ACC Power Rankings Week 7: Did spirited loss to Clemson boost Syracuse football?

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

Clemson got a bit of a scare from Syracuse on Saturday and North Carolina throttled NC State in the only Top 25 matchup in the ACC. Notre Dame’s demolition of Pittsburgh caused the biggest drop in our power rankings for the week. How did the rest of the rankings shake out? Keep reading to find out!

clemson1. Clemson (6-0)
WIN – Syracuse (47-21)

A little bit of an underwhelming performance by the Tigers this past weekend, but they tightened up in the second half and Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne put SU away. What else is there to say about Clemson? After watching the other teams in the country, they are clearly in the top 3 with Alabama and Ohio State.

nd2. Notre Dame (5-0)
WIN – Pitt (45-3)

Ian Book bounced back and the Irish laid the wood to Pitt. They called off the dogs in the fourth quarter; otherwise they could have won by 50+. A complete performance in all 3 phases, look for them to keep it up against Georgia Tech next week.

unc3. North Carolina (4-1)
WIN – NCST (48-21)

The Tar Heels recovered from the gaffe in Tallahassee by blasting the rival Wolfpack. Mack Brown has the team focused again for a second half run. The team was dialed in for all four quarters and never let this one get close. The showdown with UVA looms large next Saturday; nothing like back to back rivalry games. Mack has this team focused on the bigger picture.

miami4. Miami (5-1)
WIN – Virginia (19-14)

The Hurricanes were evenly matched against the Cavaliers, but were able to squeak out a close W. This team looks to maximize the week off and get back to their winning ways when they play the Wolfpack in two weeks.

Wake5. Wake Forest (3-2)
WIN – Virginia Tech (23-16)

Wake just keeps winning! This team is rolling now after that tune up game against Campbell. It can’t be understated how composed this team has looked in route to beating VT. Most teams would have folded after the loss the NCST but the Deacs will not fall in to that category. Hats off to Dave Clawson.

vatech6. Virginia Tech (3-2)
LOSS – Wake Forest (23-16)

After I pointed out that VT had a nice route to great success if they took care of business, they went out and laid an egg against Wake. No disrespect to the Deacs, but the way Tech was playing, this should have translated to a W for the Hokies. It appears that Justin Fuente’s teams are struggling on the road this season, with both losses coming away from Lane Stadium.

bc7. Boston College (4-2)
WIN – Ga. Tech (48-27)

Boston College routed Georgia Tech, shockingly, by utilizing the run game. Jeff Haffley inherited one of the best O-lines in college football and they used it to their fullest capability. The ability to balance out the attack will have BC in every game for the rest of the season. Is there a better match for a transfer in college football than Phil Jurkovec and Boston College? Nope.

ncstate8. NC State (4-1)
LOSS – UNC (48-21)

The Pack missed Devin Leary on Saturday, and that trend will continue for the near future. Losing to your arch rival on the road never feels good, but Dave Doeren has a good line and some talented players. They need to regroup and focus to keep the hope for this season alive.

louisville9. Louisville (2-4)
WIN – FSU (48-16)

Finally, the Louisville team we all expected to see came to play yesterday. The defense is coming around and the offense put up nearly 600 yards. This is what we expected from the Cardinals when the season started. Can it continue next week with a limping Virginia Tech team coming to Louisville? We shall see.

gatech10. Georgia Tech (2-4)
LOSS – BC (47-28)

Another week, another loss Georgia Tech continues to get the benefit of the doubt as they move away from the triple option to a more contemporary offense. Geoff Collin’s has a player in Jeff Simms, but I’m a little concerned about the defense. He didn’t inherit a terrible unit on that side of the ball and they are regressing. But then again, they are on the field a lot more as the offense sputters.

fsu11. Florida State (2-4)
LOSS – Louisville (48-16)

After a big win against UNC, FSU had a letdown on the road. I’m not sure Mike Norvell knew what he was signing up for when he took over this rebuild in Tallahassee, but he is finding out first hand that it’s no easy task. Let’s hope the boosters give him the time to get the job done.

» Related: Compare this week’s ACC power rankings to Week 6

uva12. Virginia (1-4)
LOSS – Miami (19-14)

Brennan Armstrong returned and the Cavaliers played Miami tight at Hard Rock Stadium. The ‘Hoos continue to make it interesting but come out on the wrong side of the outcome. Will their fortunes change next week in the Border War with UNC? Tough to say but I’m thinking it’ll be interesting.

Duke13. Duke (1-4)
BYE

Duke got a bye this week and benefited from the subpar play of others to stay steady in the polls. Good job Blue Devils!

pitt14. Pittsburgh (3-4)
LOSS – Notre Dame (45-3)

What an embarrassing performance by Pitt. In an era where teams accidentally score touchdowns, Pitt continues to show you what apathy looks like on the offensive side of the ball. The “elite” defense again surrendered more than 30 points in the fourth straight loss. Pat Narduzzi is trending down in a major way as the Panther’s tumble in the power rankings.

Syracuse15. Syracuse (1-5)
LOSS – Clemson (47-21)

It wasn’t all bad for Syracuse yesterday as they put up a solid fight against Clemson. This team will not quit and will move out of the basement soon. Rex Culpepper put up a gutsy performance but threw a costly pick in the redzone they ended any semblance of a comeback. The head-to-head loss is the only thing keeping them behind Pitt at this point.

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Sam Vescovi
About Sam Vescovi 6 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.