ACC Football Power Rankings, Week 7: It’s spooky season and Clemson looks scary good

Six ACC teams landed in this week’s AP Top 25, which includes NC State and UNC. The Pack and Heels will face off on Saturday — with both teams ranked — for the first time since Sept. 1993. Clemson, a team that frequently finds itself at or near the top of the AP Poll, looks to ready to run through just about anything in its way. The Tigers are scary good.

Once again, Clemson tops this week’s ACC Football Power Rankings — with a gap between first and second that continues to widen.


No. 1 Clemson

The numbers behind Clemson’s historic 73-7 beatdown of Georgia Tech are staggering; following the win, the Tigers now boast a +182 point differential on the season (5 games), including +133 in four ACC contests.

At this moment in time, college football belongs to Trevor Lawrence: 404 yards through the air, 12.6 yards per attempt and five touchdowns at GT.

Clemson saw 17 different players catch a pass in this game, too.

Next game: Syracuse, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m.

Record: 5-0


No. 2 Notre Dame

Outside of another 127 rushing yards from Kyren Williams (he’s quite good), Saturday’s win over Louisville was a mostly forgettable game for Notre Dame. Ian Book, who was sacked four times by the Cards, scored the game-winning touchdown late in the third quarter; Notre Dame hung on to win 12-7.

Notre Dame’s defense didn’t record a turnover or a sack on Saturday, but Louisville’s run game was held mostly in check.

Next game: at Pittsburgh, Saturday (10/24), 3:30 p.m.

Record: 4-0


No. 3 Miami

Miami didn’t exactly play a clean game on Saturday, but the Hurricanes got enough from D’Eriq King — four touchdown passes — to defeat a Pitt team sans Kenny Pickett.

Playing without start tight end Brevin Jordan, King hooked up with Will Mallory, Miami’s No. 2 tight end, for two touchdowns.

Next game: Virginia, Saturday (10/24), 8:00 p.m.

Record: 3-1


No. 4 North Carolina

A sloppy first half (FSU led at halftime by 24 points) and several missed (read: dropped) opportunities late against Florida State cost UNC a winnable road ACC game.

The Tar Heels turn the page to NC State — as big home favorites next weekend.

Next game: NC State, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m. 

Record: 3-1


No. 5 Virginia Tech

Welcome to the show, Hendon Hooker. In his first start of the 2020 season, Hooker ran for a career-high 164 yards and three touchdowns against Boston College. Hooker completed 73.3 percent of his passes, which included a 29-yard touchdown connection with rising star Khalil Herbert.

Herbert went for 143 yards on the ground: 7.9 yards per carry. With 350 rushing yards vs. BC, the Hokies rank second in the FBS with an average of 312 rushing yards per game. Herbert, the Kansas transfer, ranks No. 1 nationally in rushing with an average of 148 yards per game.

Next game: at Wake Forest, Saturday (10/24), 3:30 p.m.

Record: 3-1


No. 6 NC State

With three straight wins, NC State pulls into next week’s matchup with UNC at 4-1, with a shinny top 25 ranking, too. However, the injury to Devin Leary looms large. Can NC State’s offense continue to generate explosive plays with Bailey Hockman under center?

Next game: at North Carolina, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m.

Record: 4-1


No. 7 Wake Forest

Powered by a top-20 offense — in terms of efficiency — Wake Forest ranks No. 7 in the ACC and No. 38 nationally in net efficiency margin, according to ESPN. Kenneth Walker III: also good at football.

Next game: Virginia Tech, Saturday (10/24), 3:30 p.m.

Record: 2-2


No. 8 Boston College

For the first time since 2009, Boston College recorded five turnovers in a single game as the Eagles lost to the Virginia Tech Hokies. Yeah, it’s hard to be -5 in turnover margin and win football games.

Next game: 3-2

Record: Georgia Tech, Saturday (10/24), 4:00 p.m.


No. 9 Pittsburgh

Pitt’s defense has proven to be solid this season; the Panthers ranks No. 1 nationally in both rushing yards allowed per game (61.5) and yards per carry (1.85). Unfortunately, the status of quarterback Kenny Pickett remains up in the air for next Saturday. A healthy Pickett is a necessity for the Panthers.

(Also: man, this team loves field goals.)

Next game: Notre Dame, Saturday (10/24), 3:30 p.m.

Record: 3-3


No. 10 Georgia Tech

It really do be like that sometimes.

Next game: 2-3

Record: Boston College, Saturday (10/24), 4:00 p.m.


No. 11 Virginia

Virginia has posted three straight games with a negative turnover differential — all three defeats. The ‘Hoos are pretty good on the defensive side of the ball; however, these disadvantages are hard to overcome. Obviously. Things won’t get any easier on the road against Miami, either.

Next game: 1-3

Record: at Miami, Saturday (10/24), 8:oo p.m.

No. 12 Louisville

Going back to the 2014 season, Louisville is 17-1 in games when the Cards hold opponents to 14 or fewer points. The lone loss came on Saturday against Notre Dame, 12-7.

Next game: Florida State, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m.

Record: 1-4


No. 13 Florida State

It wasn’t pretty, and the second half was an absolute #DangerZone moment for FSU, but Mike Norvell’s club hung on to get its first league win of the season vs. UNC. Quarterback Jordan Travis made just enough plays: three touchdowns, including two on the ground (107 rushing yards total).

Next game: 2-3

Record: at Louisville, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m.


No. 14 Duke

Chase Brice tossed three more interceptions in defeat to NC State; Duke has now lost 22 turnovers on the season, the worst in the FBS. Brice is up to 11 interceptions.

Duke finally gets an open weekend to (hopefully) regroup.

Next game: Charlotte, Saturday (10/31)

Record: 1-5

No. 15 Syracuse


We love moral victories, don’t we, folks?

Next game: at Clemson, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m.

Record: 1-4

Contributor Rankings

Brian GeisingerJosh GrahamConsensus
2Notre DameNotre DameNotre Dame
4North CarolinaNorth CarolinaNorth Carolina
5Virginia TechVirginia TechVirginia Tech
6NC StateNC StateNC State
7Wake ForestWake ForestWake Forest
8PittBoston CollegeBoston College
9Boston CollegePittPitt
10Georgia TechVirginiaGeorgia Tech
11LouisvilleGeorgia TechVirginia
12VirginiaFlorida StateLouisville
13Florida StateLouisvilleFlorida State


Read More on ACC Football

6 teams land in this week’s AP Top 25, including NC State at No. 23