ACC Power Rankings Week 9: Notre Dame topples Clemson to claim top spot

Notre Dame
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly

Even without Trevor Lawrence, the Notre Dame-Clemson matchup was as entertaining as we thought it would be, with the teams battling it out in overtime before the Irish pulled away. Elsewhere in the league, Virginia Tech was the latest Power 5 team to lose to Liberty and Miami kept its ACC title hopes alive against NC State.

Here’s how the rankings look at week 9.

nd1. Notre Dame (7-0)
WIN – Clemson (47-40)

The Irish held off the Tigers in double overtime, giving them the inside track to the ACC Championship game and possibly the playoffs. The defense did just enough all game long then showed up in the second overtime to end the game. Hats off to the Irish.

clemson2. Clemson (7-1)
LOSS – Notre Dame (47-40)

The Tigers, and America, got a raw deal when Trevor Lawrence couldn’t play against Notre Dame this past weekend. The team hung in there and played well enough to win until the winds left the sails in the second OT. Clemson gets a much needed week off as the regroup for the stretch run where they cannot slip up at all.

miami3. Miami (6-1)
WIN – NC State (44-41)

The Hurricanes have not fared well after the bye week recently and they came out of the chutes sluggishly. They were able to do just enough to pull away from the pesky wolfpack who refused to quit. Now the Hurricanes travel to Blacksburg where they are somehow the underdog in a matchup we are all looking forward to.

Wake4. Wake Forest (4-2)

A bye week for the Deacs. Hopefully they come out ready to play Saturday against the Tar Heels. We all deserve a competitive game between UNC and Wake Forest this weekend.

unc5. North Carolina (5-2)
WIN – DUKE (56-24)

UNC destroyed Duke this past weekend. The team continues to be up and down but they sure can score. Saturday’s matchup with Wake is real barometer for how good the Tar Heels really are. They had lots of hype this season and have lived up to it for the most part, but they did drop two winnable games against FSU and UVA. This is a game UNC should win but will be challenged mightily.

bc6. Boston College (5-3)
WIN – Syracuse (16-13)

Boston College was able to win a closer than expected matchup with Syracuse on a day where their offense just wasn’t clicking. Perhaps they were looking past the Orange to the Fighting Irish. If that’s the case, they better show up this Saturday as Notre Dame has been destroying ACC foes this year.

vatech7. Virginia Tech (4-3)
LOSS – Liberty (38-35)

What a disaster in Blacksburg. The Hokies were largely punchless against a Liberty team that came to play for the full 60 minutes. After the botched timeout, which I agreed with, VT decided not to play defense on the second-to-last play of the game and allowed Liberty to move in to better field position for the game winning field goal. The winning kick sailed comfortably down main street and VT lost a winnable game. It’s unconfirmed whether coach Justin Fuente came home to “For Sale” signs on his lawn or not.

ncstate8. NC State (4-3)
LOSS – Miami (44-41)

The Wolfpack gave Miami everything they had and its was good enough for 57 minutes until D’Eriq King stole the show. am impressed by what NCST has been able to do without QB Devin Leary and I have to imagine that next year they will be towards to the top of the ACC.

uva9. Virginia (2-4)

Off week due to COVID, hopefully everyone stayed safe.

pitt10. Pittsburgh (4-4)
WIN – Florida State (41-17)

It’s not often that you can say playing FSU is just what a team needs to get off the schneid but that’s exactly what happened Saturday. The was the largest margin of victory for Pitt against a P5 team in 17 contests. Let’s see if the Panthers can carry it forward.

louisville11. Louisville (2-5)

COVID trouble at Louisville, let’s hope they get healthy.

gatech12. Georgia Tech (2-5)

Bye week for the Jackets, Geoff Collins and the team needed it.

fsu13. Florida State (2-5)
LOSS – Pitt (41-17)

Woof, it is ugly in Tallahassee. It will take two more years to get back to contention for the ‘Noles.

» Related: Compare this week’s ACC power rankings to Week 8

Duke14. Duke (2-6)
LOSS – UNC (56-24)

Basketball season is upon us, it is okay to stop talking about Duke Football.

Syracuse15. Syracuse (1-7)
LOSS – Boston College (16-13)

Close but no cigar for Syracuse. It’s tough to find another W on this schedule and it will be a long off-season in upstate New York for Dino Babers. Ideally, they will find some answers to their offensive line but we all know that’s easier said than done. God Speed to this man.

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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.