It’s getting difficult to predict what’s happening in this conference outside of Clemson. The Atlantic has two or three teams that could win the Coastal, the Coastal itself is a toss-up, Miami is unexplainable, and Virginia may not be that good.
There are many story lines in the conference that can finish in one of like seven ways. Who knows how it all plays out, but it’s week five of the college football season so were ranking things.
1. Clemson Tigers (—)
Do I really need to give you guys anything here? This isn't a debate or a discussion. This is objective truth.
Week 5 — at North Carolina
2. Virginia Cavaliers (—)
They didn't blow out Old Dominion, but honestly, which ACC team outside of Clemson is blowing out anybody these days? It is also true that they were down 17-7 at the half. A discussion could be had for the team below them to fill this #2 spot, but they won, so they stay. Now, they travel to Notre Dame to take on the Irish in South Bend. This is the big one for the Cavs. Could be a program changing win or a flattening loss.
Week 5 — at Notre Dame
3. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (—)
I really love Wake. In my first power rankings I talked about Jaime Newman and the impact he could have on this team. Well, they’re quietly 4-0 and and a win in Chestnut Hill could put them amongst the nations top 25.
Week 5 — at Boston College
4. Boston College Eagles (+2)
The last time there was a #3 vs #4 battle in my power rankings, the Demon Deacons came out on top over North Carolina. The Eagles bounced back from their home loss against Kanas and now have an opportunity to reclaim their home field advantage in a tough game.
Week 5 — vs. Wake Forest
5. Pittsburgh Panthers (+8)
I’m going to eat crow here because I’m a noble human being. I gave Pitt virtually no chance last week and assumed they'd be 1-3 at the time I wrote this. Instead, they knocked off UCF after nearly knocking off Penn State the week before. You have to wonder if Pitt has something going here. A home game against Delaware is going to be a nice way to keep that momentum chugging forward.
Week 5 — vs. Delaware
6. Miami Hurricanes (-1)
Oh Miami. It never felt like they would lose, but beating a directional school by just five points at home is simply unacceptable. I had to drop them a spot, but I’m not ready to drop them the way many people would. I take value in winning in this wonderful sport of college football where teams get upset weekly. You got to get it together though. It can't keep being this way.
Week 5 — BYE
7. N.C. State Wolfpack (—)
The Pack handled business in a game against their G5 opponent and they’re standing at 3-1 through four weeks. Losing one of the programs best quarterbacks isn’t easy and a great way to bounce back from that is winning three of your first four. They have a big one this weekend in a place where they have been historically successful.
Week 5 — at Florida State
8. Florida State Seminoles (+2)
Beating Louisville is almost impressive until you realize that they blew yet another massive lead. The seminoles were up 21-0 in the first and somehow found themselves down 24-21 in the beginning of the fourth. The Cardinals are tougher than expected, so kudos to the Seminoles for finding a way to finish — something they have struggled to do in the Taggert era.
Week 5 — vs. NC State
9. North Carolina Tar Heels (-5)
What a whirlwind it’s been for the Tar Heels. After starting 2-0 with two big wins over South Carolina (1-3) and Miami, who barely beat Central Michigan, they lost their last two to Wake and App State. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be dimming on the Heels who have the privilege of hosting the reigning national champions this week. Don't see this ending well, folks.
Week 5 — vs. Clemson
10. Syracuse Orange (+1)
The Orange handled their directional Michigan school, but it’s hard to overlook the massive defeat they took a couple weeks ago to a Maryland team that lost to Temple. They put up points and did everything they're supposed to do, but they have to do it against someone else now. I won't be impressed if they dominate Holy Cross this week.
Week 5 — vs. Holy Cross
11. Virginia Tech Hokies (-2)
Virginia Tech dropped not because they did anything wrong. It is actually impossible for the Hokies to have done anything because they didn't play. They dropped because people moved up. I’m intrigued by this weeks matchup between them and Duke because we are going to learn a lot about both teams.
Week 5 — vs. Duke
12. Louisville Cardinals (-4)
I said last week that the Cardinals could sneak out of Doak with a win and they came so, so close. They took the lead in the fourth, but just folded at the end of the game. You’re not quite there yet, Louisville, but I'm still one of your biggest fans. I think they're as sneaky of a team that there is in this conference.
Week 5 — Bye
13. Duke Blue Devils (—)
Finally! The post-Daniel Jones and Joe Giles-Harris era can be truly evaluated against a team that's in the same stratosphere of competition as they are. I’ve been waiting for this for some time now.
Week 5 — at Virginia Tech
14. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (—)
Geoff Collins returns to Philly, this time as the head coach of the 1-2 Yellow Jackets. This is going to be one of those awkward situations where a coach leaves a school to go to a program that’s in much worse shape than the one he was at before and gets his butt kicked, but the move still made sense. Do you follow?
Week 5 — at Temple