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2014 ACC Football Season Power Rankings: Week 9

Duke is up one spot this week to crack the top 3.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, the BCI staff writers and other Boston College football prognosticators secretly convene in a cigar smoke-filled bunker deep underneath Alumni Stadium, tasked at ranking the ACC's best college football programs on a weekly basis.

Previously ...

-- Week 8: 8th
-- Week 7: 9th 
-- Week 6: 11th
-- Week 5: 7th
-- Week 4: 7th
-- Week 3: 11th
-- Week 2: 10th
-- Week 1: 10th

Here are the results for week 9:


1. Florida State Seminoles, 98 votes (7 first place)
2. Clemson Tigers, 89
3. Duke Blue Devils, 80
4. Louisville Cardinals, 79
5. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 57
6. Boston College Eagles, 56
7. Virginia Cavaliers, 55
8t. Pittsburgh Panthers, 50
8t. Virginia Tech Hokies, 50
10. Miami-Florida Hurricanes, 48
11. North Carolina Tar Heels, 27
12. N.C. State Wolfpack, 20
13. Syracuse Orange, 19
14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 8

1. Florida State Seminoles (7-0, 4-0 ACC)

Last week: Defeated Notre Dame, 31-27
This week: Idle

Previous rank: No. 1 (--)
Highest position: 1
Lowest position: 1


The defending National Champs are off this week as they prepare for a Thursday night road game at Louisville on October 30.

2. Clemson Tigers (5-2, 4-1)

Last week: Defeated Boston College, 17-13
This week: vs. Syracuse

Previous rank: 2 (--)
Highest position: 2
Lowest position: 3

The Eagles put a scare into a Deshaun Watson-less, ranked Clemson team last weekend, but the Tigers have bounced back nicely from starting the season 1-2. It's hard to see Florida State losing the two conference games needed to give Clemson the Atlantic Division title, but plenty to play for the rest of the way.

If CU wins out--Syracuse, @ Wake, @ Georgia Tech, Georgia State and South Carolina--the Tigers may be in line for a major bowl bid.

3. Duke (6-1, 2-1)

Last week: Defeated Virginia, 20-13
This week: Idle

Previous rank: 4 (up 1)
Highest position: 2
Lowest position: 7

The Blue Devils are bowl eligible for the third straight year after defeating Virginia, 20-13. With the win, Duke is now 6-1 and 2-1 in conference play. Should Pitt get past Georgia Tech this weekend, it's looking like that could set up a de facto Coastal Division title game between Duke and Pitt the following weekend.

I have no idea which team is going to win the Coastal Division, but I'm still not buying Duke as a repeat champ.

4. Louisville Cardinals (6-2, 4-2)

Last week: Defeated N.C. State, 30-18
This week: Idle

Previous rank: 3 (down 1)
Highest position: 3
Lowest position: 4

Even with a 30-18 victory over N.C. State, Louisville drops a spot in this week's rankings. This team is already bowl eligible, yet despite winning six of its first eight games (and a play away from 7-1) remains one of the more under-the-radar teams in the conference. Then again, that has a lot to do with the schedule played to date. Louisville's already faced the three worst teams in the Atlantic Division and the schedule gets appreciably more difficult from here--#2 Florida State, @ Boston College, @ #7 Notre Dame and Kentucky.

It'll be interesting to see if Louisville's fast start holds up with two road games over the last four, two games vs. top 10 ranked teams and a rivalry game against a better-than-your-older-brother's Kentucky team.

5. Georgia Tech (5-2, 2-2)

Last week: Lost to North Carolina, 48-43
This week: at Pittsburgh

Previous rank: 6 (up 1)
Highest position: 2
Lowest position: 10

Last week, Georgia Tech mounted a furious fourth quarter comeback, but it wasn't enough to erase a 19-point fourth quarter deficit in a 31-25 loss to Duke. This week, the Jackets played in another wild one, with North Carolina blowing an 11-point fourth quarter lead, but scoring a touchdown with 11 seconds to earn a 48-43 win over Georgia Tech.

Even with back-to-back conference losses, I suppose there's still a shot for the Jackets to win the Coastal, but it's gotta start this weekend in a road game at Pittsburgh (and also includes a road victory over a very good Clemson team in a few weeks). Never go full Coastal.

