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ACC Football Rankings: Week 7

Each week, the Confidential will rank the top 15 teams (includes Notre Dame) in the A.C.C. and provide a brief explanation for the decision.  Feel free to list your own below or otherwise comment.  Here it goes for week 7:

  1. Clemson 6-0.  Boston College used to have a great defense.  After allowing over 100 points in its last two conference games, maybe not.  Either way, Clemson rolled over B.C. on the road to get to 6-0.  They are now halfway to the Conference Championship game.  They need to take care of NC State and not look forward to Florida State though.
  2. Louisville 4-1. The Cardinals got a week off to rest and prepare for Duke.
  3. Virginia Tech 4-1. With a 34-3 drubbing of the Tar Heels in the inclement weather, the Hokies may officially be “back.”  North Carolina was flying high entering the game, but left with its Coastal tag between its legs.  Virginia Tech travels to Syracuse to face the fading Orange.
  4. Florida State 4-2.  Sure, it was not beautiful, but it was the 7th straight win for the Seminoles over Miami.  The trajectory of these two rivals is getting closer, but Jimbo Fisher got the win to keep FSU in the running for a major bowl.  Wake Forest is next and will not be easy.
  5. Miami 4-1.  Miami has narrowed the gap considerably–but still fell short against FSU 20-19.  So close.  But there is no time to rest as a hungry North Carolina team will be coming to town next.  To stay in the Coastal hunt, Miami needs to take care of business.
  6. NC State 4-1.  NC State has a win over Wake Forest, who at 5-1 is taking major steps forward.  NC State also has a win over Notre Dame, who has talent all over the field and handled Syracuse easily.   Oh, but things get very challenging with a trip to Clemson this week.
  7. Wake Forest 5-1.  Wake Forest just keeps winning.  After losing to NC State, they made several major mistakes and still put Syracuse away.  At the halfway point, the Demon Deacons need just one more win to go bowling… and Army, Virginia, and Boston College are all on the schedule.  Next up, a trip to Florida State, who may have just found some confidence with a win over Miami.
  8. North Carolina 4-2. The Tar Heels could be higher, with losses only to Georgia and Va Tech.  This shows just how deep the ACC is now.  Unfortunately, UNC must now travel to Miami, who will be looking to rebound from its disappointing loss to rival FSU.
  9. Pittsburgh 4-2.  The Panthers were able to beat Georgia Tech by a field goal, moving to 4-2.  A trip to Virginia is next.  While Syracuse and Duke will come to town to end the season, the next three weeks involve games against Miami, Clemson, and Virginia Tech.  A Virginia win is essential.
  10. Georgia Tech 3-3.  After starting 3-0, the Yellow Jackets are now 3-3, with losses to Clemson, Miami, and Pitt.  They need to defeat Georgia Southern, who (fortunately for Ga Tech) is not quite the same under its new coach.  A good opportunity to right the ship.
  11. Duke 3-3.  A win is a win, and Duke beat Army 13-6 to get to .500.  All six remaining games are against teams above Duke in these standings, so there is a real risk of Duke missing out on a bowl this year.  Next up: Louisville, who will be looking to take out two weeks of post-Clemson frustration on the Blue Devils.  Yikes!
  12. Boston College 3-3.  Boston College used to be about defense, but they have been outscored 122-24 in conference play this year.  They have 15 days to prepare for Syracuse.
  13. Notre Dame 2-4.  The loss to NC State shows just how far the Fighting Irish have fallen.  Someone joked that it is a good thing that Notre Dame is not in the ACC because it would drag down the conference S.O.S.  And that joke was true.  To get to bowl eligibility, Notre Dame will have to win four of these games: Stanford, Miami, Army, Navy, Virginia Tech, and @ USC.  Yes, that is five straight home games in a schedule with only three true road games.  And no Clemson, FSU, or Louisville on the schedule.  Stanford and USC are both down, while Texas and Michigan State are fading.  To miss a bowl in a season with THIS schedule would be dreadful.
  14. Virginia 2-3.  Virginia got the week off and gets to move up to #14.  After all, they have a better record and a win over a P5 program (which Syracuse does not).  Next up is 4-2 Pitt.
  15. Syracuse 2-4.  The Orange are fading fast.  With six games left, bowl eligibility is mathematically alive.  But the loss to Wake Forest may have put that reality out of its misery.  With hot Va Tech coming to town, it could get that much more unlikely that much faster.  Perhaps worse Syracuse teams have pulled upsets, but it is what it is.  With wins over Colgate and UConn, Syracuse deserves the #15 spot until the results prove otherwise.

So, what do you think?  How would you change these rankings?

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