Post-Week 2 ACC Power Rankings

The second week of the college football season is in the books after a weekend that included the first Atlantic Division matchup of the year, a monster performance by Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and a near-upset for Virginia over No. 8 Notre Dame.

Syracuse is sitting atop the standings in the Atlantic (just like everyone predicted, right?), but Clemson is still No. 1 in our power rankings. How did the rest of the list shake out?

1. Clemson

The Tigers haven’t been tested against a Top 25 opponent yet, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been challenged. In Week 1, they were impressive against Wofford’s option attack, and this past weekend, they took care of business against an Appalachian State team on a seven-game winning streak. We’ll have a better idea about Clemson’s ceiling in Thursday night’s game at Louisville.

2. Florida State

Florida State’s offensive line still has a lot of questions, and that showed on Saturday. The good news for the Seminoles is that Dalvin Cook is one of the best running backs in the country. The sophomore rushed for 266 yards against the Bulls, which is the second-highest single-game total in FSU history.

3. Georgia Tech

A case can be made that the Yellow Jackets belong at No. 2, or even No. 1, in these power rankings. Despite losing several key players from last year, Georgia Tech’s offense hasn’t missed a beat, with a combined 134 points in the first two games. Paul Johnson’s group will have an opportunity to make a statement on the national level when it travels to Notre Dame this Saturday.

4. Duke

Like Clemson and Georgia Tech, Duke has done everything it’s needed to do against lesser competition. The biggest question for the Blue Devils entering the season was how Thomas Sirk would adjust to his role as the No. 1 quarterback. So far, so good.

5. Miami

Before Miami’s Friday night contest at Florida Atlantic, a plane flew over the field with a banner calling for Butch Davis to replace Al Golden. Then, in the first half, it looked like Owls were going to give the Hurricanes a game. The evening wasn’t a total disaster for Miami, though, as running back Joe Yearby went off and the Canes pulled away in the second half.

6. NC State

NC State’s defense looked better against Eastern Kentucky, and the offense continued to click even without suspended running back Shadrach Thornton. The Wolfpack have a lot of playmakers, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t come out of September with an undefeated record.

7. Virginia Tech

After a Week 1 loss to Ohio State, the Hokies regrouped and cruised to a 42-3 victory over Furman. Brenden Motley, who threw two touchdowns passes and rushed for another score, appears to be the answer at quarterback until Michael Brewer returns.

8. Boston College

There’s nothing wrong with a 76-0 win, especially when no major injuries are involved. With backups seeing much of the action on Saturday, the Eagles should be well-rested for Friday’s home date with Florida State.

9. North Carolina

Untimely turnovers plagued the Tar Heels’ offense in their opener against South Carolina, but they played mistake-free football against North Carolina A&T. UNC’s defense, which was among the nation’s worst in 2014, continued to look better against the Aggies.

10. Pittsburgh

The Panthers avoided another upset against Akron, but they came out of Saturday with a quarterback controversy. Fortunately for Pitt, redshirt freshman Qadree Ollison had another productive game at running back.

11. Louisville

In addition to the season opener against Auburn, the first half of Louisville’s schedule this season includes a home matchup with Clemson and road games at NC State and Florida State. A loss to Houston in Week 2 certainly wasn’t ideal, and it doesn’t help that the quarterback situation is still up in the air.

12. Syracuse

With a 2-0 start, Syracuse is already two-thirds of the way to matching its win total from 2014. Even with Terrel Hunt down, true freshman Eric Dungey has been impressive under center and helped the Orange to their first ACC win. This isn’t a team that will contend for a division title, but it’s played well so far.

13. Virginia

The Cavaliers have been competitive against two great opponents this year but didn’t get the stop they needed against Notre Dame on Saturday. The team is solid in a lot of areas, but it’s difficult to find anything that UVa does exceptionally well.

14. Wake Forest

The ACC is loaded with mediocre teams, but the Demon Deacons showed against Syracuse that they haven’t even reached mediocrity yet. Wake may have just missed out on its easiest shot at a win in league play this season.