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ACC Football Power Rankings: Conference Championship Week

Set on a season-long collision course, Miami and Clemson will finally clash this weekend, while the rest of the conference keeps busy as well.

Clemson v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Previous Weeks: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 (No Ranking - Hurricane Irma), Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12, Week 13

It may be true that only Miami and Clemson are playing for the ACC Championship this week, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the conference doesn’t have fun and exciting activites planned this Saturday.

ACC Power Rankings

1. Clemson Tigers (11-1, 7-1 ACC) (Last Week: 2)

Last week: at South Carolina Gamecocks (8-4) - W 34-10

Next week: vs. #7 Miami Hurricanes (10-1)

Clemson raced out to a 34-0 lead over rival South Carolina and never looked back, coasting through the fourth quarter with backup QB’s in their dominating win on the road over the Gamecocks. With the victory, plus Alabama and Miami losses, the Tigers will likely move up to #1 in the College Football Playoff Rankings ahead of their match-up with the Canes in the ACC Championship this weekend.

2. Miami Hurricanes (10-1, 7-1 ACC) (Last Week: 1)

Last week: at Pittsburgh Panthers (5-7) - L 14-24

Next week: vs. #1 Clemson Tigers (11-1)

Everything was setting up nicely for Miami to go into the ACC Championship with an unblemished record and only lowly Pitt in their way. Then Friday happened: it was nothing short of a disaster for the Canes. UM was out-played on both sides of the ball, especially on offense where a rattled and unfocused Malik Rosier missed throw after throw and was benched late in the fourth quarter. Plain and simple, it was a choke-job. Safe to say Miami needs to regroup quickly, because if they play like that against Clemson, the game will be over before halftime.

3. Virginia Tech Hokies (9-3, 5-3 ACC) (Last Week: 3)

Last week: at Virginia Cavaliers (6-6) - W 10-0

Next week: Sitting on the couch

In what may have been the most boring game on Black Friday, the Hokies topped in-state rival Virginia for the crown of the Old Dominion State by a score of 10-0. Seriously. One touchdown was scored in this snoozefest that featured 14 combined punts. The Hokies have to hope there will be some better action on TV next weekend, otherwise they might fall asleep on the couch before the night games.

Virginia Tech v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

4. N.C. State Wolfpack (8-4, 6-2 ACC) (Last Week: 5)

Last Week: vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (3-9) - W 33-21

Next Week: Playing at the park with Dave Doeren’s kids

Nyheim Hines ran for nearly 200 yards and the Wolfpack put up 496 total yards on the Tar Heels, but this was a six point game midway through the fourth quarter. Jaylen Samuels iced the game with a 10 yard touchdown run with under 2 minutes remaining to bring the Tobacco Road title home to Raleigh. Ryan Finley has been working on Dave Doeren’s 6 year old son’s release point, believes he has a future with the Wolfpack.

5. Boston College Eagles (7-5, 4-4 ACC) (Last Week: 6)

Last week: at Syracuse Orange (4-7) - W 42-14

Next week: Home Depot. Buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that.

With the win over Cuse, Boston College ends the season on quite a run, winning 5 of their last 6 games. Even better news? They scored 35 or more points in each of those wins. For a program long-searching for some offense, that’s a very welcome development, and Steve Addazio will hope to build on that momentum going into the off-season with a trip to Home Depot.

6. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-5, 4-4 ACC) (Last Week: 4)

Last week: vs. Duke Blue Devils (6-6) - L 23-31

Next week: Meeting up with BC at Bed, Bath, and Beyond if they have enough time

Yes, they may have lost to Duke in an upset, but John Wolford had a great season and finished as the most efficient passer in the ACC. In another upset, it’s revealed that Dave Clawson and Steve Addazio are best friends and Clawson is planning to meet up with Addazio at Bed, Bath, and Beyond after he leaves Home Depot if Clawson has enough free time on Saturday.

7. Louisville Cardinals (8-4, 4-4 ACC) (Last Week: 7)

Last week: at Kentucky Wildcats (7-5) - W 44-17

Next week: The backroads of Kentucky to finish that in-game brawl with UK, “Warriors”-style

Lamar Jackson crushed the cross-town rival Wildcats with 216 yards passing, 156 yards rushing, and 2 TD’s. He also started an in-game brawl, shoving a UK defender after a questionable hit out of bounds. The refs broke it up, but the two squads rescheduled the fight for midnight this Saturday. Imagine Jackson clanking together two bottles with his fingers and saying, “Willlldddcatsssss, come out to plaaaaaaaayyyy.”

