It was a weird week in the ACC. Kansas came in and knocked off one of the conferences top teams, another traditional power almost lost to an FCS school, and another program actually did lose to an FCS school.
Let’s dive right into it. Some tough decisions had to made so let’s dive right in.
1. Clemson Tigers (—)
Syracuse had given Clemson a hard time in recent years — especially in the Carrier Dome. But these aren't the same Syracuse teams and Clemson absolutely took care of business in this one. In short, Clemson is very, very good and nobody else comes relatively close.
Week 4 — vs. Charlotte
2. Virginia Cavaliers (—)
The Cavs squeaked past a Florida State team that went toe-to-toe with UL-Monroe a week before. But, as I mentioned in last weeks edition, Florida State has the talent to put it together and they almost knocked them off, but they survived and that certainly means something.
Week 4 — vs. Old Dominion
3. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+2)
For a half of football, Wake looked like a team that could easily finish second in the Atlantic behind Clemson. They certainly still could, but they nearly blew a 21-point half time lead against North Carolina. Despite being outscored 18-3 in the second half, they found a way to come out on top.
Week 4 — Elon
4. North Carolina Tar Heels (—)
Sam Howell was pulled in the first half of the game, but came back and proved why he is a rising star not only in the conference, but around the country. They came out of the game napping in their first true road test and it proved costly. They simply didn't have enough to overcome the 21-point hole they dug themselves into the first half despite being the better team in the second half.
Week 4 — vs. Appalachian State
5. Miami Hurricanes (+3)
The Hurricanes moving up so much has a lot to do with other teams performing poorly rather than them proving anything. What is known is that there is a legitimate quarterback in Coral Gables and if they clean up a couple of kinks, they’re going to be a dangerous team moving forward.
Week 4 — vs. Central Michigan
6. Boston College Eagles (-3)
In one of the crazier upsets around the country, the Kansas Jayhawks strolled into Chestnut Hill and doubled up the Eagles. Les Miles’ team ended a 48-game, 11 year losing streak against Power 5 teams on the road. And it came against a team that many believed were contenders in the ACC behind Clemson. They’re starting to feel like pretenders, but this could also be just a hiccup for a talented BC team. Time will tell.
Week 4 — @ Rutgers
7. N.C. State Wolfpack (-1)
N.C State lost to West Virginia, who got dominated by Missouri, who lost to Wyoming. Hats off to West Virginia for putting on an offensive clinic, but this was another disappointing loss for the conference. It was Matthew McKay’s first real road game and he was just barely over 50% passing. It’s just not good enough to win in these types of games.
Week 4 — vs. Elon
8. Louisville Cardinals (+2)
I’m all aboard the Louisville hype train. Again, not saying they're going to beat a lot of teams on the same level as them, but they’re not nearly as bad as people made them out to be. They have some explosive play makers in WR Tutu Atwell, RB Javian Hawkins, and DB Chandler Jones. They travel to Florida State next week where they have an opportunity to make a real statement against a team that has under-performed at home.
Week 4 — at Florida State
9. Virginia Tech Hokies (-2)
You have to be extremely unimpressed by Virginia Tech through three weeks. They did not dominate a bad Old Dominion team and they were down 14-3 at the half to Furman before pulling away by just a touchdown against the FCS foe. The turnover margin was even, but they were able to run successfully and won the game. I’m not high on the Hokies.
Week 4 — Bye
10. Florida State Seminoles (+1)
Despite losing, the Seminoles actually jumped in the rankings based on the fact that they played much, much better on the road against a ranked team. I don't know where that was at home against Boise and UL-Monore, who almost picked their pocket, but James Blackman was a single pass away from leading FSU to a road W. They host a gritty Louisville team that could easily sneak out of Doak Campbell with a win.
Week 4 — vs. Louisville
11. Syracuse Orange (-2)
The Orange were once my #3 team and they have sunk like the Titanic since their matchup with Maryland a couple of weeks ago. They've lost by a combined 78 points in their last two and have to feel desperate for a victory. And what better opponent to get a W against than Western Michigan.
Week 4 — vs. Western Michigan
12. Duke Blue Devils (—)
Duke is the most mysterious team in the ACC in my opinion. I can't move them up because I still don't know who they really are. Judging them against Alabama isn't fair and they've beaten their two cupcakes convincingly, which is promising. They have a bye this week then travel to play Virginia Tech, which I am also not high on. I can't move them up for doing what they're supposed to do and nobody knows how they're going to look against a team of their caliber.
Week 4 — Bye
13. Pittsburgh Panthers (—)
Tough break for Pitt. They nearly took down Penn State in a rivalry game and now following that emotional let down they host UCF, who's been demolishing everything in sight. I give almost no chance to Pitt this weekend and they’ll likely fall to 1-3.
Week 4 — vs. UCF
14. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (—)
The Citadel, man. You just can't lose to the Citadel. I understand the transition year and all that, but pound-for-pound you just have to find a way. It’s inexcusable. Tech is clearly the worst team in the conference.
Week 4 — Bye