Week 5: Syracuse falls in latest ACC football power rankings

Carrier Dome
Sep 26, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; General view of the Carrier Dome prior to the game between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Syracuse Orange. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It was another eventful week in the ACC with Clemson pummeling No. 13 Miami, North Carolina holding off a furious rally from Virginia Tech, and Notre Dame keeping a pesky FSU team at bay. Here’s how the latest rankings look after week 5.

clemson1. Clemson (4-0)
WIN – Miami (38-3)

A dominant win against Miami in Prime Time. Not much to say about the Tigers that hasn’t already been said. Head coach Dabo Swinney has the boys clicking early. There will be exciting matchups down the stretch for this Tiger Team.

unc2. North Carolina (3-0)
WIN – Va. Tech (56-45)

Mack Brown has the Tar Heels dialed in. An impressive win against the Hokies this past Saturday gives UNC the edge on Notre Dame here (also this is an ACC blog, so the tie goes to the actual member). Defensive concerns continue but the team appears to be improving each week.

nd3. Notre Dame (3-0)
WIN – FSU (42-26)

The Irish played a spirited Florida State team Saturday, shaking off the rust after three weeks off. I don’t know if it was rust from the time off or the desperation from the Seminoles that made this interesting, but Notre Dame found a groove and pulled away in the second half.

miami4. Miami (3-1)
LOSS – Clemson (38-3)

Disappointing result in Death Valley this week. This Hurricanes team still has the talent to win the remaining games on their schedule, which keeps them in the top four, but history has shown that the team loses composure after a loss. Getting the team excited to play a struggling, but dangerous, Pitt team will be a tall task for Manny Diaz.

vatech5. Virginia Tech (2-1)
LOSS – UNC (56-45)
The Hokies went to Chapel Hill missing double digit players again and but still gave UNC a fight. After being down 42-17, the Hokies came soaring back with Hendon Hooker under center in the second half. It wasn’t enough, but the team is getting healthier and can run the ball well. If head coach Justin Fuente can get players back in the secondary they will be a tough out for the rest of the year.

ncstate6. NC State (3-1)
WIN – Virginia (38-21)

After getting demolished by VT, the Wolfpack has ripped off two impressive wins in a row. Devin Leary has done well since taking over in the second half against Tech. I am not sure how that game would go if they played again next week, but NC State is knocking on the doors of the top 25 and putting the ACC on notice. After a disappointing 2019 campaign filled with injuries, Dave Doeren’s team is looking to make some noise. Let’s hope they don’t look past the Blue Devils ahead of a big game on Oct. 24 in Chapel Hill.

bc7. Boston College (3-1)
WIN – Pitt (31-30)

Phil Jurkovec and Jeff Haffley are benefiting from the big offensive line that Steve Addazio left behind. The passing game (and two fumbles that weren’t) led the Eagles to an upset win this past week. Haffley has the team believing and playing well with a big opportunity in Blacksburg coming this Saturday.

pitt8. Pittsburgh (3-2)
LOSS – Boston College (31-30)

It’s been an underwhelming start for Pat Narduzzi’s Panthers. After running out to a 3-0 start an a number 24 ranking in the polls, Pitt has dropped two games in a row by a combined two points. The defensive line is still elite, but the secondary has been torched in both losses while untimely mistakes (a missed PAT in OT to seal the Eagles victory) continue to plague the team in the fifth year of Narduzzi’s campaign. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as the Panthers have Miami, Notre Dame, Clemson, and VT still on the schedule… woof. Pitt has talent, but the No. 8 spot in the power rankings might be short lived.

uva9. Virginia (1-2)
LOSS – NC State (38-21)

Losing two in a row hurts. Losing your quarterback to a targeting penalty and concussion hurts even more. You got to feel for a team when that happens. With that said, the ‘Hoos have an uphill climb from here, let’s hope Brennan Armstrong get’s a clean bill of health soon and Lindell Stone can hold down the spot until he returns.

gatech10. Georgia Tech (2-2)
WIN – Louisville (46-27)

Geoff Collins has the Yellow Jackets improving each week. They handled Louisville wire to wire and put them away in the fourth quarter. The elation of a victory may be short lived as the Clemson Tigers come to town Saturday.

Duke11. Duke (1-4)
WIN – Syracuse (38-24)

If I would have taken the initiative to make a power rankings list last week, Duke would have been in the 15 spot. Then they come out and take down Syracuse. Head coach David Cutcliffe’s team is always prepared, they can pull an upset any week as Syracuse found out last week.

Syracuse12. Syracuse (1-3)
LOSS – Duke (38-24)
Having one ACC win is the only thing separating ‘Cuse from the Bottom 3. Quarterback Tommy Devito going down with a possible season ending injury has the Orange staring at a possible 2-9 season. It’s tough to find a bright spot for the Orange team after losing to Duke, but for now they should be safe in the 12 spot with Liberty coming up. But if they look past the Flames to the Juggernaut that is Clemson, they could plummet all the way to 15.

» Related: Duke dominates Syracuse for first win of 2020 season

Wake13. Wake Forest (1-2)
WIN – Campbell (66-14)

Not many highlights for Wake Forest so far this year outside of the game against Campbell, which essentially told us nothing about the Demon Deacons. Losing to Clemson can’t be held against them and they did play NC State close, but the lack of an ACC win slots them in at 13.

fsu14. Florida State (1-3)
LOSS – Notre Dame (42-26)

There are no moral victories at a program like FSU, so I don’t give them much credit for giving Notre Dame their Notre Dame money’s worth. I put the Seminoles at No. 14 because while they are a dumpster fire with a revolving door at QB, they still have a ton of talent and can be a hard-out every week if they just get out of their own way. I don’t see trend stopping anytime soon.

louisville15. Louisville (1-3)
LOSS – Georgia Tech (46-27)

If you asked me if I thought Louisville would be at the bottom of the power rankings after week 5 in August, I would have told you “HECK NO,” but sadly here we are. This team is too good and too talented to be losing to Georgia Tech. They had a few gaffs against Miami, couldn’t move the ball against a good Pitt defense aside from a few big plays but were still in the game, and then lost on the road to a bad, albeit improving GT team after a bye. This team is the definition of underachieving. But that is life in a Power 5 conference where you can lose to anyone on any given week. Let’s hope the Cards read this paragraph, use it as bulletin board material, and give Notre Dame a hell of a game!

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Sam Vescovi
About Sam Vescovi 26 Articles
Sam is from Pennsylvania, and is a three-time graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. In his free time, Sam watches ACC football... a lot of ACC football... perhaps too much. Sam covers the entire ACC.