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 (10-0) - 55-10 win over NC State
- (6) Virginia Tech (6-3) - 36-17 win over Wake Forest
- (8) Miami (6-4) - 52-27 win over Louisville
- (4) Virginia (7-3) - 33-28 win over Georgia Tech
- (5) Pitt (6-3) - Bye
- (2) Wake Forest (7-2) - Lost to Virginia Tech
- (3) Louisville (5-4) - Lost to Miami
- (9) Florida State (5-5) - 38-31 win over Boston College
- (7) Boston College (5-5) - Lost to Florida State
- (10) North Carolina (4-5) - Bye
- (11) Duke (4-5) - Lost to Notre Dame, 38-7
- (12) North Carolina State (4-5) - Lost to Clemson
- (13) Syracuse (3-6) - Bye
- (14) Georgia Tech (2-7) - Lost to Virginia
So, some controversy near the top but less so towards the bottom.
Starting at the bottom, the last five teams all lost or had byes, so they stayed put. Florida State, climbs over Boston College with their head-to-head win this weekend. But it’s a little more complicated at the top.
Thanks to a blowout win against Wake Forest, Virginia Tech moves up several spots. I also moved Miami up over Pitt thanks to their blowout win over Louisville. It was getting harder to keep Miami down as they continue to get better. Plus, beating Pitt head-to-head makes for a somewhat easy call there.
The issue I had in trying to rank Miami previously was the collection of early losses to teams. But that is less of an issue this late in the year. Miami’s ACC losses came to Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech. I still have them behind the Hokies, Georgia Tech is at the bottom of the conference, and the Tar Heels are under .500 while the Hurricanes are now two games over that mark. In short, it’s much easier to rank them higher these days.
That includes ranking Miami over Virginia now for two reasons despite the Cavaliers having a slightly better record. First, the Hurricanes beat Virginia head-to-head. Second, Miami blew out what looks to be a decent Louisville team while Virginia squeaked by Georgia Tech.
I don’t know that Virginia Tech is the second best team in the conference but I also don’t know that anyone has a clear cut claim to it, either. I think ranking Virginia Tech, Miami, or Virginia at that spot is all fair game. I just don’t know that there’s a clear No. 2 among that group. And I also think Pitt has to be on the outside of that group just because they’ve lost to both teams in it that they’ve faced so far.
Speaking of Pitt, I reluctantly slotted them ahead Wake Forest. When I say ‘reluctantly,’ I mean it as I flip-flopped the two a couple of times. Wake was beaten badly by Virginia Tech this week and their most impressive win is probably one of their narrow victories over Boston College, North Carolina, or Florida State. Had their game against the Hokies been closer, I would have put them ahead of Pitt. But as I said, you can probably flip flop those two.
What about you? What does your ranking look like?