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ACC Football Power Rankings, Week 15: Javonte Williams & Michael Carter rewrite history, plus DC Clark Lea to leave Notre Dame

With the regular season all but closed out, let’s take a look at our final 2020 ACC Football Power Rankings — as we get set for Saturday’s conference title matchup.

 

No. 1 Notre Dame

In the week leading up to Notre Dame’s rematch with Clemson, defensive coordinator Clark Lea agreed to become the next head coach at Vanderbilt. According to reports, Lea will finish out the season with Notre Dame, though.

Next up: Clemson, Saturday (Dec. 19), 4:00 p.m.

Record: 10-0

 

No. 2 Clemson

Clemson opened as a big 10-point favorite for this Saturday’s conference title matchup with Notre Dame. For the first time since 2018, let’s see what Trevor Lawrence can do against the Irish.

Next up: Notre Dame, Saturday (Dec. 19), 4:00 p.m.

Record: 9-1

 

No. 3 North Carolina

So, um, North Carolina did mean things to Miami last Saturday. Led once more by the dynamic duo of Michael Carter and Javonte Williams, UNC hung 62 points on the Hurricanes — to go along with 778 total yards, including 554 on the ground.

Carter carried 24 times for 308 yards and two touchdowns, while Williams recorded 236 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries: a total of 544 rushing yards (11.6 yards per carry) and five touchdowns.

Next up: TBD

Record: 8-3

 

No. 4 Miami

With the cancellation of the Georgia Tech game, UNC’s demolition of Miami will be the final regular season game for the Hurricanes.

Next up: TBD

Record: 8-2

 

No. 5 NC State

So far this season in the ACC: 17 different players have recorded 400+ receiving yards and 5+ receiving touchdowns; this list includes Cary Angeline, Emeka Emeize and Thayer Thomas from NC State. The Wolfpack are one of two teams (along with BC) to have a trio of players clear those benchmarks.

Next up: TBD

Record: 8-3

 

No. 6 Boston College

Kudos to the leadership over at Boston College, which became the first ACC football program to opt out of the 2020 bowl season. Pitt and Virginia followed, too.

Next up: Season over

Record: 6-5

 

No. 7 Pittsburgh

The end of the 2020 season for Pitt marks the conclusion of Patrick Jones in a Panthers uniform. It’s been quite a run for Jones: 17.5 sacks combined the last two seasons. Jones is a top prospect at the defensive end position for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Next up: Season over

Record: 6-5

 

No. 8 Wake Forest

After going winless in the month of November, Wake Forest is now 0-1 in December — following last weekend’s loss at Louisville. The Demon Deacons have the chance to close the season with a winning record, though.

Next up: Florida State, Saturday (12/19), 12:00 p.m.

Record: 4-4

 

No. 9 Virginia Tech

After weeks of near free fall, Virginia Tech hit the brakes. The Hokies returned the Commonwealth Cup to Blacksburg, thanks to 162 rushing yards from Khalil Herbert in a 33-15 win over UVA.

Next up: TBD

Record: 5-6

 

No. 10 Virginia

Virginia lost a lot of talent from its 2019 division title team, including star quarterback Bryce Perkins. Yet, this UVA program showed that it has the ability to sustain. There’s a standard now in Charlottesville. Even in a challenging year, Bronco Mendenhall can build a strong defense and win games by just doing the little things right.

Next up: Season over

Record: 5-5

 

No. 11 Louisville

The final regular season game of the 2020 season served as a bit of a coming out party for redshirt freshman running back Jalen Mitchell. During the win over Wake Forest, Mitchell ran for 168 yards on 20 carries (8.4 yards per carry).

Next up: TBD

Record: 4-7

 

No. 12 Georgia Tech

Shoutout to Geoff Collins — who brought previously unforeseen efficiency to the postgame handshake after losing to Pitt. Pat Narduzzi looks happy!

Next up: Season over

Record: 3-7

 

No. 13 Florida State

Florida State is a basketball school.

Next up: at Wake Forest, Saturday (12/19), 12:00 p.m.

Record: 3-6

 

No. 14 Duke

Good news: the 35 points Duke scored against FSU were the second best mark in a conference game this season.

Bad news: the 35 points Duke scored against FSU were the second best mark in a conference game this season. Also, the Blue Devils lost by 21 points in a mostly pointless game.

Next up: Season over

Record: 2-9

 

No. 15 Syracuse

Hey, the basketball team looks pretty good.

Next up: Season over

Record: 1-10

 

Contributor Rankings

 Brian GeisingerJosh GrahamConsensus
1Notre DameNotre DameNotre Dame
2ClemsonClemsonClemson
3North CarolinaNorth CarolinaNorth Carolina
4MiamiMiamiMiami
5NC StateNC StateNC State
6Boston CollegeBoston CollegeBoston College
7Wake ForestPittPitt
8PittVirginia TechWake Forest
9Virginia TechWake ForestVirginia Tech
10VirginiaVirginiaVirginia
11LouisvilleGeorgia TechLouisville
12Georgia TechLouisvilleGeorgia Tech
13Florida StateFlorida StateFlorida State
14DukeDukeDuke
15SyracuseSyracuseSyracuse