Here’s how I rank the conference teams based on what we’ve seen so far. Number in parentheses is the team’s ranking last week.
- (1) Clemson (8-0) - 59-7 win over Boston College
- (4) Wake Forest (6-1) - Bye
- (6) Louisville (5-3) - Beat Virginia, 28-21
- (2) Virginia (5-3) - Lost to Louisville
- (5) Florida State (4-4) - Beat Syracuse, 35-17
- (3) Pitt (5-3) - Lost to Miami, 16-12
- (9) Virginia Tech (5-2) - Bye
- (7) Boston College (4-4) - Lost to Clemson
- (10) North Carolina (4-4) - Beat Duke, 20-17
- (14) Miami (4-4) - Beat Pitt
- (11) North Carolina State (4-3) - Bye
- (8) Duke (4-4) - Lost to North Carolina
- (12) Syracuse (3-5) - Lost to Florida State
- (13) Georgia Tech (2-5) - Bye
Another tough week of trying to slot these utterly mediocre teams.
One intriguing team is Virginia Tech. At 5-2, it might appear that they deserve to be higher. But while I did bump them ahead of Boston College and Duke this week (based on those teams both now having two more losses), you still have to keep in mind that those teams both beat the Hokies. Plus, I think the jury is still out very much on the Hokies, who didn’t light the world on fire against ODU or Furman earlier this year while giving up 35 points to offensively-challenged Miami (in a win, no less). In short, putting them higher than sixth is going to have to wait. Plus, they still have some difficult games left against Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Virginia, and Pitt. That record is probably in for a bit of a hit.
Miami climbs out of the basement by beating Pitt but it’s hard to put them much higher since they lost to North Carolina, the team ahead of them, lost to Virginia Tech, and still have that ugly loss to Georgia Tech to account for.
Duke tumbling four spots for a three-point loss to North Carolina seems excessive. But they got leapfrogged by Miami, two-loss Virginia Tech, along with the Tar Heels, which all makes sense.
From a Pitt perspective, I’ve got Florida State just ahead of them. We’ve talked about Pitt’s schedule but the Seminoles have had a tougher one with games against Clemson, Wake, Virginia, and Louisville in conference. Oh, and 6-1 Boise State, too, who was ranked No. 21 last week. They also were more competitive against the Cavaliers and beat the Orange by a bigger margin. The Seminoles ahead of Pitt at this point just makes sense.
The top two teams and the bottom two teams are gimmes this week. Everything else in between? That’s a little more challenging. Even No. 3 Louisville isn’t necessarily as clear cut as you might think since they lost to 4-4 Florida State, which, as mentioned, has had a really tough schedule.
What about you? What does your ranking look like?