Syracuse football makes significant jump in latest ACC Power Rankings

Oct 15, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange running back Sean Tucker (34) runs with the ball against the Clemson Tigers during the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

As we turn over the calendar into the final month of the regular season in college football, let’s check in with where all ACC teams stand in our latest Power Rankings.

Wake1. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons are on a historic tear right now. A week removed from giving up 56 points to Army, they held Duke in check in a 45-7 rout. They are clearly the best team in the ACC at the moment, but their toughest games are in front of them. Finishing the month of November undefeated will have Wake firmly in the playoff conversation.

ncstate2. NC State
The Wolfpack bounced back after a loss to Miami by handling Louisville, 28-13. There is a lot of disappointment in Raleigh due to the loss to the Hurricanes, but Dave Doeren has the team in position to play for the ACC championship should WF. They’ll get their shot at the top spot in 2 week in Winston-Salem.

pitt3. Pittsburgh
Pitt checks in in the No. 3 spot after a disappointing loss to Miami this past weekend. Quarterback Kenny Pickett’s long shot at the Heisman Trophy took a back seat after he threw for 519 yards and three touchdowns, but also had two costly interceptions. The Panthers still have the inside track to be the Coastal representative in the ACC Championship Game, but the margin for error is slim.

clemson4. Clemson
The Tigers have managed to tread water this season mainly because of their defense. The offense is still in shambles but the Tigers managed to get a victory against rival Florida State. The quarterback position has been a disappointment after nearly a decade of flawless play. The Tigers are not out of it just yet, but need a lot of help to compete for the conference crown.

uva5. Virginia
The Cavaliers can score a lot of points… but they also can give up a ton of points. They took a half time lead in to the locker room in Provo only to be boat raced in the second half by BYU. To make matters worse, All-American quarterback Brennan Armstrong didn’t finish the game because of an injury. The fate of the Cavaliers’ season rests squarely on the outcome of Armstrong’s injury report. With a big game against Pitt upcoming in Novmeber, look for Armstrong to take the next three weeks to heal up.

miami6. Miami
There is no team in the ACC hotter than the Miami Hurricanes. If it weren’t for their kicker slipping and missing the game winning field goal against UVA, the Hurricanes would be in poll position within the ACC Coastal. They need help to get to Charlotte, but don’t be surprised to see the Hurricanes win their next four and make things interesting.

Syracuse7. Syracuse
There is not a more improved team in the country than Syracuse. The Orange is only a handful of plays away from being 5-0 in conference play. The Orange has a bonafide star in Sean Tucker and have found the Thunder to his Lightning in quarterback Garrett Shrader. This team is not an easy out by any stretch, and look for them to challenge all three of their remaining opponents as they look to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2018.

louisville8. Louisville
The Cardinals continue to fight hard, but just lack the ability to put their opponents away. QB Malik Cunningham is a star and head coach Scott Satterfield needs to find a way to get this team to the postseason. The next four games will tell us what the Cardinals are made of.

unc9. North Carolina
The Tar Heels won’t quit and can score on anyone. However, this season has been an immense disappointment for Mack Brown and company as they continue to be inconsistent. The defense can’t stop anyone when it matters most and the team is squandering a generational quarterback talent in QB Sam Howell.

vatech10. Virginia Tech
Audible cheers from the crowd of “Fire Fuente” tells you all you need to know about how things are going in Blacksburg. The Hokies have an incredible home field advantage that they rarely put to use, and the offensive genius that Fuente was supposed to be has never come to fruition for VT. It might be time for both parties to move on.

» Related: Syracuse uses three chunk plays to get past Boston College

bc11. Boston College

There is no double the Eagles miss injured QB Phil Jurkovec. Head coach Jeff Hafley had an incredible first season in Chestnut Hill, but the shine is certainly off and the work is cut out for him going forward.

fsu12. Florida State
Florida State looked awful in the start the season but have improved since then. The ACC needs a strong Florida State to draw more eyeballs nationally to the network. but I wouldn’t expect the ‘Noles to be back for a few years.

gatech13. Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets keep trying but are at least two years away from being a 6-6 football team. Head coach Geoff Collins took on a major rebuild and it is still far from completion.

Duke14. Duke
Duke keeps trying, and that should be commended. I’m not sure I see a victory on their remaining schedule, and you have to question how much longer head coach David Cutcliffe will continue to roam the sidelines. I would imagine he could have the job for as long as he wants it but it’s got to be tiring to coach the football team in Durham.

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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.