As a former student reporter once said about a student government meeting, there was an awful lot of motion in the ACC last weekend with very little movement in the IoT power rankings. Most of the top and bottom of the rankings stayed the same, with some slight changes in the mushy middle.
Meanwhile, we’re trying something a little different with the power rankings this week. Jimmy is tackling the Coastal Division (a.k.a. – the better half of the conference), while I take on the Atlantic. This arrangement works out rather nicely because it gives me the chance to do some gloating about a bit of a dispute we’ve been having. More on that later in the rankings — much later.
On to the rankings:
|1 (1)||Georgia Tech (9-1, 6-1)
Jimmy: Some good news for Georgia Tech: the Yellow Jackets are probably the best of the five one-loss team in the country. Some bad news for Georgia Tech: with six undefeated teams left in Division I-A, leading the one-loss legion hardly matters this year.
Last week: W vs. Wake Forest (30-27)
This week: at Duke
|2 (2)||Miami (7-2, 4-2)
Jimmy: Miami is bedeviled by the same glut of unbeaten teams as Georgia Tech. In most seasons, a two-loss team with the Hurricanes’ resume would have a reasonable shot at the BCS. Not so, this season. It would take several near-miracles to get Miami into a big boy bowl.
Last week: W vs. Virginia (52-17)
This week: at North Carolina
|3 (3)||Virginia Tech (6-3, 3-2)
Jimmy: An interesting tidbit from Brian Fremeau at Football Outsiders: between 2003 and 2008, the Hokies took 14 upset losses, the third-highest figure in the country. So, it doesn’t just seem like VT loses to someone it shouldn’t every season — that’s actually happening. Twice.
Last week: W vs. East Carolina (16-3)
This week: at Maryland
|4 (4)||Clemson (6-3, 4-2)
Jeremy: Dabo Swinney is two seemingly easy wins away from doing what Tommy Bowden couldn’t — take Clemson to the ACC title game. Of course, those are the kind of games the Tigers have found ways to lose in the past.
Last week: W vs. Florida State (40-24)
This week: at N.C. State
|5 (5)||Boston College (6-3, 3-2)
Jeremy: The Eagles have been unbeatable at home but hapless on the road. That pattern needs to change this weekend if they want to keep up with Clemson in the Atlantic.
Last week: Idle
This week: at Virginia
|6 (8)||North Carolina (6-3, 2-3)
Jimmy: North Carolina’s great pass defense, part one: the Heels are fifth nationally in passing yards allowed per game and 17th in passer rating allowed. They’ve intercepted 2.5 passes for each touchdown they’ve allowed. The UNC pass D/Miami pass O matchup should be fun to watch.
Last week: W vs. Duke (19-6)
This week: vs. Miami
|7 (6)||Duke (5-4, 3-2)
Jimmy: North Carolina’s great pass defense, part two: UNC laid waste to the ACC’s top receiving corps last week, holding Duke’s top three receivers (Vernon, Varner, Kelly) to 57 yards and two first downs on nine catches. The trio’s per-game averages before UNC: 219 yards, 9 first downs and 16 catches.
Last week: L at North Carolina (19-6)
This week: vs. Georgia Tech
|8 (7)||Florida State (4-5, 2-4)
Jeremy: Saturday was a lost day for the Seminoles. They lost to Clemson, which means their bowl hopes rest on beating Wake Forest and Maryland before the inevitable beatdown against Florida. They lost the ACC’s leading passer to a separated shoulder, although at least it came after he made this bone-jarring hit (following his fourth interception). And apparently, their coach lost track of the score, which only gives his critics more ammunition to try to force him into retirement.
Last week: L at Clemson (40-24)
This week: at Wake Forest
|9 (9)||Wake Forest (4-6, 2-4)
Jeremy: Wake’s hard-luck season continued with Saturday’s overtime loss to Georgia Tech. Five of the Demon Deacons’ six losses have been by a field goal or less.
Last week: L at Georgia Tech (30-27)
This week: vs. Florida State
|10 (10)||Virginia (3-6, 2-3)
Jimmy: For all the things Virginia does poorly (116th nationally in passer rating, 109th in rushing yards per game, 101st in scoring offense, 115th in kick return average), we did find one thing the Cavs do well. They’re fourth in the country in field goal percentage. So, they’ve got that going for them. Which is nice.
Last week: L at Miami (52-17)
This week: vs. Boston College
|11 (11)||N.C. State (4-5, 1-4)
Jeremy: The Wolfpack might have finally ended their four-game losing streak, but this can’t be where they expected to find themselves at this point in the season. At least if the basketball team ends up in this position, it’ll be considered a successful season.
Last week: W vs. Maryland (38-31)
This week: vs. Clemson
|12 (12)||Maryland (2-7, 1-4)
Jeremy: The long-running debate at IoT headquarters over which team is the worst in the conference — N.C. State or Maryland — was finally settled on the field Saturday. I think this week’s rankings show who got the better end of that argument. (That would be me.)
Last week: L at N.C. State (38-31)
This week: vs. Virginia Tech