Clemson lost. BC won. You never know what you’re gonna get in the ACC. There were a few tweaks this week, but nothing major. No. 1 is still No. 1, at least in the ACC:
1. Clemson (8-1, 5-1 ACC; LW: No. 1): The Tigers didn’t look like a national title contender in their loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday, and because of it, they’re not anymore. The goal of winning the Atlantic Division title, though, is still very much in reach. Clemson has its bye week to regroup before hosting Wake Forest in a critical division matchup.
2. Virginia Tech (8-1, 4-1; LW: No. 2): It wasn’t a pretty 14-10 win against Duke, but the Hokies are still in the Coastal Division lead with only one ACC loss. Virginia Tech has a bye week to prepare for Georgia Tech, and will enter that game on a four-game winning streak. Historically, this game has decided the division winner, and it could do so again.
3. Georgia Tech (7-2, 4-2; LW: No. 5): The win over Clemson was impressive not because of what Clemson didn’t do, but because of how well the Jackets played. They looked like the best team in the Coastal Division on Saturday, but with back-to-back losses against Virginia and Miami, it’s still up for debate.
4. Wake Forest (5-3, 4-2; LW: No. 4): It was an uncharacteristically undisciplined performance for Wake Forest, which had five turnovers in the 49-24 loss to North Carolina. The Deacs are still Clemson’s biggest challenger in the Atlantic Division, but they can’t afford to look past a tough night game this weekend against Notre Dame.
5. Florida State (5-3, 3-2; LW: No. 6): Seminoles fans want FSU to be ranked higher, and they eventually could be, but don’t forget they lost to Wake Forest, and Saturday’s 34-0 win over NC State – while convincing – was its first win over a program with a winning record. The Noles have a Thursday night game at BC this week, and while FSU is the better team, the Eagles finally have some confidence from their first ACC win.
6. North Carolina (6-3, 2-3; LW: No. 8): The win over Wake Forest was a much better performance than what UNC fans saw in the loss to Clemson. UNC quarterback Bryn Renner was efficient, running back Giovani Bernard racked up over 100 yards, and the defense had five turnovers. The Tar Heels have to continue that success now in back-to-back road games at NC State and Virginia Tech.
7. Virginia (5-3, 2-2; LW: No. 9): The Hoos deserve credit for going on the road and beating a Miami team that was on an upward trend. The Cavaliers ran the ball well, quarterback Michael Rocco played well without having to share time with David Watford, and Virginia is looking ahead of schedule and bowl bound in Mike London’s second season.
8. Miami (4-4, 2-3; LW: No. 3): The Canes allowed too many explosive plays, and it was another narrow defeat that hurt Miami’s chances of winning the Coastal Division. Receiver Tommy Streeter had 176 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to make a fourth-quarter comeback. Miami can’t afford to overlook Duke this weekend.
9. NC State (4-4, 1-3; LW: No. 7): It was an ugly performance by the Wolfpack in the loss to Florida State. NC State had only 166 yards on offense and had its first shutout since the 2008 season opener. It’s not exactly the confidence builder the Wolfpack needed heading into the rivalry game against UNC.
10. Duke (3-5, 1-3; LW: No. 11): The Blue Devils have become the masters of almost-wins. Duke threatened an upset of No. 12-ranked Virginia Tech, but it couldn’t overcome four turnovers. Duke has now lost three straight heading into back-to-back road games at Miami and Virginia.
11. Boston College (2-6, 1-4; LW: No. 12): The Eagles finally got their first ACC win, and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 28-17 win at Maryland. Rolandan Finch ran for 243 yards and two touchdowns. His performance helped offset the four turnovers. So did Maryland’s defense.
12. Maryland (2-6, 1-4; LW: No. 10): The Terps have officially hit rock bottom. They lost at home to a Boston College team that had yet to win an ACC game, and the defense allowed 404 total yards. In order to get to a bowl game, Maryland now has to win out in November, starting this weekend against a much-improved Virginia team.