ACC Power rankings entering Week 9: Clemson makes a statement
Week 8 is in the books.
The ACC slate delivered plenty of storylines last week, including one of the best games of the year in Clemson’s win over Syracuse.
Here are Saturday Road’s updated power rankings for Week 9:
14. Virginia Tech (Last week: 13)
Virginia Tech was off last week, but the Hokies take over the basement in these power rankings thanks to UVA’s win. Virginia Tech has lost four straight games and only has two home games left on the schedule. At NC State this weekend will be another tough test.
13. Virginia (Last week: 14)
Virginia moves up one spot by virtue of a win over a Georgia Tech team that did not have its starting quarterback. This still isn’t a great situation, but getting to a bowl game is possible if the Cavaliers beat Miami at home this weekend.
12. Boston College (Last week: 12)
Boston College got smoked by Wake Forest last week, but that’s been true for almost every ACC team that has played the Demon Deacons so far this year. The Eagles continue to be decimated by offensive line injuries.
11. Miami (Last week: 9)
Eight turnovers for the Canes at home against Duke is officially rock bottom. Mario Cristobal is in full rebuild mode at this point. Tyler Van Dyke’s status is a major question mark for this week’s game against Virginia.
10. Pittsburgh (Last week: 7)
Pittsburgh suffered another bad loss this weekend, this time to Louisville. The Panthers’ offense just hasn’t been the same this season, despite incredible performance from Israel Abanikanda. Their Coastal title hopes are on the line this weekend in Chapel Hill.
9. Georgia Tech (Last week: 8)
Georgia Tech lost to Virginia last week as Jeff Sims is still dealing with an injury and had to leave the game early. The Yellow Jackets didn’t seem to have a backup plan offensively, as Zach Gibson struggled to get anything going through the air or on the ground.
8. Louisville (Last week: 11)
Louisville pulled out an ugly win over Pittsburgh last weekend, but it was a very important victory. The Cardinals now have a path to bowl eligibility if they can beat James Madison and NC State at home. Of course, an upset vs. Wake Forest this weekend is possible as well.
7. Duke (Last week: 10)
Duke is the biggest mover this week thanks to its blowout win over Miami on the road. The Blue Devils now have five wins on the season and are within striking distance of bowl eligibility. Mike Elko should be receiving ACC Coach of the Year consideration.
6. Florida State (Last week: 6)
Florida State was idle last week, getting a much-needed break after three straight losses. Next up is a Georgia Tech squad that will likely be playing without its starting quarterback.
5. NC State (Last week: 5)
NC State was off in Week 8, but the Wolfpack were surely busy. We’ll see what their new-look offense with Jack Chambers looks like against Virginia Tech on Thursday night.
4. North Carolina (Last week: 4)
North Carolina was off in Week 8, but its stock improved tremendously during the idle week. Losses from Miami and Pittsburgh mean the Tar Heels have all but clinched the ACC Coastal title. A win over the Panthers this weekend could further solidify that achievement.
3. Syracuse (Last week: 2)
Syracuse played well defensively against the Tigers, but the offense stumbled. Sean Tucker received only five carries and Garrett Shrader didn’t make quite enough plays on third down. Still, it was an overall positive showing for a Syracuse team that was playing its first ACC road game of the year.
2. Wake Forest (Last week: 3)
Another week, another dominant win for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have hardly been tested this season outside of a close win over Liberty and their overtime loss to Clemson. We’ll see if that changes this weekend at Louisville.
1. Clemson (Last week: 1)
Clemson escaped against No. 14 Syracuse this weekend thanks a 17-0 run in the fourth quarter. While the score didn’t show it for most of the game, the Tigers controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. DJ Uiagalelei’s three turnovers skewed the final score, but Clemson was still good enough to overcome a huge turnover margin. Dabo Swinney’s squad deserves credit for that as it heads into its bye week.