ACC Football Power Rankings, Sept. 17
Debrale Smiley and FSU ran all over Wake Forest on Saturday.
(AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
Andrew Skwara re-ranks the ACC after the third week of the season.
If you didn’t believe Florida State was the best team in the ACC going into last week you should now be convinced otherwise now.
Florida State dominated on historic levels in its ACC opener, rolling to a 52-0 rout of a Wake Forest team that had beaten North Carolina the previous week. That performance strengthened the Seminoles’ No. 1 ranking in the latest ACCsports.com Football Power Rankings.
Georgia Tech climbed up to No. 3, one spot ahead of Virginia Tech, despite having lost to the Hokies in both team’s season opener. That’s an indication of how dominating the Yellow Jackets’ 56-20 win over Virginia was, as well as how shocking the Hokies’ 35-17 loss at Pittsburgh was.
Virginia Tech would have likely fallen further down had Wake (the previous No. 5), North Carolina (previous No. 6) and Virginia (previous No. 7) not all lost last week.
ACC Football Power Rankings – Week 4
1. Florida State (3-0, 1-0 ACC)
The Seminoles have played and beaten just one FBS team, but it’s hard to quantify just how impressive that performance was. Not only did the Noles crush Wake Forest 52-0 – Wake’s worst loss since Jim Grobe took over the program 11 years ago – but Wake was held to 126 total yards, an all-time low for the Grobe era. Keep in mind that Wake was coming off a win over North Carolina, too. Yes, it’s just one game, but dominating a quality foe to that degree is a sign the Noles are finally worthy of all their preseason hype this time around.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 1
Next Game: Saturday vs. Clemson, 8 pm
2. Clemson (3-0, 0-0)
Sammy Watkins looks just fine – the star receiver reeled off a 58-yard touchdown run against Furman in his first game of the season last week. But giving up 352 yards to Furman is concerning, especially with a trip to Tallahassee approaching.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 2
Next Game: Saturday at Florida State, 8 pm
Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington (AP Photo/David Goldman)
3. Georgia Tech (2-1, 1-1)
As impressive as Florida State was last week, the Yellow Jackets may have been even more so. Paul Johnson’s team made Virginia look like an FCS pushover in a 36-point drubbing. Three of the Yellow Jackets’ first four plays from scrimmage produced gains of 60 yards or more and the Jackets finished with a hard-to-believe 461 rushing yards. That overshadowed another good performance from their much-improved defense too.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 4
Next Game: Saturday vs. Miami, 3 pm
4. Virginia Tech (2-1, 1-0)
So much for a trip to a struggling Pittsburgh team not providing a test. The Hokies weren’t just upset by the future ACC program, but beaten convincingly, 35-17. Quarterback Logan Thomas (14-of-31 with three interceptions) played awful and the Hokies run game continues to struggle, producing just 59 yards on the ground.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 3
Next Game: Saturday vs. Bowling Green, noon
5. North Carolina (1-2, 0-1)
The Tar Heels nearly pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in school history at Louisville. Of course, they also fell behind by 29 points by halftime. Their one-point loss to Wake looks less respectable now as well.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 6
Next Game: Saturday vs. East Carolina, 3:30 pm
6. N.C. State (2-1, 0-0)
Beating up on FBS newbie South Alabama (31-7) doesn’t help the Wolfpack much at all. Nor will doing the same to The Citadel next week. The good news is corner David Amerson looks like his old self. He’s picked off passes in the last two games and now has 15 career interceptions.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 8
Next Game: Saturday vs. The Citadel, 6 pm
7. Wake Forest (2-1, 1-1)
How does Wake beat Florida State a year ago and then turn around and lose by 52 points in the rematch? It probably has more to do with the Seminoles getting better than the Deacs getting worse. Still, you can’t ignore the fact that Jim Grobe’s team looked frighteningly inept.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 5
Next Game: Saturday vs Army, 12:30 pm
8. Virginia (2-1, 0-1)
How is this the same program that beat Georgia Tech a year ago? The Cavaliers got embarrassed in the rematch, defending the Jackets’ spread-option offense about as poorly as possible. Don’t be surprised if a trip to a ranked TCU team next turns ugly too.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 7
Next Game: Saturday at TCU, noon
9. Miami (2-1, 1-0)
Even in a easy win against the likes of Bethune-Cookman, you have to be impressed with the play of freshman Duke Johnson, who scored on a kick return, a catch and two runs. Johnson may be the kind of star player Al Golden needs to get this program turned around.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 9
Next Game: Saturday at Georgia Tech, 3 pm
10. Duke (2-1, 0-0)
All that stands in the way of a 3-1 start for the Blue Devils is a visit from a rebuilding Memphis team. The Tigers are 0-3 with one of those losses coming to a FCS program (Tennessee-Martin).
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 11
Next Game: Saturday vs Memphis, 6 pm
11. Maryland (2-1, 0-0)
Randy Edsall couldn’t quite beat his old team as the Terps’ late comeback fell short in a 24-21 loss to Connecticut. The Terps will have to play a lot better just to stay competitive with a road trip to No. 8 West Virginia coming up next.
Last Week’s Ranking: No. 10
Next Game: Saturday at West Virginia, noon
12. Boston College (1-2, 0-1)
Despite not giving up a touchdown until the final minutes, the Eagles fell to Northwestern on the road. QB Chase Rettig continues to play well, piling up 291 passing yards without a pick. But, BC’s run game was atrocious, averaging a paltry 1.2 yards a carry.