, 27-26
This week: Travel to Wake Forest - Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: The Terrapins were without starting quarterback C.J. Brown, but eked out a one-point win at home over Virginia. It wasn't particularly impressive, but they're still a unanimous No. 5 according to our three voters. Actually, the third through fifth spots in our poll were all unanimous selections.

T6. Pittsburgh (3-2, 2-2)


Last week: Lost to No. 24 Virginia Tech, 19-9
This week: Host Old Dominion - Saturday, 7 p.m., ESPN3
Change in power ranking: Up 1 spot
Skinny: Pittsburgh's defense has allowed just 22 points in the two games since it allowed 55 in the win over Duke. The middle part of the rankings has been fluid, and Pittsburgh is tied with Boston College right now. They won't get much of a chance to impress this week in what should be a gimmie-win over ODU.

T6. Boston College (3-3, 1-2)


Last week: Lost at Clemson, 24-14
This week: Off
Change in power ranking: Up 2 spots
Skinny: Boston College continues its weekly climb up the power rankings, two spots at a time for the third consecutive week. They rise again after playing surprisingly competitive at Clemson and will have two weeks to prepare for a road date at North Carolina. BC will need that win or they'll be sent back down the power rankings.

T8. Syracuse (3-3, 1-1)


Last week: Won at NC State, 24-10
This week: Travel to Georgia Tech - Saturday, 12:30 p.m., ESPN3
Change in power ranking: Up 3 spots
Skinny: The Orange claimed their first ACC victory on Saturday over NC State, but they'll have to go on the road again this weekend against Georgia Tech, which should provide some separation between the two schools tied for eighth in our rankings.

T8. Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-2)


Last week: Lost at BYU, 38-20
This week: Host Syracuse - Saturday, 12:30 p.m., ESPN3
Change in power ranking: Down 2 spots
Skinny: Losing to a BYU squad that lost to Virginia at the beginning of the year did the Yellow Jackets no favors in our voters' eyes, even if the game was on the road. Tech is moving in the wrong direction after losing three straight, but the next three games (Syracuse, at Virginia, Pittsburgh) will provide some relief.

10. Duke (4-2, 0-2)


Last week: Beat Navy, 35-7
This week: Travel to Virginia - Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN3
Change in power ranking: Up 1 spot
Skinny: The Blue Devils benefited from the return of starting quarterback Anthony Boone, who tossed for 295 yards and three touchdowns, although he was put into the starting lineup only after his replacement, Brandon Connette, was hurt before the game. Duke's defense was surprisingly good on Saturday when they limited Navy to 230 rushing yards. From here until the end, the results were unanimous from our panel.

11. Wake Forest (3-3, 1-2)


Last week: Off
This week: Host Maryland - Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
Change in power ranking: Down 1 spot
Skinny: The Demon Deacons are still riding the strength of their win over NC State, but have to back it up with some more wins.

12. NC State (3-3, 0-3)


Last week: Lost to Syracuse, 24-10
This week: Off
Change in power ranking: Down 4 spots
Skinny: NC State has fallen six spots over the past two weeks with conference losses at Wake Forest and then at home against Syracuse. They've got a bye week to regroup, but traveling to Florida State on Oct. 26 is far from desirable.

13. North Carolina (1-4, 0-2)


Last week: Off
This week: Host No. 10 Miami - Thursday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: The Tar Heels have one win, but are still ranked ahead of Virginia by all three of our pollsters. They'll attempt to regroup following the bye with two home games, starting with Thursday night against Miami.

14. Virginia (2-4, 0-2)


Last week: Lost to Maryland, 27-26
This week: Host Duke - Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN3
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: After a one-point loss to Maryland, Virginia can't move out of the cellar, probably because it was a Terrapins' squad led by the backup quarterback. The Cavaliers are going to have to put up some victories to move from No. 14 and Duke may be the best chance remaining on their schedule.

Results by division


Atlantic Division
1. Clemson
2. Florida State
3. Maryland
4. Boston College
5. Syracuse
6. Wake Forest
7. NC State

Coastal Division
1. Miami
2. Virginia Tech
3. Pittsburgh
4. Georgia Tech
5. Duke
6. North Carolina
7. Virginia


N.C. State NEWS

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