- Heather Dinich, College Football Reporter
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Once again, the middle of the pack in the ACC is clear as mud. It’s still a little bit too early to tell how this pecking order is going to shake out in November, but the top of the conference remains the same. Congrats to Maryland for getting a small promotion.
1. Florida State (2-0, 0-0; LW: No. 1): The Seminoles enter Week 3 with a firm grasp on the top spot after a 55-0 drubbing of Savannah State. That went about as expected, as the Noles outscored their FCS opponents 124-3 in the first two weeks. FSU will finally be tested this weekend against a Wake Forest team confident from its win over UNC.
2. Clemson (2-0, 0-0; LW: No. 2): The Tigers left no doubt they were the better team in a convincing win over Ball State. The offense continues to flourish, and it should get even better this weekend against Furman with the return of suspended receiver Sammy Watkins.
3. Virginia Tech (2-0, 1-0 ACC; LW: No. 3): The Hokies took care of business in a 42-7 win over Austin Peay, and they’ve got a small but important lead in the Coastal Division standings. Virginia Tech will travel to Pitt this weekend for a sneak peak at the ACC’s next member.
4. Wake Forest (2-0, 1-0; LW: No. 7): A conference win over a solid North Carolina team was enough for this boost. Tanner Price scored on a 1-yard sneak with 2:09 left to beat the Tar Heels 28-27, and receiver Michael Campanaro had a career-high 13 catches for 164 yards. Can they keep it up against FSU?
5. Virginia (2-0, 0-0; LW: No. 8): It wasn’t a pretty 17-16 win over Penn State, as four turnovers and 10 penalties were costly, but it’s another 2-0 start for Mike London, and they’ll need all the momentum they can get heading into a tough three-week stretch.
6. North Carolina (1-1, 0-1; LW: No. 4): The Tar Heels are clearly less effective when running back Giovani Bernard is on the sideline with an undisclosed injury. Coach Larry Fedora told reporters this week that he’s not concerned about Bernard’s availability for Saturday’s game at Louisville.
7. Georgia Tech (1-1, 0-1); LW: No. 5): The Jackets’ conference loss is what’s hurting them the most right now on this list, plus they need to show more offensively against somebody other than Presbyterian. They’re good enough to do that, and Saturday’s game against Virginia will determine who takes the lead in next week’s power rankings.
8. NC State (1-1, 0-0; LW: No. 6): Anyone else not convinced in this team despite Saturday’s 10-7 win over UConn? Mike Glennon was sacked six times and the Pack were held to 54 rushing yards. Expectations were higher for this veteran offensive line.
9. Miami (1-1, 1-0; LW: No. 9): Both Duke and Miami lost to ranked opponents this past weekend, and could very well be tied for this spot with the way their defenses played Saturday. The Canes at least have an ACC win on the road, though. They should have a chance to correct some mistakes against Bethune-Cookman this weekend, and it’s the only breather they have.
10. Duke (1-1, 0-0; LW: No. 10): Last year’s home game against Stanford was a better performance for the Blue Devils. Duke was held to 27 rushing yards and had three turnovers in a 50-13 loss. The Blue Devils should rebound this week against NC Central.
11. Maryland (2-0, 0-0; LW: No. 12): That’s right, Maryland is undefeated. Never saw that coming after quarterback C.J. Brown suffered a season-ending knee injury. The Terps surprised Temple on the road, and have a chance to start 3-0 with a win this weekend over Randy Edsall’s former team, Connecticut.
12. Boston College (1-1, 0-1; LW: No. 11): The Eagles bounced back from their loss to Miami with a 34-3 drubbing of Maine, but that’s what they were supposed to do. We’ll find out how much progress they’ve really made when they travel to Northwestern -- a team they lost at home to a year ago.
Once again, the middle of the pack in the ACC is clear as mud. It’s still a little bit too early to tell how this pecking order is going to shake out in November, but the top of the conference remains the same.