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ACC Football Roundup - Clemson & UNC To ACC Championship Game

Not that Virginia Tech didn't try to derail the Heels in Frank Beamer's last home game.

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Nov 21, 2015; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Duke Blue Devils quarterback Parker Boehme (12) scores a touchdown against the Virginia Cavaliers in the second half at Scott Stadium. The Cavaliers won 42-34.
Nov 21, 2015; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Duke Blue Devils quarterback Parker Boehme (12) scores a touchdown against the Virginia Cavaliers in the second half at Scott Stadium. The Cavaliers won 42-34.
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

There is so much chaos across the college football world. This season is going to be really interesting. Oregon isn’t in the conversation, FSU isn’t, Auburn isn’t, TCU isn’t, and UNC, Iowa, and Clemson are. This is much different from then past few years, and to be honest, a change of pace is welcome. As a change of pace from a couple weeks of speculation, we’ll diving into the roundup in a more rigid and traditional form of power rankings.

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ACC Power Ranks

1. Clemson (11-0, 8-0) – A 33-13 win over Wake Forest, on the back of Deshaun Watson’s four total touchdowns, and the Tigers are left with their foes from South Carolina before the ACC championship with the Northern Carolinians.

2. UNC (10-1, 7-0) – Spoiled Beamer’s last home game by surviving an OT scare after literally fumbling away a two-TD lead. At this point, the ACC needs the Tar Heels lose to Clemson. The choice between a 12-1 Clemson and a 12-1 UNC that beat said Clemson (or worse, an 11-2 UNC with losses to S Carolina and NC State) is simple: someone from another conference. The ACC’s reputation is simply too poor to produce one-loss playoff members.

3. Florida State (9-2, 6-2) – Continued the great DBR tradition of not playing anybody and moving up in the rankings – wait, my editor is texting me… yes, boss, I know, they beat Chattanooga 52-13, what’s your point? They didn’t play anybody.

4. Pitt (8-3, 6-1) – A monster second quarter (5 touchdowns) put the Panthers in front for good, and Coach Narduzzi for sure proved he’d turned around the Pitt football program: his team didn’t give up the lead, rather, they forced a three-and-out late in the fourth quarter then scored to ice the victory.

5. Miami (7-4, 4-3) – Firing Golden, in this writer’s opinion, was a move long overdue. I didn’t see the Hurricanes winning this game with him in charge, but with new leadership and Paul Johnson’s team hitting a surprising low, it was now possible, and that scenario transpired for Miami in a 38-21 win. It seems that the infamous return that shouldn’t have counted was a huge emotional boost for this team.

6. North Carolina State (7-4, 3-4) – A 42-29 win over the struggling Syracuse Orange that was less close than the final score indicated cemented their place in the middle of the (wolf)pack of the ACC yet again, although an upset over UNC would be wonderful for everyone in the league.

7. Louisville (6-5, 5-3) – One of only six teams this year to have a conference and overall record of above .500. In fact, they’re the only team left on the list where that’s true.

8. Duke (6-5, 3-4) – I hate to say it, but we’re entering the pool of ACC mediocrity here. We can only imagine what could have been for the Blue Devils had the ACC selected competent officials for the Miami game.

9. Virginia Tech (5-6, 3-4) – Came so, so close to a huge upset in Beamer’s last game. It would have been a truly memorable way to send him out. As it is, the Hokies are still in great shape to hit a bowl game, as they face an improving UVa squad in their last chance to keep the bowl game streak alive.

10. Virginia (4-7, 3-4) – Finally got over the Duke hump, although they almost gave away another 22-point comeback (remember two years ago? 22-0 turned into 35-22 Duke?), and will relish the opportunity to end the year on a high note by denying V Tech a chance to go bowling. Although, the only bowling the Cavs will be doing involves renting shoes and wondering why Wii Sports is so much easier. Really, no one wins when UVa and VTech play.

11 & 12. Syracuse and Wake Forest (3-8, 1-6) are tied at the hip, and only separated by a victory by the Orange earlier this season. Both teams performed about as expected, the only difference being that the Orange actually scored a touchdown in every game they played.

13. Georgia Tech (3-8, 1-7) – Man, what a nightmare of a season. At least it’s almost over. Oh, wait, they play Georgia (8-3) next week, and the Bulldogs will want to avenge last year’s OT loss in a big way. Something tells me fans of the Yellow Jackets will want to keep their kids out of the room.

14. Boston College (3-8, 0-7) – Unfortunately, the Eagles could not capitalize on the five Notre Dame turnovers, and so the undeserving Irish will remain in playoff contention for another week. Look on the bright side, Eagles: at least it wasn’t another conference loss.

The Playoff is Almost Here! Yay!


1. Clemson (11-0)

2. Alabama (10-1)

3. Iowa (11-0) – Horribly overrated, but they’ll lose in the Big Ten championship, so this place is temporary.

4. Michigan State (10-1)

Next Four

5. Baylor (10-1)

6. Ohio State (10-1)

7. Oklahoma State (10-1)

8. North Carolina (10-1)

The Rest

Florida barely survived notable football powerhouses Kentucky, Tennesee, Vanderbilt, and Florida Atlantic, and has that loss to the panicking LSU Tigers. Oklahoma lost to (lol) Texas and also lost their QB to head injury midway through their most recent game. Navy has zero strength of schedule. Same situation for Houston. Everyone else has two losses.

Tell me how I’m wrong in the comments or on the boards. Constructive criticism is always welcome.