We’re getting into the meat of the college football season. It’s week six and everything is officially in full-swing.
And while only eight of the conferences teams are in action, they all play one another and each game is against a division opponent. These are the weeks that begin to set the stage for the race to Charlotte — especially for the Coastal teams.
Let’s get down to it.
1. Clemson Tigers (—)
The Tigers got their first scare of the season in Chapel Hill this past weekend and it truly felt like they could have lost that game. They were out-rushed by the Heels and lost the turnover battle. They stopped a two-point conversion that would have likely ended the game and they snuck out of there with the win. They’re still the best team in the conference and I don't think it’s close.
Week 6 — BYE
2. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+1)
The Deacs are 5-0 and a win at Chestnut Hill was huge for this team moving forward. They’ve played in a couple of tight games this year and have found a way to pull away with victories. Jaime Newman is absolutely fantastic.
Week 6 — BYE
3. Virginia Cavaliers (-1)
Tough loss in a tough place. The game was close until it wasn't. This Virginia team still has to be viewed as the biggest threat in the Coastal for as long as Bryce Perkins is under center.
Week 6 — BYE
4. Boston College Eagles (—)
I didn't move Boston College because they went down to the wire with who I believe is the second best team in the conference. Losses normally push you down, but these aren't conventional rankings — they’re mine. And my eyes tell me BC is still in the top tier of the ACC.
Week 6 — at Louisville
5. Florida State Seminoles (+3)
If this Florida State teams puts it all together, what you’ll get week in and week out is that they're a very good football team. The talent is undeniable, but the coaching has been subpar post- Jimbo Fisher. They've matched their longest winning streak under Willie Taggart with two consecutive wins. Can they keep the ball rolling after a week off? With Alex Hornibrook at quarterback, it’s possible.
Week 6 — BYE
6. Duke Blue Devils (+7)
DUKE!!!! I WAS WAITING FOR IT! I couldn't believe my eyes late Friday night post-night shift when I saw that the Blue Devils stomped on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, which is historically one of the toughest places to play. No, the Hokies aren't very good, which I’ve been saying for weeks now. But a performance like that deserves to be celebrated and here I am celebrating them.
Week 6 — vs. Pitt
7. North Carolina Tar Heels (+2)
Going toe-to-toe with the Clemson Tigers means something. They’ve showed flashes of being a really good team, but have also showed that they can be beat by inferior teams. This is a program thats won five games in the two years prior to this one. There will be ups and downs. Last Saturday, however, was a high that they should chase and look to build off of and their opponent this week should give them the opportunity to do so.
Week 6 — at Georgia Tech
8. Miami Hurricanes (-2)
You’ve had all week to sit around and watch other teams and rival programs make things happen. Can the offense get right in a trap game? Are you gonna run the ball like you did against Central Michigan or are you going to run it how you did at UNC? Are you going to make offenses afraid to play the Miami Hurricanes or blitz three on third down? The ball is in your court, Hurricanes. Nobody has more to prove than you do.
Week 6 — vs. Virginia Tech
9. Pittsburgh Panthers (-4)
I don't know what to think about you, Pitt. They showed out against Penn State and UCF, then almost lose to Delaware. They’ve looked really good or really bad all year. Now, they're on the road against a dangerous offense and in a tough position. They can find themselves in the mix of things in the Coastal or fall two games back. Let’s see how this goes.
Week 6 — at Duke
10. Syracuse Orange (+1)
I said last week I wasn't going to be impressed with a win against Holy Cross and I’m sticking by that. I was as high as anybody on Syracuse coming in and now it’s “prove it” time. I can understand losing games early in a quarterback transition year, but they have played five games now and head into a bye. They need to head into ACC play ready to make some noise in a tough Atlantic.
Week 6 — BYE
11. N.C. State Wolfpack (-2)
You had a chance, but you never really had a chance. The opportunity to go into Doak Campbell, where the Seminoles have struggled all year, and beat them was lined up perfectly. What they actually did was not anything close to that. They were beat and beat badly by a better team. I can’t see the Pack doing much in their side of the conference and will likely stay in this half of the rankings moving forward.
12. . Louisville Cardinals (—)
The Cardinals really did their thing last week. No team in the conference rested like Louisville. They looked like a top five team in the nation at resting last week. Way to not lose. But the bye week has past and now they host Boston College. Are they ready for AJ Dillon and company?
Week 6 — vs. Boston College
13. Virginia Tech Hokies (-2)
Losing to Duke can happen. Losing to anybody can happen. What can't happen is losing by 35 at HOME to Duke. I have no idea what is going on over there in Blacksburg, but this is not the same VT program I grew up fearing. Now, they head down to Miami to take on a Hurricanes team with a lot to prove. Can the Hokies bounce back or are they folding under this coaching staff?
Week 6 — at Miami
14. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (—)
I talked about Geoff Collins and him facing his old team last week. Well, Temple beat Georgia Tech by 22 points and the Jackets fell to 1-3 on the year. The offense just isn't going to happen right now, but watch out for them in the future.
Week 6 — vs. North Carolina