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ACC power rankings: Pitt Panthers with room to climb

The official start of weekly ACC power rankings

Clemson v Boston College Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

Going forward, Cardiac Hill will be bringing weekly power rankings for the ACC. Let’s take a look at where the ACC breaks down heading into a week where almost have of the conference is on bye.

#1 Clemson (6-0, 4-0)

The Clemson Tigers already have taken down two of the top teams in the ACC in Wake Forest and NC State. Even with the slow start against Boston College, Clemson again asserted their dominance in the second half in route to an easy victory. To be the best you have to beat the best, and so far no one has been able to do that.

#2 Wake Forest (5-1, 1-1)

Wake Forest is coming off a comfortable win over Army but it’s the two games previously that land them second. A double-digit win over Florida State in Tallahassee and a narrow double-overtime defeat against Clemson have shown that this Wake Forest team deserves to be here.

#3 NC State (5-1, 1-1)

It wasn’t pretty, but North Carolina State found a win against Florida State. The defense stepped up and held a Florida State offense that was running hot to only 17 points. More impressive is the fact that NC State was down 17 to 3 in the first half and found a way to rally on both sides of the ball to overcome adversity and get the win.

#4 Syracuse (5-0, 2-0)

The Syracuse Orange honestly taught me something new. From all the years I have seen FCS opponents get completely beaten down, I never knew that you could waive the white flag and shorten the quarters until Wagner did that against the Orange. Sure we can question the quality of Syracuse’s wins, but the Orange have a chance to stamp in their place against NC State after the bye.

#5 Florida State (4-2, 2-2)

After back-to-back losses, some of the Florida State is back noise has been quieted. It doesn’t get much easier for the Seminoles who now have to welcome Clemson to Tallahassee.

#6 North Carolina (5-1, 2-0)

The North Carolina Tar Heels picked up the win over Miami with the offense still humming. The defense continues to be a problem but the Tar Heels have to be the favorites in the Coastal right now.

#7 Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-1)

What a difference a coaching change can make! Georgia Tech went from who many thought would be the worst team in the ACC to a scrappy team under new coach Brent Key. The Yellow Jackets will now get a rest week before getting a very winnable game against Virginia at home.

#8 Pitt (4-2, 1-1)

The Pittsburgh Panthers needed this rest week to help try to figure out this offense. The defense had a couple of breakdowns against Virginia Tech but Israel Abanikanda’s game-breaking ability sealed the victory. All eyes will be on the passing game going forward because Pitt won’t be able to climb much higher than this without it.

#9 Duke (4-2, 1-1)

It was hard to buy into The Duke Blue Devils being legit after their 3-0 start. With their rivalry game against North Carolina up next, this will be a key opportunity to still be potentially legit in the Coastal.

#10 Miami (2-3, 0-1)

Honestly getting to this point we are starting to split hairs. The Miami Hurricanes had 538 yards of total offense but it wasn’t enough as they lost to North Carolina 27-24. Miami has a chance to get right against Virginia Tech but that still is not a guarantee

#11 Boston College (2-3, 1-2)

The Boston College Eagles just got drubbed by Clemson but honestly, that’s what everyone expected. The back end of the schedule is pretty tough so it’s hard to see a path for Boston College to do anything salvageable.

#12 Virginia Tech (2-4, 1-2)

Virginia Tech held on for as long as possible but couldn’t stop Israel Ibanikanda from a record-breaking day en route to yet another loss. The defense has been gashed for three weeks and now gets a Miami team that just totaled over 500 yards up next.

#13 Louisville (3-3, 1-3)

The Louisville Cardinals finally picked up their first win in the ACC. Unfortunately, it was the worst team in the conference so couldn’t put them much higher than this.

#14 Virgina (2-4, 0-3)

The Virginia Cavaliers are coming off a loss to previously winless in the ACC Louisville with the Cardinals using a backup QB. Their next game against the Yellow Jackets doesn’t look as easy as a win as it did before the ACC started. This is going to be a long season for the Cavaliers.