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ACC Power Rankings: There’s movement in the Coastal Division

During the college football season, State of the U will be your destination for all things #GoACC. We'll bring you the latest news, watch info, and power rankings, all the tools necessary to keep tabs on our conference foes.

Virginia Tech v North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 08: Seth Dooley #43 of the Virginia Tech Hokies takes a trophy handful of grass from Kenan Stadium on October 8, 2016 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Teams are plunging further into conference play and as contenders fall, dark horses will rise. This past weekend’s action has generated plenty of movement within the Coastal Division and our rankings. Before we make the jump to the rankings, let’s take a look at one of those key battles from the Coastal Division.

After three-straight weeks of strong performances, Virginia Tech has taken an early lead in the Coastal Division. Virginia Tech (4-1, 2-0 ACC) has rallied since its loss to Tennessee at the Battle at Bristol. The Hokies shutout Boston College, 49-0, and ran roughshod over East Carolina, 54-17, and North Carolina, 34-3. Virginia Tech’s bout with the Tar Heels was in tropical storm conditions. The outer bands of Hurricane Mathew drenched Chapel Hill, the Hokies, those in attendance, and had its most devastating effect on the Tar Heels’ offense.

North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky had been on a tear in recent weeks and appeared unstoppable before meeting the Hokies defense. Trubisky racked up over 400 yards in each of his last three games. However, on Saturday, Virginia Tech held Trubisky to just 13 of 33 passing for 58 yards and two interceptions.

For the Hokies, a strong rushing attack, spearheaded by quarterback Jerod Evans and running back Travon McMillian, coupled with four UNC turnovers and favorable field position, led to a victory on Saturday. In a bout that saw both quarterbacks finish with under 100 passing yards, Virginia Tech’s ability to run, and North Carolina’s inability, was the difference maker. Virginia Tech finished with 189 rushing yards to North Carolina’s 73 rushing yards.

The conditions on Saturday, where Atlantic rains beat on the helmets, pads and soaked the field, weren’t favorable for North Carolina’s offense. The Tar Heels rely on its passing attack, spreading the ball among its receivers, most notably Ryan Switzer, and its success weighs solely on Mitch Trubisky. As the rain poured, North Carolina tried repeatedly to get its passing offense working, but the weather, and the Hokies defense, did not permit. For North Carolina to compete in any weather, against any opposition, more balance is needed from its offense. Running back Elijah Hood missed the game with an undisclosed injury. In his absence, the Tar Heels managed just 73 yards on 29 carries.

Now, let’s see how the Virginia Tech-North Carolina result impacted the Power Rankings.

ACC Power Rankings

1. Clemson Tigers (6-0, 3-0 ACC)

Previous week: at Boston College Eagles (3-3, 0-3 ACC); Result: WIN 56-10

Next opponent: vs. N.C. State Wolfpack (4-1, 1-0 ACC)

2. Louisville Cardinals (4-1, 2-1 ACC)

Previous week: BYE; Result: N/A

Next opponent: vs. Duke Blue Devils (3-3, 0-2 ACC)

3. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-1, 2-0 ACC)

Previous week: at North Carolina Tar Heels (4-2, 2-1 ACC); Result: WIN 34-3

Next opponent: at Syracuse Orange (2-4, 0-2 ACC)

4. Florida State Seminoles (4-2, 1-2 ACC)

Previous week: at Miami Hurricanes (4-1, 1-1 ACC); Result: WIN 20-19

Next opponent: vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-1, 2-1 ACC)

5. Miami Hurricanes (4-1, 1-1 ACC)

Previous week: vs. Florida State Seminoles (4-2, 1-2 ACC); Result: LOSS 20-19

Next opponent: vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (4-2, 2-1 ACC)

6. North Carolina Tar Heels (4-2, 2-1 ACC)

Previous week: vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-1, 2-0 ACC); Result: LOSS 34-3

Next opponent: at Miami Hurricanes (4-1, 1-1 ACC)

7. Pittsburgh Panthers (4-2, 1-1 ACC)

Previous week: vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-3, 1-3 ACC); Result: WIN 37-34

Next opponent: at Virginia Cavaliers (2-3, 1-0 ACC)

8. N.C. State Wolfpack (4-1, 1-0 ACC)

Previous week: vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-4); Result: WIN 10-3

Next opponent: vs. Clemson Tigers (6-0, 3-0 ACC)

9. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-1, 2-1 ACC)

Previous week: vs. Syracuse Orange (2-4, 0-2 ACC); Result: WIN 28-9

Next opponent: at Florida State Seminoles (4-2, 1-2 ACC)

10. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-3, 1-3 ACC)

Previous week: at Pittsburgh Panthers (4-2, 1-1 ACC); Result: LOSS 37-34

Next opponent: vs. Georgia Southern Eagles (3-2)

11. Syracuse Orange (2-4, 0-2 ACC)

Previous week: at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-1, 2-1 ACC); Result: LOSS 28-9

Next opponent: vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-1, 2-0 ACC)

12. Virginia Cavaliers (2-3, 1-0 ACC)

Previous week: BYE; Result: N/A

Next opponent: vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (4-2. 1-1 ACC)

13. Duke Blue Devils (3-3, 0-2 ACC)

Previous week: vs. Army Black Knights (3-2); Result: WIN 13-6

Next opponent: at Louisville Cardinals (4-1, 2-1 ACC)

14. Boston College Eagles (3-3, 0-3 ACC)

Previous week: vs. Clemson Tigers (6-0, 3-0 ACC); Result: LOSS 56-10

Next opponent: BYE

If you have any thoughts or comments on these rankings, teams, or want to list your own rankings, please do so below in the comments section.