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ACC Football Power Rankings: Bowl Season

It’s Bowl Season!

ACC Football Championship - Clemson v Miami Photo by Streeter Lecka/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, Conference Championship Week

Clemson waxed Miami in the ACC Championship, setting themselves up to defend their national title. Elsewhere, 10 ACC schools are going bowling, and it seems as if the entire conference is keeping their head coaches in place going into next year.

ACC Power Rankings

1. Clemson Tigers (12-1, 8-1 ACC) (Last Week: 1)

Last week: vs. #7 Miami Hurricanes (10-2) - W 38-3

Bowl Game: vs. #4 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1)

Clemson left no doubt about who the best team in the ACC was, demolishing Miami and sliding into the College Football Playoffs. The third straight playoff game between the Tigers and Crimson Tide should be another classic.

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

Last week: vs. #1 Clemson Tigers (12-1) - L 3-38

Bowl Game: vs. #6 Wisconsin Badgers (12-1)

It’s hard to say after such a devastating loss, but Miami exceeded expectations this year and Mark Richt has this program right on track. A home game for the Orange Bowl versus Wisconsin should be just what the doctor ordered.

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

Last week: Bye

Bowl Game: vs. #19 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3)

Bud Foster’s defense, with a month to prepare, going up against the spread-em out shoot-em up offense of Mike Gundy? This may be the best non-New Years Six Bowl out there.

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

Last Week: Bye

Bowl Game: vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (7-5)

N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren stayed in Raleigh after flirting with Tennessee, while ASU coach Todd Graham is also sticking around to coach this game despite being fired and replaced by Herm Edwards, who will take over the team after the bowl. Herm. Edwards. Man, that’s got to sting for Graham, but hey, it can’t be all bad knowing you escaped an incompetently run organization. What I really want to see is if Bradley Chubb spits on any logos in this game, causing Edwards to go on a rant about it post-game.

North Carolina v North Carolina State Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

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

Last week: Bye

Bowl Game: vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5)

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl is a fitting place to end up for these Eagles, as their offense seems to have finally entered the modern era. Over/under 200 yards for AJ Dillon?

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

Last week: Bye

Bowl Game: vs. Texas A&M Aggies (7-5)

Texas A&M may have made the hire of all hires stealing away Jimbo Fisher from FSU, but he won’t take over the team until after the bowl. I think John Wolford and Wake will come out with something to prove to end their surprise season on a high note.

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

Last week: Bye

Bowl Game: vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-4)

Another ACC team going up against an SEC team without a coach: Mississippi State lost their coach to Florida and their QB to injury and now have to face-off against Lamar Jackson in the TaxSlayer Bowl. If it’s truly Jackson’s last game in college, well, thanks for the memories (and the highlights), #8.

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

Last week: vs. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (4-7) - W 42-10

Bowl Game: vs. Southern Miss Golden Eagles (8-4)

Huge win for this team in beating the Warhawks on Saturday, showing the nation the Seminoles aren’t just any ordinary stepping stone program and getting to a bowl game without the departed Jimbo Fisher. Derwin James couldn’t get out of Tallahassee soon enough, though, and will miss the Independence Bowl to prep for the NFL Draft. FSU’s motivation level of playing in Shreveport is sure to be an advantage for Southern Miss.

NCAA Football: UL Monroe at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

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

Last week: Bye

Bowl Game: vs. Navy Midshipmen (6-5)

Both Navy and UVA have lost 5 of their past 6 games coming into this game. Sick. This game should be “Exhibit A” of why there’s too many bowl games. Stop rewarding mediocrity.

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

Last week: Bye

Bowl Game: vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (8-4)

Duke finished the season nicely, winning their last 2 games after previously losing 4 straight. Duke has enough speed on defense to give NIU’s offense fits, and T.J. Rahming and Brittain Brown will test the formidable NIU defense.

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

Last week: Bye

Bowl Game: None

The Yellow Jackets didn’t make a bowl game this season, so, in lieu of that, who’s up for Step Durham vs. Lance Austin Round 3?!?! I think this would break some Pay-Per-View records, folks.

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

Last week: Bye

Bowl Game: None

The Hurricanes gave Pat Narduzzi an early Christmas present when they stunk it up in the final regular season game against Pitt, leading the school to sign Narduzzi to a 7 year contract that I’m sure will definitely hold up if he goes under .500 again next year. Seriously, how can I become an AD?

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

Last week: Bye

Bowl Game: None

It didn’t quite happen on the field for the Orange this year in terms of wins and losses, but hey, my guys Ervin Philips and Steve Ishmael became the two all-time leading receivers in ‘Cuse football history. That’s gotta count for something, right?

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

Last week: Bye

Bowl Game: None

Is Nathan Elliott the future at QB for the Tar Heels? Larry Fedora better hope he is, otherwise he’s going to find himself on a toasty bench come next fall.