Syracuse rises, Clemson falls in latest ACC Power Rankings

Nov 28, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack wide receiver Emeka Emezie (86) is tackled by Syracuse Orange defensive back Kyle Strickland (22) in the first quarter at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

As conference play kicks into high gear, it’s a good time to check in on the league with our Week 5 ACC Power Rankings.

ncstate1. NC State
The Wolfpack got that Clemson Monkey off their back. The team played well and didn’t flinch when the game went to overtime after a missed field goal that would have won the game. They don’t have the best record in the conference but they have the best win.

Wake2. Wake Forest
Wake Forest is a solid team from top to bottom. They dominated the Cavaliers this weekend behind Sam Hartman’s big game. Dave Clawson’s team just gets the job done in all three phases of the game. The best days are yet to come for the Deacons.

bc3. Boston College

Boston College lost Phil Jurkovec and the national media wrote them off. Not so fast my friend. This team has depth that Jeff Hafley is putting to use. Dennis Grosel has filled in well as the No. 1 QB and Patrick Garwo III is a man amongst boys. Do not sleep on the Eagles.

louisville4. Louisville
The Cardinals will go as far as Malik Cunningham will take them and so far that’s to the No. 4 spot in my rankings. This team is explosive and playing better defense then past years. Scott Satterfield is further along in the Louisville rebuild than most expected, putting the Cardinals firmly in the Atlantic race.

clemson5. Clemson
It is a wild year when I have Clemson as the fifth ranked team in the Atlantic, but this year might be crazier than 2020. DJ Uiagalelei has not filled the vacated shoes of Trevor Lawrence as well as many have hoped for, and the defense is getting banged up more and more every game. There is a lot of football in front of them, but boy howdy is it going to be tough taking on each team’s best effort every Saturday.

vatech6. Virginia Tech
The Hokies bounced back after a disappointing loss in Morgantown with a solid win against the Richmond Spiders. It wasn’t pretty but it was enough. Va. Tech has a tenuous hold on the No. 6 spot.

gatech7. Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets made the Tar Heels look foolish this past weekend in a 45-22 win. After an embarrassing loss to Northern Illinois to start the season, Geoff Collins and the Jackets are hitting their stride.

pitt8. Pittsburgh
Pitt dropped an ugly one to Western Michigan after an emotional victory at Tennessee the week prior. They came out angry and dispatched New Hampshire with gusto this past Saturday, but we will learn a lot about this Panthers team in Atlanta this Saturday.

Syracuse9. Syracuse
What a difference a year makes. The Orange are playing great defense and protecting the quarterback better. They got revenge against Liberty and have winnable game in Tallahassee Saturday. Getting to six wins will be hard but would be major progress for Dino Babers.

Duke10. Duke
Duke has not been great but has played well after losing to Charlotte to start the season. They have a chance for a statement win Saturday against UNC.

unc11. North Carolina
UNC has been quite the disappointment this year. Perhaps the expectations were too lofty after overachieving last year, but Mack Brown and company are out of sorts.

» Related: Syracuse gets revenge and tops Liberty at home

miami12. Miami
The Hurricanes have not looked good in a single game this year outside of the laugher against Central Connecticut State without D’Eriq King. I do not know what the future holds for Miami but I don’t expect them to stay this low for long.

uva13. Virginia
Two loses in a row can drop you from the ACC Darling to the basement quite quickly.  The Cavaliers were outclassed on back to back weeks landing them in the 13th spot.

fsu14. Florida State
The positive momentum from the close game on opening weekend has dissipated.  This Seminoles team is unprecedented with no positives in the near future.

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About Sam Vescovi 15 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.