ACC Football Week 7: Power Ranking the ACC Teams

Brian StewartContributor IIIOctober 9, 2011

ACC Football Week 7: Power Ranking the ACC Teams

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    Week 6 in the ACC provided us with a chance to see a good number of close, exciting games that provided a couple of somewhat unexpected results.  Wake Forest and Florida State, along with the game between Virginia Tech and Miami, gave us some of those exciting outcomes.  Now that all of the games have been played, here is how I see the 12 ACC Teams falling in this week's power rankings:

No. 12: Boston College Eagles

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    Well, there was a glimmer of hope for every Boston College fan when Tajh Boyd went down in the game with an injured hip.  Unfortunately, the Tigers snuffed out even that faint glimmer with a resounding effort against the BC Eagles, as Boston College ultimately fell 36-14.  Now sitting at 1-5 on the season, BC is quickly looking like it is out of options for any chance at a bowl game this year.  With a game AT Lane Stadium against a VT team coming off a big win, there may not be a huge chance for Boston College to leave the bottom spot of the power rankings.

No. 11: Virginia Cavaliers

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    From spots No. 11 to No. 6, the decision on where to put which team became very difficult to decide.  Ultimately, however, I decided to go with the University of Virginia in spot No. 11.  They were off this past week with a bye week, however, they enter a very challenging game against a very good Georgia Tech team this week.  They have looked very uninspiring in their two wins of merit (Indiana, Idaho) and have been handled when playing better teams.  They have NO choice but to bring their A-game if they want a chance to move up in the power rankings.

No. 10: Duke Blue Devils

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    The other team that had the week off during Week 6 was the Duke Blue Devils.  Now don't be me wrong; I'm a huge fan of what David Cutcliffe is trying to do at Duke.  And while they have a winning record, this is yet another team that still has to show me what they can truly do.  And they have just that opportunity over the next three weeks to prove what they truly have:  Home vs. Florida State, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. The three-game homestand will show us just how far the Blue Devils have come in this season, and whether or not they can put behind them the bad loss to Richmond that started this season.

No. 9: Miami Hurricanes

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    This is probably where I will start to find issues with people, but so be it.  Miami has been a very, very up and down team this year.  After starting the season mired in many, many NCAA issues, the team followed it up with a rough loss against a Maryland team that has looked worse and worse each week.  And that is the only thing that kept me from moving the Canes up one more spot.  Maryland owns the head-to-head victory, and until Miami does something to prove otherwise they are going to sit towards the bottom of the power rankings.  I will admit they had a very strong performance against Virginia Tech, but we still don't know how good VT is at this point.

No. 8: Maryland Terrapins

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    Well they made it interesting against the Yellow Jackets, that is for sure.  Unfortunately for the Terrapins, in my eyes that was more from the mental mistakes GT made rather than anything spectacular Maryland did.  The game against GT marked the beginning of a rough stretch for the Terrapins, as they follow this game up with two games that will make or break their season in the ACC: home vs. Clemson and at Florida State.  At this point, however, Maryland cannot afford to lose both of these games if they want any chance at winning the Atlantic Division this year.

No. 7: NC State Wolfpack

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    It was a nice rebound this week for the Wolfpack, bumping them up a bit in the rankings this time around.  They still haven't notched a win in conference, still require seven total wins to become bowl eligible and they are still beat up on defense, but a win is a nice start for this team.  They now head into their bye week with a .500 record, and have a solid chance to pick up another win in two weeks vs. UVA.

No. 6: Florida State Seminoles

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    Well the Seminoles find themselves still in the top half of the power rankings, although it wasn't by many of their own merits.  A lot of people are probably going to find issue with where I currently have the Seminoles, but there is still a LOT of talent on this Seminole team.  However, lose this week against Duke, and FSU will start to rocket down the power rankings next week.

No. 5: Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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    Welcome back Jim Grobe, and welcome back Wake Forest.  I continue to support the fact that Jim Grobe has done an incredible job in a school that is very small and has always struggled with overall talent level.  However, the Demon Deacons find themselves at 4-1 after an upstart win against the Seminoles, and are currently looking like the biggest challenger to Clemson in the Atlantic Division.  How much are Demon Deacon fans wishing that All-Star QB Tanner Price had been able to finish the Syracuse game now?  We'll ultimately find out how real the Demon Deacons are with a game vs. Virginia Tech this week.

No. 4: Virginia Tech Hokies

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    It was gut-check time for the Virginia Tech Hokies, and they responded as well as you can, particularly Logan Thomas.  It was an outstanding performance for the struggling QB as he absolutely shredded Miami's defense all night long.  This means that Virginia Tech remains in what looks to be the three-team race for the Coastal Division between Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and North Carolina.  The Hokies have a chance to go on the road and silence the upstart Demon Deacons in this upcoming week.

No. 3: North Carolina Tarheels

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    Some are going to argue that UNC and VT should be flip flopped in these rankings, but I've been rather impressed with UNC to this point in the season.  There was no reason to expect such a strong start from the Tar Heels; they fired their coach mere weeks before the season began.  But interim head coach Everitt Withers is making a strong push to remove the "interim" in that title as he has lead the Tar Heels to their best start ever at home, going 4-0 in four home games this season.  The next three games against Miami, Wake Forest and Clemson will show us once and for all where UNC is in these rankings.

No. 2: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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    Well the Maryland Terrapins tried to give the Ramblin Wreck a scare this past Saturday, but they were having none of it.  The defense, regardless of the rushing yards it gave up this past weekend, made the already struggling passing game of Maryland look foolish this weekend, forcing former ACC Freshman of the Year Danny O'Brien to the bench.  However, the GT faithful fully realize that it was an overall sloppy performance by the offense, and that if the issues are not fixed soon, they will not continue to hold one of the top two spots in the power rankings this season.

No. 1: Clemson Tigers

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    Every Clemson fan took a collective sharp inhale as young star QB Tajh Boyd took a shot in the middle of the game against Boston College, suffering a hip injury and leaving him questionable to this point for the game at Maryland this weekend.  The team, however, showed resilience, as they went on to complete their game against the Eagles.  Now sitting at 6-0 as one of two teams already bowl eligible in this young season, it seems very clear that both GT and Clemson have put the nightmares of last year's 6-7 season behind them.

Conclusion

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    Well there it is.  Your Week 7 ACC power rankings.  I would love to hear your thoughts as to where each team deserves to be this week and how different it is compared to mine.  See y'all next week with these rankings once again.