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ACC POWER RANKINGS: WEEK TWO

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We’ll be providing our readers with game recaps and predictions of what lies ahead for each member of the conference. We’ll also be listing any pertinent information for each team including injury news, roster updates, and the like.

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Opening week for the Atlantic Coast Conference had its share of underperformance, but this past weekend was one all fans of the conference could appreciate. The ACC finished with an 11-0 record versus non-conference opponents and had a signature victory over Ohio State courtesy of Virginia Tech. An undefeated weekend, due in most part to a FCS laden schedule, is welcomed with the Big Ten's latest non-conference shortcomings. While victories such as North Carolina's (31-27) escape against the Aztecs were nothing to write home about, the ACC's ability to avoid upsets is a step in the right direction after questionable beginnings.

Finding beauty in the Atlantic Coast Conference

How often does everything go right? Not often enough in the Atlantic Coast Conference. After spending the summer riding a high from the BCS National Championship and Orange Bowl trophies, a buzz-killing opening week tempered expectations. However, the ACC did not continue to falter. Shedding its loss to Louisiana-Monroe, Wake Forest went on to best Gardner-Webb. Don't scoff. This involves us all. Like the Demon Deacons, North Carolina, despite giving San Diego State every possible chance to score, fought off the Aztecs to avoid an upset. These are small victories. Small victories that pave the way for a better reputation. They don't affect the conference's perception as a Virginia Tech win over Ohio State does, but these games help paint the picture. More often than not, highlighting a conferences' poor play against non-conference ends with the ACC's logo flashing on your screen. This past weekend the Big Ten claimed that title, and it's still early, but the change feels good.

ACC's 2013 non-conference record: vs. AAC (3-1), vs. Big Ten (2-2), vs. Big 12 (1-0), vs. Pac-12 (0-4), vs. SEC (4-7). ACC vs. non-conference overall (includes FCS): 46-20.

There have been a few changes to the power rankings. When we began this series we encouraged fans to provide us with their own outlooks on our selections. The response on State of the U and its social media platforms has been inspiring. Moving forward we'll be paying close attention to your thoughts and forming a better ranking based upon those views. In doing so, this allowed for teams such as Virginia to get the recognition they deserved, among other much needed alterations. We hope you continue to give feedback and enjoy these rankings, you've earned it.

Atlantic Division

1st - Florida State Seminoles 2-0 ACC: 0-0

AP/Coaches ranking: 1st/1st
Previous week: vs. The Citadel Bulldogs (0-2)
Result: WIN 37-12
Next opponent: BYE

2nd - Clemson Tigers 1-1 ACC: 0-0

AP/Coaches ranking: 23rd/24th
Previous week: vs. South Carolina State Bulldogs (1-1)
Result: WIN 73-7
Next opponent: BYE

t2nd - Louisville Cardinals 2-0 ACC: 1-0

AP/Coaches ranking: 21st/NR
Previous week: vs. Murray State Racers (1-1)
Result: WIN 66-21
Next opponent: 9/13 12:30 PM @ Virginia (1-1)

4th - Boston College Eagles 1-1 ACC: 0-1

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR
Previous week: vs. Pittsburgh (2-0)
Result: LOSS 30-20
Next opponent: 9/13 8:00 PM vs. #9 USC Trojans (2-0)

5th - Syracuse Orange 1-0 ACC: 0-0

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR
Previous week: BYE
Result: N/A
Next opponent: 9/13 12:00 PM @ Central Michigan Chippewas (2-0)

Despite coming off a bye week, Syracuse may have their hands full at Kelly Stadium. The Chippewas return home after a dominant performance over Purdue (38-17 - recap here.)

6th - N.C. State Wolfpack 2-0 ACC: 0-0

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR
Previous week: vs. Old Dominion Monarchs (1-1)
Result: WIN 46-34
Next opponent: 9/13 3:30 PM @ South Florida Bulls (1-1)

7th - Wake Forest Demon Deacons 1-1 ACC: 0-0

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR
Previous week: vs. Gardner Webb Bulldogs (0-2)
Result: WIN 23-7
Next opponent: 9/13 7:00 PM @ Utah State Aggies (1-1)

Coastal Division

1st - Virginia Tech Hokies 2-0 ACC: 0-0

AP/Coaches ranking: 17th/19th
Previous week: @ Ohio State Buckeyes (1-1)
Result: WIN 35-21
Next opponent: 9/13 12:00 PM vs. East Carolina Pirates (1-1)

2nd - Duke Blue Devils 2-0 ACC: 0-0

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR
Previous week: @ Troy Trojans (0-2)
Result: WIN 34-17
Next opponent: 9/13 3:30 PM vs. Kansas Jayhawks (1-0)

3rd - Pittsburgh Panthers 2-0 ACC: 1-0

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR
Previous week: @ Boston College (1-1)
Result: WIN 30-20
Next opponent: 9/13 12:00 PM @ FIU Panthers (1-1)

4th - Virginia Cavaliers 1-1 ACC: 0-0

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR
Previous week: vs. Richmond Spiders (1-1)
Result: WIN 45-13
Next opponent: 9/13 12:30 PM vs. #21 Louisville Cardinals (2-0)

5th - Miami Hurricanes 1-1 ACC: 0-1

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR
Previous week: vs. Florida A&M Rattlers (0-2)
Result: WIN 41-7
Next opponent: 9/13 7:00 PM vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves (1-1)

6th - North Carolina Tar Heels 2-0 ACC: 0-0

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/24th
Previous week: vs. San Diego State Aztecs (1-1)
Result: WIN 31-27
Next Opponent: BYE

7th - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2-0 ACC: 0-0

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR
Previous week: @ Tulane Green Wave (0-2)
Result: WIN 38-21
Next opponent: 9/13 12:00 PM vs. Georgia Southern Eagles (1-1)

ACC's Top Three-ish

Florida State Seminoles: The Seminoles continued to work out their kinks with a 37-12 win over Citadel. Overall the game had a similar feel to Miami's not-so-thrilling performance against FAMU (although with a lot less feelings of impending doom, I assure you.) Clemson and Florida State both have an extra week to prepare for their matchup in Tallahassee on 9/20 at 8:00 PM.


Virginia Tech Hokies: We're proud of you, Hokies. Watch Buckeyes lose here. Or here. Or here (hey, I remember this one!) The ACC is three-for-four in their most recent matchups with Ohio State (2010-14), including a three year win streak.


Clemson Tigers & Louisville Cardinals: Clemson/Louisville showcased their offensive weaponry en route to a blowout against [insert team here]. [Reluctant Bobby Petrino compliment here] and [inflated view of Clemson here].

That being said, Louisville's next opponent is an ACC adversary that looks to be on the rise: the Virginia Cavaliers. Many of the questions surrounding this game stem from Virginia. The Cavaliers' defense fought valiantly in their season opener with #12 UCLA, but concern shifts to how worthy the Bruins were of their preseason favoritism. Has Virginia improved on defense? Has the defense made enough progress to support its subpar offense? If the answer is yes, not only does Virginia have a chance of besting Louisville, but a fair shot at winning the Coastal Division.

Vegas and I are in agreement Louisville will fend off the resurgent Cavaliers, but what say you? Place your Louisville-Virginia predictions below in the poll.

Conference Notes:

ACC vs. AAC (1-0)
ACC vs. Big Ten (1-0)
ACC vs. Big 12 (1-0)
ACC vs. PAC-12 (0-1)
ACC vs. SEC (0-1)

#GOACC