IoT’s Power Rankings: Week 10

November 12, 2009

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:

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IoT’s Power Rankings: Week 9

November 7, 2009

Since Jeremy and I didn’t get any comments or emails over the Power Rankings’ absence last week, I can only assume you’re all capable of great restraint. Life has gotten busy around IoT headquarters lately; all apologies.

There’s been plenty of turnover at the top of the conference since we last checked in. Miami held first place for a week, only to yield to Georgia Tech after an overtime home loss to Clemson. After two straight losses, Virginia Tech is falling, but not freely enough to give anyone new a shot at the top three. Clemson is the first time all season to hold onto our fourth spot, defending it with a 49-3 win over Coastal Carolina.

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IoT’s Power Rankings: Week 7

October 20, 2009
 (US Presswire/Paul Abell)

Tyrod Taylor (5) and Ryan Williams (34) couldn't hold onto the top spot in the IoT power rankings this week. (US Presswire/Paul Abell)

It’s official. The upper ranks of the ACC have become a low/medium-stakes game of Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Scratch that. The upper ranks have become Starrcade ’89. Surely, you remember the marquee event of the National Wrestling Association’s 1989 calendar. On one half of the card, four top wrestlers battled one another in a round-robin tournament. On the other half, four tag teams did likewise. The events of Dec. 13, 1989, sparked world-changing events we’re still reckoning with today. The reunion of the Four Horsemen. The devastating knee injury that prevented Sting from getting his title shot against Ric Flair. The opening of the first McDonald’s in Russia.

Twenty years later, it’s all happening again. Thanks to a win Saturday over Virginia Tech (Ric Flair/paper), Georgia Tech (Sting/scissors) moves into second place in the conference. Meanwhile, Miami (Lex Luger/rock) takes over first by virtue of its early-season victory over Georgia Tech. Miami’s lone blemish is a September loss at Virginia Tech.

Look, I know what you’re thinking. Ric Flair didn’t beat Lex Luger. They fought to a draw. But we all saw that match. We all know who really won. Think about it.

Enough pro wrestling talk. On to the rankings, where Clemson climbs three rungs and Wake Forest does the opposite.

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IoT’s Power Rankings: Week 6

October 15, 2009
After the Big 3, Chris Givens and Wake Forest are the best of the rest of the ACC — for now. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

After the Big 3, Chris Givens and Wake Forest are the best of the rest of the ACC — for now. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

The offensive explosion in the ACC last weekend was entertaining to watch, but it did nothing to alter the fundamental shape of the conference.

Virginia Tech, Miami and Georgia Tech are still firmly ahead of the rest of the league, while everyone else is almost interchangeable in the rankings from week to week. Case in point: two weeks ago, N.C. State was sitting in fourth, while Virginia was mired in dead last. This week, the Wolfpack are down to No. 10, while the Cavaliers are up to No. 7.

For the first time, we have a tie in the IoT Power Rakings — because Jimmy and I couldn’t agree on who is worse, Florida State or Maryland. Normally in this situation, the two teams would be tied for 11th. However, we at least agreed that was too good for both of them, so we’ve tied the Seminoles and Terrapins to 12th place and added our respective cases for why one is worse than the other.

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IoT’s Power Rankings: Week 5

October 8, 2009
Jacory Harris (12), with help from SpongeBob SquarePants, is keeping Miami focused on staying near the top of the ACC. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Jacory Harris (12), with some help from SpongeBob SquarePants, is keeping Miami focused on staying near the top of the ACC. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The ACC has clearly divided itself into two tiers.

The teams in the first tier — Virginia Tech, Miami and Georgia Tech — are nationally ranked, have an impressive win or two on their résumés and haven’t lost to anyone they shouldn’t have. There’s even a clear pecking order among the trio: Virginia Tech has beaten Miami who beat Georgia Tech.

Ranking the rest of the league is a bit like playing 52-Card Pickup — throw all the teams up in the air, put them in whatever random order you happen to pick them up and feel wholly unsatisfied. OK, Boston College is clearly better than, say, Duke right now, but you get the idea.

Last Saturday, the teams ranked 4 through 7 in our two-man poll all lost conference games to lower ranked teams. That either means parity rules three-quarters of the league, or we don’t know what we’re talking about. We’d like to think it’s the former, so here’s another crack at figuring out where everyone currently stands.

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IoT’s Power Rankings: Week 4

September 30, 2009
Running back Josh Oglesby and the Hokies pull ahead of Miami and into first place in the Instead of Texting Power Rankings this week. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Running back Josh Oglesby and the Hokies pull ahead of Miami and into first place in the Instead of Texting Power Rankings this week. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Let’s take a little trip in the Wayback Machine, shall we?

Set the dial to Sept. 23, 2009. Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were the toppermost of the poppermost. President Barack Obama was trying to figure out that Afghan War. People actually still thought/doubted that government-provided health insurance could work.

And ACC Commissioner John Swofford had the football conference he’d been dreaming of for more than five years. Leading the conference was a Floridian first tier, ready to storm the upper reaches of the AP and USA Today polls. A stalwart Virginia Tech team stood ready to challenge the Sunshine Staters. A few steps behind were some frisky-looking contenders (North Carolina, Clemson, Georgia Tech). Most of the remainders were looking ready for basketball.

Ah, those were the days. But things have changed. VT reclaimed the throne by undressing the Miami Hurricanes. Florida State continued to baffle by losing at home to a South Florida team led by a first-time starter at quarterback. Georgia Tech drilled UNC and Clemson lost at home to 15th-ranked Texas Christian.

Maybe some day Swoff-daddy will get the ACC he sought with the 2004 expansion. Not today.

On to the rankings.

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IoT’s ACC Power Rankings: Week 3

September 21, 2009
(AP Photo/George Frey)

Florida State's Jacobbi McDaniel couldn't be more excited about making the biggest jump in this week's Instead of Texting Power Rankings. (AP Photo/George Frey)

Three weeks into the ACC football season, we find ourselves in much the same place as all of Hollywood: “Nobody knows anything,” as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” screenwriter William Goldman has said of Tinseltown (via Bill Simmons). The conference got a couple of marquee nonconference wins (Florida State over Brigham Young, Virginia Tech over Nebraska) and a couple of train-wreck losses (Virginia to Southern Miss, Maryland to Middle Tennessee). On the whole, though, most of the conference is still a mystery.

There are only a few certainties at this point:

  • Miami is good, possibly very good.
  • Maryland and Virginia are bad, very, very bad.

Everything else is, essentially, a toss-up. That makes ranking the schools difficult, but Jeremy and I took a shot at it:

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