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November 7, 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 Florida State (8-0, 6-0)


Last week: Beat Miami, 41-14
This week: Travel to Wake Forest - Noon, ABC
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: The Seminoles have now scored 92 points against top-10 opponents this season and their average margin of victory in such games is an astounding 32 points, the second-highest in league history. FSU's margin of victory over nationally ranked teams is 42 points, the highest in league history, and they are a legit national title contender.

2. No. 8 Clemson (8-1, 6-1 ACC)


Last week: Won at Virginia, 59-10
This week: Off
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: Clemson beat up Virginia on the road last weekend and the national polls have finally fallen into line with our poll, where Clemson has always ranked above Miami. The Tigers finished 4-0 in ACC road games for the first time since 1995 and they are off to their third straight 8-1 start, but the way they lost to Florida State at home is hard to forget.

3. No. 14 Miami (7-1, 3-1)


Last week: Lost to Florida State, 41-14
This week: Host Virginia Tech - 7 p.m., ESPN
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: Miami may have lost to FSU, but they're not budging from the No. 3 spot. There is a clear order to the top three squads in the league and there is a significant drop-off after those three. The Canes will suffer from the loss of star running back Duke Johnson, who was the ACC's No. 2 rusher this year.

4. Georgia Tech (6-3, 5-2)


Last week: Beat Pittsburgh, 21-10
This week: Off
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: It also looks like Tech is solidifying its spot at No. 4. Paul Johnson's Yellow Jackets have won at least five ACC contests in three straight campaigns and five of the last six.

5. Duke (6-2, 2-2)


Last week: Off
This week: Host NC State - 4 p.m., ESPNU
Change in power ranking: Down 1 spot
Skinny: Duke was in a tie for fourth place last week, but fell a spot after not playing on Saturday. Still, they have won at least six games in back-to-back years for the first time since 1988-89, and they should be bowling in consecutive years for the first time in school history.

6. Virginia Tech (6-3, 3-2)


Last week: Lost at Boston College, 34-27
This week: Travel to No. 14 Miami - 7 p.m., ESPN
Change in power ranking: Up 1 spot
Skinny: This is how screwy ACC power rankings are — the Hokies lost to Boston College last week and moved up a spot, while Maryland — who was on a bye — fell a spot. Things don't get any easier for the Hokies with a road date at Miami coming up.

7. Maryland (5-3, 1-3)


Last week: Off
This week: Host Syracuse - 3:30 p.m., RSN
Change in power ranking: Down 1 spot
Skinny: Maryland is another team that continues to yo-yo, which isn't surprising given how many injuries they have dealt with as they have lost two in a row and three of their last four. The lone win in that stretch was a one-point victory over Virginia.

8. Boston College (3-4, 1-3)


Last week: Beat Virginia Tech, 34-27
This week: Travel to New Mexico State - 3:30 p.m., ESPN3
Change in power ranking: Up 2 spots
Skinny: BC continues to be one of the teams with the largest spread among our voters, which explains their yo-yoing up and down the power rankings. The Eagles were ranked as high as No. 6 and as low as No. 10 in the league by our voters.

T9. Pittsburgh (4-4, 2-3)


Last week: Lost at Georgia Tech, 21-10
This week: Host No. 24 Notre Dame - 8 p.m., ABC
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: Pitt has also lost two in a row and three of their last four. Granted, two of the losses were to Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, but the other was to Navy. Can the Panthers find two more wins on their schedule? They have No. 23 Notre Dame, North Carolina, Syracuse and No. 11 Miami left, but only Syracuse comes away from home.

T9. North Carolina (3-5, 2-3)


Last week: Won at NC State, 27-19
This week: Host Virginia - 12:30 p.m., ACC Network
Change in power ranking: Up 2 spots
Skinny: The Tar Heels have won two in a row, and a bowl game is actually not out of reach. The remaining games are Virginia, at Pittsburgh, Old Dominion and Duke; it's not too difficult to see Carolina finding a way to take three of those.

11. Syracuse (4-4, 2-2)


Last week: Beat Wake Forest, 13-0
This week: Travel to Maryland - 3:30 p.m., RSN
Change in power ranking: Up 1 spot
Skinny: the Orange's win over Wake Forest made the Demon Deacons drop like a rock. They've won four of their last six, but must find some consistency.

12. Wake Forest (4-5, 2-4)


Last week: Lost at Syracuse, 13-0
This week: Host No. 3 Florida State - Noon, ABC
Change in power ranking: Down 4 spots
Skinny: The Demon Deacons fell four spots because of their loss, but also because they lost star receiver Michael Campanaro for the year. The undersized receiver is their offense and could make finding even one more win on the slate extremely difficult.

13. NC State (3-5, 0-5)


Last week: Lost to North Carolina , 27-19
This week: Travel to Duke - 4 p.m., ESPNU
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: The top five and bottom three spots in our poll were all unanimous. The middle is a mess, but NC State is not moving until they find an ACC victory.

14. Virginia (2-7, 0-5)


Last week: Lost to Clemson, 59-10
This week: Travel to North Carolina - 12:30 p.m., ACC Network
Change in power ranking: None
Skinny: The same can be said for Virginia. They've got just two wins and will need their first conference victory to justify a move.

Results by division


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

Coastal Division
1. Miami
2. Georgia Tech
3. Duke
4. Virginia Tech
T5. Pittsburgh
T5. North Carolina
7. Virginia



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