The ACC has consistently held the No. 5 ranking in the weekly conference power rankings by ESPN's Stats & Information department, but the league's place in college football has yet to be determined this season. With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, there is still time for the ACC to:
1) Place two top-10 teams in the ACC title game.
2) Have a winning record against the SEC.
3) Improve its image with a winning bowl record.
As of right now, there has been a shift in the balance of power within the league. At the end of last season, Maryland was ranked No. 23 in the final Associated Press poll and NC State was No. 25. Boston College was a 7-6 bowl team. The struggles of all three of those programs have helped weigh the ACC down this year. The rise of Clemson, Wake Forest and Virginia, though, have helped to offset that.
While the ACC is still as competitive as ever -- as evidenced by the fact the Coastal Division race has yet to be decided and Florida State can still tie Clemson for the Atlantic Division title -- the ACC has had more depth in recent years than it does this season.
Part of that can be attributed to a weakened Atlantic Division, but it also hasn't helped that Miami and North Carolina both have losing records in the ACC right now. Granted, when teams continue to beat up on each other, losing records are inevitable. But last year, Wake Forest was the only team in the Atlantic Division to finish below .500 in the ACC, and Duke and Virginia both finished under .500 in the Coastal. Right now, the ACC has six teams sitting under .500 in ACC play.
There is still time for that to change, and in order for the ACC to move up in the college football world, it will have to finish this season strong.