ACC Football Rankings And Reactions, Week 10

    Week 10 ACC football rankings and reactions. In the league’s game of the year, Clemson got past Florida State to capture the Atlantic Division. In the undercard, North Carolina bombarded rival Duke, setting the stage for what could be Tigers-Tar Heels on Dec. 5 for an Atlantic Coast Conference crown.

    November 9, 2015


    Week 10 ACC Football Rankings

    1. Clemson: W, Florida State 23-13

    Now that the Tigers have downed their arch-nemesis, the sky’s the limit for this program. Clemson has won the Atlantic Division for the first time since 2011. And with only Syracuse, Wake Forest and South Carolina left on the schedule, it should be undefeated heading into the ACC title game. Well-rested, too, if the Tigers take care of business as a double-digit favorite, allowing the starters to head to the bench before the third quarter ends.

    2. North Carolina: W, Duke 66-31

    The Tar Heels have reached its high point of the Larry Fedora era, running circles around a hated rival to reduce to one their magic number for winning the Coastal Division. Carolina didn’t just throw for 537 yards and four touchdowns; it did so against Jeremy Cash and one of the ACC’s stingier defensive backfields. If the Heels can keep building against Miami, Virginia Tech and NC State, they’ll be a legitimate threat to win the conference title on Dec. 5.

    3. Florida State: L, at Clemson 23-13

    The Noles are entering unfamiliar territory, playing November games that don’t matter in the ACC and national title chases. It was a solid effort in Death Valley, especially from the defense. But Florida State was unable to build on a fast start, eventually running out of gas against the Clemson D. It’ll be very interesting to see the Noles’ body language this week versus NC State, since so little rides on the outcome.

    4. Louisville: W, Syracuse 41-17

    Where have you been all year, Kyle Bolin? Bobby Petrino handed the ball to Bolin, who responded by singing Syracuse for 362 yards and three touchdowns on 24-of-35 passes. And the feeble Cards scored their most points versus an FBS opponent all year. Everyone benefitted from having Bolin behind center, including backs Brandon Radcliff, Jeremy Smith and L.J. Scott, who combined for 224 yards and a score on 28 carries.

    5. Pittsburgh: L, Notre Dame 42-30

    The Panthers have been exposed over the past two weeks as a competitive team, but not one that’s going to hang with the better opponents on the schedule. They’re soft on the back end of the defense, bowing to the pitch-and-catch combo of DeShone Kizer to Will Fuller. Losers of two straight, Pat Narduzzi’s team must reverse course against Duke, Louisville and Miami to improve its postseason positioning.

    6. Miami: W, Virginia 27-21

    It hasn’t been pretty, and there certainly have been breaks along the way, but the Canes have now won three of the last four to achieve bowl eligibility with three games left. Interim coach Larry Scott has the kids playing loose, aided this week by the return of QB Brad Kaaya. At a minimum, the young kids are guaranteed of 15 more practices and a December game, which will give the new coach a chance to scout his inherited players.

    7. Duke: L, at North Carolina 66-31

    The Blue Devils went from bad to worse in the span of a week, getting obliterated by the rival Tar Heels a week after the controversial last-play loss to Miami. But being robbed by the officials in Week 9 had nothing to do with what happened in Chapel Hill. Duke was simply crushed by a better team. And now with a pair of ACC losses, the Devils are essentially out of the Coastal Division race, with games left against Pitt, Virginia and Wake Forest.

    8. Virginia: L, at Miami 27-21

    An inability to win on the road will likely be head coach Mike London’s eventual undoing. The Cavaliers fell to 0-4 outside of Charlottesville, and are a loss away from once again missing the postseason. Assuming London is replaced, his successor must excel at developing quarterbacks, an ongoing problem in these parts. Matt Johns hasn’t progressed this year, but that’s not say he can’t under different leadership in 2016.

    9. Georgia Tech: Bye Week

    Next week: vs. Virginia Tech

    10. Virginia Tech: Bye Week

    Next week: at Georgia Tech

    11. NC State: W, at Boston College 24-8

    The Pack rebounded from last week’s tough loss to Clemson with a bowl eligibility-clinching win over the Eagles. While NC State will need to work on its rushing attack now that Matt Dayes is out for the year, the D will carry momentum into the final three games with Florida State, Syracuse and North Carolina. Led by DE Mike Rose, the Pack made 13 stops for loss and seven sacks.

    12. Syracuse: L, at Louisville 41-17

    Nothing is going right for the Orange, which last won a game on Sept. 19. After taking a lead at the end of the opening quarter, Syracuse was trashed by the Cardinals on offense and defense, eventually being outgained 579-286. With three games left and mired in a six-game losing streak, the only intrigue left in Upstate New York surrounds the future of head coach Scott Shafer.

    13. Wake Forest: Bye Week

    Next week: at Notre Dame

    14. Boston College: L, NC State 24-8

    Few teams in America need an offseason more than the Eagles do. Boston College has used three quarterbacks since Darius Wade was lost for the year in September, with similarly awful results. BC is 0-7 in ACC play, out of the postseason hunt and possibly facing offensive staff changes once the season ends. The Eagle defense deserved a better fate in 2015.

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