Here is this week’s Confidential Correspondents Football Poll! Still hard to differentiate a lot of these teams… even at the bottom.
15. Wake Forest (2-1, 0 points). The Demon Deacons lose their QB, but find a way to win over Army. Nobody thinks that Wake Forest is a top 10 ACC team though. Maybe a win over Indiana will help a little? Next up for Wake Forest? Indiana.
14. Pittsburgh (2-1, 2 points). The Panthers almost beat Iowa on the road and drop in the standings? Well that will happen at this point in the year. Next up? A bye.
12. Boston College (2-1, 3 points) and Virginia (1-2, 3 points). Boston College and Virginia have looked good in their defeats this year. The wins, however, are exclusively against FCS teams–with BC’s being far more impressive. Maybe it is the QB injury, but BC seems too low here. Next up? BC hosts Northern Illinois, while Virginia hosts Boise State. Yikes.
11. Duke (2-1, 5 points). The Blue Devils were a great story the past few years, but the schedules have been favorable. The loss to Northwestern shows that Duke may not be a fixture at the top of the Coastal. These are games that division contenders must win–for themselves and for ACC statute. Next up? Georgia Tech.
10. Louisville (0-3, 8 points). Louisville has played a tough schedule so far. But 0-3 is 0-3. Kudos to the Correspondents for avoiding a knee-jerk reaction and placing the Cards at #15. But is Louisville a top 10 team right now? Not so sure. Auburn looks pretty iffy. Nor will a win this week alter that analysis much. Next up: Samford.
9. Syracuse (3-0, 9 points). The Orange have used 4 Quarterbacks en route to 3 wins. Granted, the schedule has not been daunting–but how many teams can say that? The win streak certainly seems like to end this week with Louisiana State coming to town–but a healthy Eric Dungey for Syracuse might along be enough to send the Cuse bowling. Next up? LSU.
8. Virginia Tech (2-1, 13 points). The Hokies sole loss is to Ohio State–still #1 in the country. Frank Beamer may not have a top 25 team, but Virginia Tech should not be counted out in the wide-open Coastal. Next up? @ East Carolina.
7. UNC (2-1, 14 points). The Tar Heels took care of previously unbeaten Illinois, as expected. Is this the year that UNC works its way into the Coastal title picture? Marquise Williams could go a long way towards making that happen. Next up? Delaware.
6. North Carolina State (3-0, 21 points). North Carolina State seems entrenched in the #6 spot, #3 in the Atlantic. The final cupcake on the OOC schedule is South Alabama–a road game. A win here means that NC State can lose 6 of its last 8 games and go bowling. That is an A.D. playing the game right. Next up? @ South Alabama.
5. Georgia Tech (2-1, 33 points). The Yellow Jackets had a great opportunity against Notre Dame, but fell short. However, they can still take home the Coastal title. It all begins this week with a trip to Duke. With Miami, UNC, and Virginia Tech looking good also, they will have to earn that particular title. Next up? @ Duke.
4. Miami (3-0, 34 points). Miami got the needed win over Nebraska to get halfway to a bowl. Miami has had decent OOC wins in recent years. The key for Al Golden is to have a good conference schedule–say 5 wins. Anything less than 8 wins and one has to wonder if Al Golden can take the team to the next step. One also has to wonder if Miami would look at Steve Addazio in that circumstance. Next up? Bye.
3. Notre Dame (3-0, 39 points, 2 first place votes). The Fighting Irish have withstood injuries to get to 3-0. They have the depth and the talent to keep winning. But they also need to avoid a collapse like last year. Until then, the Correspondents are very split on whether to believe in Notre Dame. Next up? UMass.
2. Florida State (3-0, 44 points). The Seminoles, again, merely looked OK against Boston College. It is hard to get a read on FSU this year. A win is a win though, and that is what Jimbo Fisher’s team has been doing lately. The tests will keep on coming though. Next up? Bye.
1. Clemson (3-0, 47 points, 3 first place vote). A win over a desperate Louisville team that always plays its best football on Thursdays was impressive. Clemson should be gaining confidence that the team can beat Notre Dame and, in turn, really move up in the national rankings. Next up? Bye.
What do you think? How do you rank these teams?