The ACC Championship is now set. After North Carolina defeated Wake Forest on Saturday night, the December 4th game will be played in Charlotte between Clemson and North Carolina. Both teams are theoretically still in playoff talks and this game could be a game with a lot at stake in a few weeks.
Elsewhere in the ACC, Florida State continued to dominate by blowing up Syracuse, NC State was shocked by Boston College, Duke overcame a slow start to beat Virginia Tech, and Miami took to the streets and beat Georgia Tech .
How has the power ranking changed after week 11?
14. Virginia Tech (2-8, L vs. Duke, 24-7) – Last week: 13
It’s only getting worse for the Hokies. Virginia Tech played hard against Duke on Saturday, but the offense is still among the worst in the country. A 2-10 debut season for Brent Pry is possible with Liberty scheduled Saturday, and a win over 3-7 Virginia is far from a guarantee.
13. Virginia (3-7, L vs. Pittsburgh 37-7) – Last week: 11
Virginia’s season was summed up perfectly in the first two games of Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh. Quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw two pick-sixes on his first two passes of the game and has turned into a shell of himself after being one of the most prolific players in college football in 2021. Pittsburgh dominated Virginia and with this loss Virginia will not go to a bowl game. It’s been a terrible first season for Tony Elliott in Charlottesville.
12. Boston College (3-7, W vs NC State 21-20) – Last week 14
Giving credit where it was due, Boston College took to the streets and beat a top-20 team, and it’s pretty amazing considering all the injuries the Eagles have suffered this year. The Eagles will have to try again this week to do the same when they hit the streets and face Notre Dame on Saturday.
11. Georgia Tech (4-6, L vs. Miami 35-14) – Last week: 10
It was a tough day for Georgia Tech on Saturday in more ways than one. First, freshman quarterback Zach Pyron was kicked out of the game and it was later revealed he would miss the rest of the season. Georgia Tech also lost the game 35-14 and a bowl game will be almost impossible. For now, the coaching search will be the main talking point at Georgia Tech.
10. Miami (5-5, W vs. Georgia Tech 35-14) – Last week: 12
It wasn’t perfect, but Miami won on the road and freshman quarterback Jacurri Brown showed promising flashes for Miami. Brown was rushing for nearly 100 yards and rushing for over 100 yards in passing, and the Miami Run game went pretty well against the Yellow Jackets. Miami must beat either Clemson or Pittsburgh to get to a bowl game as a freshman under Mario Cristobal.
9. Syracuse (6-4, L v Florida State 38-3) – Last week: 9
Syracuse fell apart completely after starting 6-0, and while much can be attributed to injuries, Syracuse just looked lifeless against the Seminoles, and it’s fair to wonder how this team will finish at Wake Forest and Boston College.
8. Wake Forest (6-4, L vs. North Carolina 36-34) – Last week:8
Like Syracuse, Wake Forest just fell apart after a good start. Defense couldn’t stop Saturday’s offense against North Carolina, and now the Demon Deacons have lost three games in a row. Wake and quarterback Sam Hartman will have a chance to go strong with games against Syracuse and Duke, but those aren’t guarantees given how this team plays. A promising season has now turned into a disaster in these last three games.
7. NC State (7-3, L v Boston College 21-20) – Last week: 3
The Wolfpack seemed to be progressing and had a chance to have a double-digit winning season, which hasn’t happened since 2002. However, the Wolfpack nipped a game against a 2-7 Boston college team, and NC State is almost certain to fall out of the college football playoff rankings Tuesday. It was still a solid season for NC State, but Saturday’s loss puts a dampener on things.
6. Louisville (6-4, L vs Clemson 31-16) – Last week: 5
Unfortunately for Louisville, quarterback Malik Cunningham injured his shoulder in the loss to Clemson and it’s unknown at the moment when he will be back. If he can’t come back, winning games against NC State and Kentucky will be pretty difficult. The Cardinal’s defense had been great at putting pressure on the quarterback but only had two sacks against Clemson. It was a disappointing game against the Tigers that was only made worse by Cunningham’s injury.
5. Pitt (6-4, W vs. Virginia 37-7) – Last week: 7th
Pitt got off to a quick start against Virginia, scoring two defensive touchdowns in the opening seconds, and they never looked back. Israel Abanikanda had another 100-yard play on the floor and the Panthers’ defense swallowed up Virginia’s offense. Pitt has two interesting games against Duke and Miami to end the season.
4th Duke (7-3, W vs. Virginia Tech 24-7) – Last week: 6th
Mike Elko continues to argue for ACC Coach of the Year by winning games. Duke got off to a slow start against Virginia Tech on Saturday, but the Blue Devils found a way to win and have a shot at a 10-win season if they win every remaining game, including their bowl game. It’s not going to be easy considering they play Pittsburgh and then Wake Forest, but it’s on the table.
3. Florida State (7-3, W vs. Syracuse 38-3) – Last week 4th
The Seminoles continue to roll and are playing like a Top 15 or Top 10 in the country at the moment. The last team at Florida State was Syracuse and FSU bowled them and quarterback Jordan Travis continues his impressive game. Florida State now has a great shot at a 9-3 season if they can beat Louisiana and Florida. The Seminoles are at their peak right now and Mike Norvell should also be considered for ACC Coach of the Year.
2nd North Carolina (9-1, W vs. Wake Forest 36-34) – Last week: 2nd
North Carolina won the Coastal Division with a win over Wake Forest on Saturday, and Drake Maye continues to play like a Heisman Trophy contender. Maye threw for 448 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday, and wide receiver Josh Downs caught all three touchdowns. This offense is at a consistently high level and is still a dark horse for a playoff spot.
1. Clemson (9-1, W vs. Louisville 31-16) – Last week: 1
Recovering from his loss to Notre Dame last week, Clemson controlled the game against Louisville from start to finish. It was Phil Mafah who led fast attacking for the Tigers this week, and the defense played much better than they did against the Fighting Irish (although it was against Louisville’s backup quarterback). The Tigers welcome Miami to Death Valley on Saturday and then end the season with rivals South Carolina.
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