One week into the ACC Football Power Rankings, and already I've got problems.
No. 1 Clemson
Last week I wrote that if the Tigers knocked off Georgia, a top-5 opponent, "they'll move up to No. 1, no matter what FSU does up at Pitt."
Then Jameis Winston went and happened (reaffirming my decision to hop on his bandwagon, btw) and made things tricky.
Still, I'm a man of my word. And the Tigers are now at their highest ranking in the AP poll in 25 years. Tajh Boyd was his usual Heisman self, and more importanly, the defensive front looked stout - even against Georgia's incredible array of offensive talent.
Previous Rank: 2
Last week: beat Georgia, 38-35
This week: 12:30 vs. South Carolina St.
NO. 2 FLORIDA STATE
Umm ... wow. Just ... wow.
So all that Jameis Winston hype turned out to ... understated. Really, though, how do you possibly see 25-of-27 for 356 yards and 4 TDs (with a rushing TD thrown in for good measure) coming?
The one quibble I had with FSU certainly wasn't Winston-related. Rather, I thought the defense looked a little slow and unsure in Jeremy Pruitt's new, more complex scheme. But you'd have to think that will change with each passing week, as the Noles get more accustomed to the new system.
Let the countdown to Oct. 19 - FSU at Clemson - begin!
Record: 1-0 overall, 1-0 ACC
Previous Rank: 1
Last week: won at Pitt, 41-13
This week: Bye
NO. 3 GEORGIA TECH
It was a good weekend for my bandwagons!
First, Winston repays my advance loyalties in spades. Then Vad Lee makes me look good for touting the Yellow Jackets. Yes, yes, I know it was just Elon, but ask multiple other FBS programs how they fared against FCS competition last weekend.
The Yellow Jackets looked unstoppable under Lee, (7-11, 189 yards passing) but more importantly they made a ton of plays on defense, including returning two interceptions for touchdowns.
Previous Rank: 3
Last week: beat Elon, 70-0
This week: bye
NO. 4 MIAMI
I wasn't overwhelmed by the Canes' performance against FAU, but a win's a win, and Duke Johnson looked like, well, Duke Johnson. He had 186 yards rushing in about three quarters worth of work against the Owls, the best single-game total in the nation for Week One.
Oh and freshman wideout Stacey Coley dropped two TDS and the defense dropped a probably pick-six. So maybe Miami was pretty dominant. We'll know more after this week, when Florida comes to town.
Previous Rank: 4
Last week: Beat Florida Atlantic, 34-6
This week: Noon, vs. Florida
NO. 5 VIRGINIA TECH
Is it a little weird to move a team that lost 35-10 in its opener, UP in the power rankings? Perhaps.
But consider that the team the Hokies lost to was No. 1 Alabama, in a virtual home game for the Crimson Tide in Atlanta. Consider also that Alabama scored off a punt return, a kickoff return and an interception return. Yes, those all still count, but they aren't necessarily proof of total Bama dominance either. Oh, and consider that the Hokies' D help the Tide to just 206 yards.
Yes, you must also consider Logan Thomas' 5-of-26 performance and that the stone hands of his receivers played a big role as well. Still, I'm going to be glass half-full guy and see a team with a dominant D and plenty of potential to improve on offense.
Previous Rank: 6
Last Week: Lost to No. 1 Alabama, 35-10
This Week: 1:30 vs. Western Carolina
NO. 6 Maryland
It’s not just that Maryland no longer has a linebacker playing at quarterback. It's that the guy now playing quarterback, C.J. Brown, looks very comfortable running Mike Locksley's offense. Brown has always been a threat with his feet. Now, with Stefon Diggs and juco transfer Deon Long catching his passes, Brown's a threat through the air as well.
Previous Rank: 8
Last Week: Beat Florida International, 43-10
This Week: 4 p.m. vs. Old Dominion
NO. 7 VIRGINIA
All last week I complained about the UVa schedulers. This was a young team in transition, I argued, one that didn't need to be starting off the season with a stern test against BYU.
But if you pass said test? Well, then everything's COMING UP MILLHOUSE IN C-VILLE!!!
At least until Saturday, when Oregon comes to town.
(Seriously, UVA schedulers? Seriously?)
