Post-Week 3 ACC Power Rankings

Five ACC teams remain unbeaten after the first three weeks of the season. Despite nearly falling to Louisville last Thursday, Clemson has maintained its top spot, but a new team has found its way into the top three.

1. Clemson

Clemson entered its game against Louisville without starting center Ryan Norton, and the offensive line got banged up even more against the Cardinals as tackles Joe Gore and Jake Fruhmorgen left the game with injury. Gore returned, but the issues up front were evident. Still, the Tigers got the win in a hostile environment and look the part of the ACC’s best team.

2. Florida State

The Seminoles marched down the field with ease on their opening drive against Boston College, finding the end zone and claiming a 7-0 league early in the first quarter. There wouldn’t be another offensive touchdown scored for the rest of the game, however. The 14-0 victory over the Eagles was ugly, but Florida State’s defense looked great.

3. Miami

The Hurricanes looked great at times against Nebraska, but then they looked not so great when they almost choked the game away. That’s actually symbolic of the Al Golden era overall. For now, Miami holds the No. 3 spot, but don’t count on that to be the case for long.

4. Georgia Tech

Notre Dame held a 23-point lead over Georgia Tech going into the final minute of the game, so the 30-22 outcome doesn’t tell the full story. The Yellow Jackets were held to 337 yards and had trouble moving the ball all day. They’re still one of the better teams in the conference, but Saturday was a missed opportunity to make a statement on a national level.

5. NC State

When you win your first three games by an average of 29 points, it really doesn’t matter who you’ve played; you can’t ask for a start much more impressive than that. The Wolfpack has another cupcake in Week 4 and should win by double digits once again.

6. Virginia Tech

Defense was supposed to be Virginia Tech’s strength this fall, but the offense has been a bright spot in each of the last two matchups. The Hokies look like a team that’s capable of hanging with anyone in the conference.

7. North Carolina

The Tar Heels dominated Illinois on offense, defense and special teams on Saturday. They could be one of the better teams in the conference if they play that well consistently, but they could also be one of the worst teams in the conference if the offense plays like it did against South Carolina in the opener.

8. Duke

A nine-point home loss to Northwestern isn’t reason to panic. What’s more important is how the Blue Devils respond when they host Georgia Tech this weekend. Overall, Duke has played much better football than the six teams that fall below them in these rankings.

9. Boston College

In an odd way, Boston College left reason for hope last Friday night despite getting shut out. The Eagles lost their starting quarterback for the year and couldn’t do much of anything on offense, but they were able to hang tough with a team that’s only lost one game since 2012.

10. Pittsburgh

Tyler Boyd was suspended for the opener. James Conner was lost for the year less than two quarters into the season. The quarterback situation is still unresolved. All of this, and Pitt isn’t far off from being undefeated.

11. Louisville

An 0-3 start is an 0-3, and Louisville’s three losses are pretty bad. Auburn hasn’t looked like a Top 25 team all year, Houston is Houston, and Clemson was able to win in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium even after playing poorly. The Cardinals may be a middle-of-the-pack team within the ACC, but they are by no means a legitimate contender within the Atlantic Divison.

12. Syracuse

There’s little reason to believe Syracuse isn’t the worst remaining undefeated team in the country. Don’t believe it? Tune in to see the Orange face LSU at noon on Saturday.

13. Virginia

UVa’s seven-point loss to Notre Dame was more promising than its six-point win over William & Mary. The Cavaliers wrap up a tremendously difficult non-conference schedule this Friday when they play Boise State in Charlottesville.

14. Wake Forest

Army is really bad at football, so Wake Forest is slightly better than a team that’s really bad at football.