ACC Week 13 Power Rankings: Clemson-UNC headed for showdown


Not much movement at the top in the latest ACC power rankings:

1. Clemson Tigers (12-0, 8-0). It was not exactly an emphatic win, but the Tigers got past rival South Carolina to tie the school record for wins in a season. This is is only the second time Clemson has started a season 12-0. The other was the 1981 championship season.

2. North Carolina Tar Heels (11-1, 8-0). After a meltdown in the opener against South Carolina, the Tar Heels have now won a school-record 11 straight and finished a perfect 8-0 in ACC play for the first time. No. 1 Clemson awaits in the ACC championship game.

3. Florida State Seminoles (10-2, 6-2). The Seminoles might not be in the ACC championship game, but they did post their fourth straight 10-win season and fifth win in the last six games over Florida. Now they wait to see whether they will get a bid into a New Year's Six game.

4. Miami Hurricanes (8-4, 5-3). A team left for dead after a 58-0 loss to Clemson and the dismissal of coach Al Golden ended up winning four of its last five, capping it with a 29-24 win over Pittsburgh. Interim coach Larry Scott did a terrific job keeping the team together. Now he awaits his fate.

5. Pittsburgh Panthers (8-4, 6-2). Their home loss to Miami was a disappointing way to end the season, but it is important to keep the overall year in perspective. Pitt won six ACC games despite losing ACC Player of the Year James Conner in Week 1. Its defense was vastly improved. And coach Pat Narduzzi showed a brief glimpse into what he brings to the table.

6. Louisville Cardinals (7-5, 5-3). After going down 21-0 to Kentucky, Louisville rallied behind freshman Lamar Jackson, who set a school record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 186. Louisville won its fifth straight over the Wildcats despite such a tough start to the game.

7. Duke Blue Devils (7-5, 4-4). The Blue Devils ended their four-game losing streak with a 27-21 win over Wake Forest behind 332 yards and three touchdowns (passing and rushing) from Thomas Sirk. Duke has now clinched a third straight winning season.

8. Virginia Tech Hokies (6-6, 4-4). Anybody who missed Frank Beamer doing the Dab after beating Virginia 23-20 to clinch bowl eligibility for a 23rd straight season needs to go back and watch this. Now. The emotional ending to the last-minute win just shows how much these last few games truly mean to Beamer, his coaches and his players.

9. NC State Wolfpack (7-5, 3-5). Despite higher expectations going into the season, NC State finished with the same regular-season record as a year ago and failed to finish with a winning mark in ACC play. The Wolfpack played moments of good football throughout the year but had a hard time stringing them all together against the better teams on their schedule.

10. Virginia Cavaliers (4-8, 3-5). Another excruciating loss to Virginia Tech could mean the end for coach Mike London, whose team lost five games this season by seven points or fewer. Virginia held a 20-13 fourth-quarter lead but simply couldn't hang on to deliver a signature win.

11. Syracuse Orange (4-8, 2-6). It was an emotional scene in the Carrier Dome when Syracuse beat Boston College 20-17 on a last-second kick from Cole Murphy. Coach Scott Shafer was hugged by all his players, carried off and delivered an emotional postgame speech -- his last one as Syracuse coach.

12. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-9, 1-7). The record might not show it, but Wake Forest did make progress this season in every area but the win column. After falling behind 27-21 to Duke, the Deacs scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns during a furious rally but came up short. Expect more improvement in 2016.

13. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-9, 1-7). In what coach Paul Johnson has called a "miserable season," Georgia Tech had nothing going on offense and too many turnovers (again) in a 13-7 loss to Georgia. It was Georgia Tech's worst season since going 1-10 in 1994.

14. Boston College Eagles (3-9, 0-8). It was a tough season for the Eagles, who completed their first winless ACC season since joining the conference in 2005. Injuries at just about every position on offense, along with youth on the offensive line, conspired to make this a difficult year for Steve Addazio.