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ACC Power Rankings: Week 8

The Cards are not No. 1.

NCAA Football: Miami at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

After seven weeks of play, here’s where we’re at: Clemson is still the best, Louisville is still the worst, and best of luck trying to figure out the middle. The league saw five teams on the bye and one of its only ranked teams suffer an upset. Here’s how we’re looking headed into week 8.

1. #3 Clemson (6-0 Overall, 3-0 Conference) (LW: #1)

Surprise, surprise. Travis Etienne is averaging 9.2 yards per carry and leads the ACC with 761 yards and 11 TDs; he’s likely to finish as a Heisman finalist.

Up next: Saturday 10/20 vs. #16 NC State (5-1) at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN

2. #16 NC State (5-0 Overall, 2-0 Conference) (LW: #3)

Up a spot from last week due to Miami’s demise, NC State is coming off a bye week with their perfect record still intact. What’s impressive is that despite last week’s inactivity and having played one less game due to Hurricane Florence, Ryan Finley still leads the league with 1,621 yards and 130 completions.

Up next: Saturday 10/20 at #3 Clemson (6-0) at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN

3. Duke (5-1 Overall, 1-1 Conference) (LW: #4)

The Blue Devils got off to a slow start against Georgia Tech but three second-half touchdowns powered them past the Yellow Jackets, 28-14. Daniel Jones was 17-of-27 for 206 yards and 3 TDs.

Up next: Saturday 10/20 vs. Virginia (4-2) at 12:30 p.m. on ACC Network

4. Virginia Tech (4-2 Overall, 3-0 Conference) (LW: #5)

Virginia Tech almost blew it Saturday against North Carolina but scored a go-ahead touchdown with 19 seconds left to remain perfect amongst ACC-competition. The game could have gone very differently if it weren’t for a forced fumble that gave the Hokies the ball and setup their comeback drive, as opposed to going down two scores late in the fourth quarter.

Up next: Bye

5. Boston College (5-2 Overall, 2-1 Conference) (LW: #7)

The Eagles combined for 251 rushing yards in their 38-20 win against the league-worst Louisville Cardinals and held their opponent to just 217 total yards. David Bailey and Ben Glines stepped up in AJ Dillion’s absence, rushing for 100+ yards each and a touchdown apiece. Defensive End Wyatt Ray recorded three of BC’s seven total sacks and is now tied for the most in college football with 8.5.

Up next: Bye

6. Syracuse (4-2 Overall, 1-2 Conference) (LW: #6)

No change here for the Orange after their bye week.

Up next: Saturday 10/20 vs. UNC (1-4) at 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network

7. Virginia (3-2 Overall, 1-1 Conference) (LW: #11)

As referenced below, the Cavs got away with one and were bailed out by a personal foul call, but nevertheless, they beat a ranked team and deserve credit where credit is due. I highly doubt they stay here for long but for now, they’ve earned their four-spot bump.

Up next: Saturday 10/20 at Duke (5-1) at 12:30 p.m. on ACC Network

8. Miami (5-2 Overall, 2-1 Conference) (LW: #2)

One week after an emotional one-point win over rival FSU, Miami stumbled on the road against Virginia, losing 16-13. The Hurricanes were 4-of-12 on third down, 0-for-2 on fourth, and turned the ball over three times. Not great. What was worse was that Tito Odenigbo screwed his team out of any chance at a comeback after his personal foul kept Virginia’s final drive alive with a new set of downs and allowed them to run out the clock.

Up next: Bye

9. Wake Forest (3-3 Overall, 0-2 Conference) (LW: #10)

Wake Forest boasts the conference’s leader in receiving yards and receptions as Greg Dortch has caught 48 passes for 592 yards and 5 TDs; he’ll look to continue adding to those totals as the team returns from a bye week.

Up next: Saturday 10/20 at Florida State (3-3) at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2

10. Georgia Tech (3-4 Overall, 1-3 Conference) (LW: #8)

Georgia Tech may have peaked, but at least they’ll have the memories. After demolishing Bowling Green 63-17 and crushing Louisville 66-31, their offense mustered just two touchdowns against Duke and combined for 229 rushing yards. They lost, and thus they slide back down.

Up next: Bye

11. Pittsburgh (3-4 Overall, 2-1 Conference) (LW: #9)

Pitt actually led undefeated Notre Dame for most of the game thanks to a first-quarter touchdown drive and a 99-yard kickoff return by Maurice French, but ultimately the Panthers were unable to hang on, losing 19-14.

Up next: Bye

12. Florida State (3-3 Overall, 1-3 Conference) (LW: #12)

These last three look pretty familiar, eh? A bye week keeps FSU right where they were a week ago.

Up next: Saturday 10/20 vs. Wake Forest (3-3) at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2

13. North Carolina (1-4 Overall, 1-2 Conference) (LW: #13)

The Tar Heels looked for a while like they might upset Virginia Tech and earn their second win of the season, but alas, they found a way to throw it all away.

Up next: Saturday 10/20 at Syracuse (4-2) at 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network

14. Louisville (2-5 Overall, 0-4 Conference) (LW: #14)

Louisville thought if AJ Dillon was held from the game that they might have a shot to beat Boston College, but even that was an optimistic pipedream – they still surrendered 38 points to drop their fourth straight loss and have now allowed 984 yards of total offense to their last two opponents. Quite frankly, they won’t win another game this season.

Up next: Bye