Previous Rank: 11
Last Week: Beat Brigham Young, 19-16
This Week: 3:30 p.m. vs. Oregon
NO. 8 north carolina
We talked about UNC's loss to South Carolina the day after, on the David Glenn Show and debated whether there more positives or negatives to take away from the defeat. I went with negatives: I was distressed by how much more physical the Gamecocks were than the Tar Heels and by the lack of playmaking by UNC's receivers.
Howevah (Stephen A. Smith), let's factor in the opponent. I feel like I'll know more about UNC after South Carolina's game this weekend against Georgia. If the Gamecocks roll, then I'm not going to be nearly as worried about UNC as I was in the aftermath of last Thursday's defeat.
Previous Rank: 5
Last Week: Lost to South Carolina, 27-10
This Week: 12:30 p.m. vs. Middle Tennessee St.
NO. 9 N.C. State
If this poll was put together after State's first two drives against Louisiana Tech, I probably have the Wolfpack at No. 5. That's how good Dave Doeren's offense looked with Brandon Mitchell at the controls. And that's how much it hurts State that Mitchell is now out 4-6 weeks with a broken foot.
(There's a hash tag on Twitter for this sort of thing. I'll let you find it yourselves.)
Without Mitchell, the running aspect of Doeren's offense really takes a hit. That won't matter against Richmond, but it certainly puts a damper on State's chances at an upset on Sept. 19, when Clemson comes to Raleigh for a Thursday night game.
Previous Rank: 7
Last Week: Beat Louisiana Tech, 40-14
This Week: 6 p.m. vs. Richmond
NO. 10 DUKE
It's hard to discern much from beating up on a hapless N.C. Central program that had to fire its coach less than two weeks before the start of the season. Still, it had been almost 25 years since the Blue Devils last shut out an opponent. And Duke dominated Central the way that a solid FBS team is supposed to dominate an FCS opponent.
Previous Rank: 11
Last Week: Beat N.C. Central, 45-0
This Week: 4:30 p.m. vs. Memphis
NO. 11 WAKE FOREST
Everyone was chuckling when Wake fell behind early to Presbyterian. Not many were paying much attention as the Deacs' rolled through the rest of the contest. They missed Wake forcing six turnovers and perhaps finally finding another wide receiver - redshirt freshman Jonathan Williams (143 yards receiving) - to complement Michael Campanaro.
Wake didn't need Campanaro last week against the Blue Hose, but the Deacs will when they travel up to Chestnut Hill for a Friday night ACC matchup.
Oh yes, #TheRivalry is here!
Previous Rank: 9
Last Week: Beat Presbyterian, 31-7
This Week: Friday, 8 p.m. at Boston College
No. 12 Pitt
For a few moments - a drive, at least - Pitt's dream of an upset against Florida State was still alive. Pretty quickly though, and thanks in large part to Jameis Winston - that drive proved to be an impossible one.
Still, the Panthers can at least take comfort in knowing that every other ACC game they play this season will look easy by comparison.
For now they just need to cut down on those Tom Savage brain-lock interceptions, work on restoring the defense's confidence, take a deep breath and put FSU behind them.
Record: 0-1 overall, 0-1 ACC
Previous Rank: 12
Last Week: Lost to FSU, 41-13
This Week: Bye
No. 13 SYRACUSE
Syracuse now has its quarterback, as Drew Allen beat out Terrell Hunt to win the job, but there's still major work to be done on offense for the Orange. Allen completed just 16-of-37 for 189 yards and 2 interceptions, while the ground game totaled just 71 yards on 37 carries. Oof.
Syracuse needs to pick things up on the side of the ball quickly, with Northwestern coming up next on the schedule.
Previous Rank: 13
Last Week: Lost to Penn State, 23-17
Next Week: 6 p.m., at Northwestern
No. 14 Boston College
Say this for BC, it didn't lose to FCS Villanova. There are several teams out there, including two in the Big 12 and previously-ranked Oregon State, which can't say the same thing.
That said, the Eagles showed that, while Addazio has worked hard to change the attitude and atmosphere in Chestnut Hill, he has much work to do to improve the on-field product.
Previous Rank: 14
Last Week: Beat Villanova, 24-14.
This Week: Friday, 8 p.m. vs. Wake Forest