Here is this week’s Confidential Correspondents Football Poll! Still hard to differentiate a lot of these teams… even at the bottom.
13-15. Wake Forest (2-2); Virginia (1-3), and Pitt (2-1)(0 points). It may not be fair for these teams to be at the bottom, but it is what it is. Wake Forest has two wins, but two losses against Syracuse (3-1) and Indiana (4-0). Pitt beat Akron (who may go bowling this year) and an FCS foe, with a loss to Iowa. Virginia, meanwhile, has an FCS win and losses to three very good programs in UCLA, Boise State, and Notre Dame. What would Duke’s record be with that schedule? Or North Carolina State. But it is what it is.
11-12. Louisville (1-3) and Virginia Tech (2-2) (3 points). These schools got some love from the correspondents, but perhaps this is more based on history than present performance. Virginia Tech lost to Ohio State, but also lost to East Carolina–and the win over hapless Purdue is not too impressive. Meanwhile, Louisville has played 3 FBS teams and lost to them all. The history says do not count these teams out, but for now they are outside the top 10.
9. Boston College (3-1) and North Carolina (3-1) (7 points). These two teams tied in the poll. They each looked good against seemingly top foes (Florida State and South Carolina, respectfully). They each have looked good against lesser foes. They both have wins over good Illinois teams–Northern Illinois and Illinois, respectfully. In fact, Northern Illinois may even be the better team. In any event, these two teams are half-way to a bowl game with 2/3 the season remaining.
8. Syracuse (3-1, 10 points). Syracuse lost–but moved UP in this poll. The win over Wake Forest and the overtime win over Central Michigan did not impress anyone, but going toe-to-toe with LSU with a 5th string, walk-on QB apparently did. Syracuse now has a week to rest to prepare for South Florida. However, how will Syracuse play on the road in Tampa and then the next week at Virginia. If they can sweep–that would be great. Get swept? Well, it will be bottom 3 for Syracuse. Nobody expects the Orange to beat Clemson or FSU, but they need to win the winnable games.
7. Georgia Tech (2-2, 14 points). The Yellow Jackets are reeling, with consecutive losses. The triple option has not been effective lately, and without a running game there is no offense. With North Carolina coming to town, they will need to put up points.
6. North Carolina State (4-0, 17 points). The cupcakes are eaten, now it is on to reality for NC State. First up is a Louisville team that cannot afford any more losses in the division. In fact, with Florida State looming, there are only so many losses that Louisville can suffer at all if they want to go bowling. Which will prevail–desperation for a win (Louisville) or desperation for respect after a win (NC State)?
5. Duke (3-1, 23 points). The loss to Northwestern was a disappointment, he 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, 28 points). Miami has the nice win over Nebraska, but that is a bit questionable given Nebraska’s performance this year. Up next is a midweek game against Cincinnati. The Bearcats are a tough team to beat at home on a Thursday. If Al Golden wants Miami to take the next step, they need to start winning these games.
3. Florida State (3-0, 34 points). Florida State looked pedestrian in beating Boston College. Wake Forest is likely a step down from BC, but that has not stopped the Demon Deacons in the past. Of course, in the two most recent contests, the Seminoles have destroyed them. Can this Florida State team dominate for 60 minutes?
2. Notre Dame (4-0, 36 points, 2 first place votes). Notre Dame won, but UMass was in the game for a bit longer than expected. Now the Fighting Irish get to travel to Clemson and see what Death Valley is all about. Notre Dame is getting a taste of what life might be like in the ACC permanently–with games at Florida State last year and Clemson this year. Hopefully, we will see Notre Dame join full-time someday.
1. Clemson (3-0, 38 points, 2 first place vote). Despite being idle, the Tigers have slightly more love from the Confidential correspondents. With Notre Dame coming to town, this is a huge game for the Tigers and the ACC. The winner will be talked about as a playoff team.
What do you think? How do you rank these teams?