Louisville v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

8. Florida State Seminoles (5-6, 3-5 ACC) (Last Week: 10)

Last week: at Florida Gators (4-7) - W 38-22

This week: vs. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (4-7)

Under .500 Florida State beat under .500 Florida in the “Who Gives a Shit... No, Really?” Bowl (sponsored by Charmin Ultra) one day after a game between UCF and USF was far more exciting and relevant to college football... just sad. Most Seminoles fans probably just want this season to end and to put it all behind them; instead they have to watch a cancelled game the program rescheduled against the mighty ULM Warhawks while Miami plays in the ACC Championship later in the day. With a win, the Noles will make a likely appearance in the NyQuil Bowl. Off the field, Jimbo Fisher continues to let the Texas A&M rumors fly in his yearly extortion attempt of the FSU braintrust. Or maybe this time he’ll actually leave. Either way, couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people.

9. Virginia Cavaliers (6-6, 3-5 ACC) (Last Week: 8)

Last week: vs. #24 Virginia Tech Hokies (9-3) - L 0-10

Next week: Board game night at Bronco Mendenhall’s house

Virginia’s running backs and offensive line must have forgot the game was on Friday instead of Saturday because they didn’t show up whatsoever against the Hokies. Seriously, 5 yards rushing in a rivalry game? Almost as embarrassing as rescheduling a game against UL-Monroe on Championship weekend. Almost. Rumor has it Kurt Benkert is a Chutes and Ladders fan, but Quin Blanding has the entire defense sold on Monopoly. It could get testy at Mendenhall’s house this weekend, but he was the former coach of BYU, so I imagine he’s handled plenty of catfights at many a weekend game night.

10. Duke Blue Devils (6-6, 3-5 ACC) (Last Week: 11)

Last week: at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-5) - W 31-23

Next week: Knitting class

Daniel Jones torched Wake’s secondary for 346 yards and the Blue Devils broke out of a six game slump to win their last two and become bowl eligible. No lie, knitting is something I can see David Cutcliffe doing any day of the week, not just ACC Championship Saturday.

North Carolina v Duke
Duke head coach David Cutcliffe
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

11. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-6, 4-4 ACC) (Last Week: 9)

Last week: vs. #7 Georgia Bulldogs (11-1) - L 7-38

Next week: Yard sale featuring their defensive coaches

The Yellow Jackets blew their chances for a bowl game against Duke last week, then completely laid down against the Bulldogs this week. But keep telling me how the triple-option can consistently compete against teams with above-average defensive speed. It’s actually Defensive Coordinator Ted Roof that is on the hot-seat in Atlanta, but I wouldn’t worry too much if I were him, though: plenty of Group of Five teams have RSVP’d on Facebook for GT’s yard sale on Saturday.

12. Pittsburgh Panthers (5-7, 3-5 ACC) (Last Week: 13)

Last week: vs. #2 Miami Hurricanes (10-1)- W 24-14

Next week: Disney World

You have to give the Panthers all the credit in the world: they came out ready to play against a lazy Hurricanes team hoping to sleep-walk their way to the ACC Championship and Pitt just wanted it more. This was Pat Narduzzi’s team’s championship and they didn’t disappoint, while freshman QB Kenny Pickett looks like he could be a tough customer for the next few years. The Panthers may not be going to the actual postseason, but after the big win over Miami, Narduzzi told reporters “We’re going to Disney World!”

13. Syracuse Orange (4-8, 2-6 ACC) (Last Week: 12)

Last week: vs. Boston College Eagles (7-5) - L 14-42

Next week: Bar crawl in New York City. Whole team’s gonna be there, bro.

With their loss to Louisville, Syracuse ended the year on a 5 game losing streak. Here’s a stat for Dino Babers: the Orange allowed 64 points to Wake Forest, 56 to Louisville and 42 to Boston College to close out the season. It’s been said ad-nauseam because nothing is more true: Cuse has to improve on defense to compete next season. Just got a group text from Eric Dungey: “Bar crawl is gonna be lit, fam!”

14. North Carolina Tar Heels (3-9, 1-7 ACC) (Last Week: 14)

Last week: at North Carolina State Wolfpack (8-4) - L 21-33

Next week: Flying drones at the same park N.C. State is at to spy on that darn Dave Doeren

You can’t stop Nathan Elliott, you can only hope to contain him. The stud QB is 2-1 in his three starts this year, with at least 235 yards passing or more in each game and a 9-2 TD-INT Ratio. Elliott has finally brought some stability to the QB room in Chapel Hill and is also an expert drone pilot (probably) for those interested.