Old Big East rivals Miami and Virginia Tech gave us the game of the weekend, with the Hurricanes staying in the upper echelon of the ACC Power Rankings thanks to a thrilling one-point win. Elsewhere, Notre Dame stayed in control of the ACC with a relatively comfortable win over Boston College.
Here’s how the rankings look at week 10.
1. Notre Dame (8-0)
WIN – BOSTON COLLEGE (45-31)
Notre Dame continues to look impressive. They won by 14 but this game wasn’t very close. The Phil Jurkovec story was nice until the ball kicked off and Ian Book showed the country that he was the best QB on the field. After picking up 283 yards passing and 85 yards on the ground with four touchdowns, he is one of the best players in the country right now.
2. Clemson (7-1)
A bye week for the Tigers will allow them to get healthy for the stretch run and ideal showdown with the Irish in the ACC Championship Game. Playing FSU out of the break is a nice starting point.
3. Miami (7-1)
WIN – VIRGINIA TECH (25-24)
The Hurricanes escaped from Blacksburg with a 1-point win, taking the lead in the fourth quarter after trailing for the majority of the game. The ‘Canes were down 11 men entering the game and still got it done. They have since paused all football related activities in order to get healthy. The Hurricanes are a dark hose for the ACC Championship game.
4. North Carolina (6-2)
WIN – WAKE FOREST (59-53)
It wasn’t pretty but the Tar Heels got it done. They were down 14 at one point, but then ripped off 35 straight points to put the Deacs away. UNC can score with anyone, but it’s clear anyone can score with them. They are flirting with a solid finish, but if they want to take the next step in 2021 with Sam Howell, they’ll need to fix that defense.
5. Wake Forest (4-3)
LOSS – UNC (59-53)
The Demon Deacons fought hard, and at one point, had me convinced they were going to pull off the upset. Alas, UNC’s high powered offense proved too much for them. I am still high on the Deacs but a 2-2 split over the last 4 looks likely.
6. NC State (5-3)
WIN – FSU (38-22)
NC State straightened things out against FSU, which is proving to be a recurring theme in the ACC. Bailey Hockman threw three touchdown passes and Thayer Thomas hauled in 11 catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns. The Wolfpack are having a great season when you compare it to last year. They close out the season with 3 winnable games. But first, they’ll need to deal with No. 21 Liberty, who is 2-0 against the ACC this year.
7. Boston College (5-4)
LOSS – NOTRE DAME (45-31)
The game against Notre Dame was one they had circled for weeks. The alternate Bandana Jerseys are possibly the best in college football due to the meaning behind them, but they weren’t enough to stop the Irish. Phil Jurkovec did all he could against his old team but the Irish were too much for the Eagles.
8. Virginia Tech (4-4)
LOSS – MIAMI (25-24)
The Hokies bounced back in a major way against Miami but couldn’t get it done in the fourth quarter. I was impressed by the resilience of this team while simultaneously confounded at how they were the favorites after losing to the Flames. They showed some moxie about them and will continue to fight all season long.
9. Virginia (3-4)
WIN – LOUISVILLE (31-17)
The Cavaliers constantly stuck it to Louisville on Saturday, punching it in to the end zone four times and sealing the game in the fourth quarter. It is good to have Brennan Armstrong back but the rush defense needs to improve if they want to win the Commonwealth Cup to end the year.
10. Pittsburgh (4-4)
An off week due to Covid spike in the Pitt locker room. Kenny Pickett could use the extra rest. Let’s hope the situation is under control this week so the Panthers can play the Hokies.
11. Louisville (2-6)
LOSS – VIRGINIA (31-17)
Louisville might be the most talented 2-6 team in the country, but it’s starting to show that the rebuild there is going to take longer than some people thought after Scott Satterfield’s impressive first year. It’s clear the he is the right guy for the job, but let’s not forget how bad the team was the year before he got there. He pulled a rabbit out of his hat last year and now needs to build consistency.
12. Georgia Tech (2-5)
Second bye week in a row for the Jackets, this time due to Covid. Let’s hope the team is healthy for Saturday.
13. Florida State (2-6)
LOSS – NC STATE (38-22)
Not much is going right for the ‘Noles. Let’s hope they have Jordan Travis back this Saturday against Clemson.
14. Duke (2-6)
Basketball season is upon us, it is okay to stop talking about Duke football. Big game against a local rival this Saturday will have the Blue Devils motivated.
15. Syracuse (1-7)
With the season coming to a close, the Orange have a great shot at getting their second W against Louisville on Saturday in what might be their lone opportunity for a win in their last three games. But the game is on the road and the Cardinals have the firepower to put up a fight.