6. Boston College (4-3, 1-2)

Last week: Lost to Clemson, 17-13
This week: at Wake Forest

Previous rank: 8 (up 2)
Highest position: 5
Lowest position: 9

Despite the setback to Clemson, fans have to be feeling pretty good about the Eagles' performance against a ranked Tigers team. BC has been competitive in every game this season and both the offense and defense has looked better than its been in years. Remember this program is only a few years removed from a one FBS win season (thanks, Spaz).

Duke and Georgia Tech are ranked ahead of BC this week, and I know the Eagles dropped an early game to Pitt, but could Boston College win the Coastal Division this year?

7. Virginia (4-3, 2-1)

Last week: Lost to Duke, 20-13
This week: vs. North Carolina

Previous rank: 5 (down 2)
Highest position: 5
Lowest position 11

The Cavaliers were knocked from their lofty perch atop the Coastal Division standings with a 20-13 loss to Duke. The 'Hoos have been competitive.

8t. Pittsburgh (4-3, 2-1)

Last week: Defeated Virginia Tech, 21-16
This week: vs. Georgia Tech

Previous rank: 10 (up 2)
Highest position: 6
Lowest position: 11

Pitt made BC's early season loss to the Panthers sting a bit less with a 21-16 victory over Virginia Tech in a punt fest last Thursday night. The win snaps a three-game skid for the Panthers.

Huge Coastal Division game this weekend as the Panthers host Georgia Tech. The schedule the rest of the way is fairly manageable--Georgia Tech, Duke, @ North Carolina, Syracuse, @ Miami--and Pitt benefits from hosting two Coastal Division title contenders at home over the next two weekends. We'll know a lot more about which program will lose to Florida State in the ACC Championship Game over the next two weeks.

8t. Virginia Tech (4-3, 1-2)

Last week: Lost to Pittsburgh, 21-16
This week: vs. Miami (Thurs.)

Previous rank: 7 (down 1)
Highest position: 5
Lowest position: 10

Is the Virginia Tech (Thursday night) magic over? The Hokie faithful are a bit restless after dropping their second conference game of the season in Pittsburgh. Virginia Tech's offense went just 2-of-14 on third down while the Pitt defense limited the Hokies to just 26 rushing yards all game (though the Hokies were playing without their top 3 running backs).

Virginia Tech is back in action this Thursday as they host Miami in a Big East/ACC special.

10. Miami (4-3, 1-2)

Last week: Idle
This week: at Virginia Tech (Thurs.)

Previous rank: 9 (down 1)
Highest position: 5
Lowest position: 11

The Hurricanes had the week off to prepare for their Thursday night road game at Virginia Tech. Miami-Virginia Tech on Thursday night in a matchup...between the 9th and 10th ranked teams in this power poll. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

11. North Carolina (3-4, 1-2)

Last week: Defeated Georgia Tech, 48-43
This week: at Virginia

Previous rank: 12 (up 1)
Highest position: 9
Lowest position: 14

Just when you think you have the Coastal Division sorta figured out, the Tar Heels are in the win column in conference play with a 48-43 victory over Georgia Tech. Huh.

North Carolina is back in action this weekend with a road game in Charlottesville vs. Virginia, the South's Oldest Rivalry. The Tar Heels have won the last four in the series and own a slight 60-54-4 edge in the series.

12. N.C. State (4-4, 0-4)

Last week: Lost to Louisville, 30-18
This week: Idle

Previous rank: 11 (down 1)
Highest position: 10
Lowest position: 13

The Pack extended its conference losing streak to 12 games with a 30-18 loss at Louisville last weekend. N.C. State's last win in conference play came at the end of the 2012 season...over Boston College. Thanks, Spaz.

N.C. State is off this week as they prepare for a road game at Syracuse on November 1.

13. Syracuse (3-4, 1-2)

Last week: Defeated Wake Forest, 30-7
This week: at Clemson

Previous rank: 13 (--)
Highest position: 11
Lowest position: 13

Syracuse is finally in the ACC win column this year with a 30-7 victory over Wake Forest, a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise forgettable season up to this point. The Orange should enjoy the win while they can, because it's back on the road again this week...this time against a ranked Clemson team in the program's very first trip to Death Valley.

14. Wake Forest (2-5, 0-3)

Last week: Lost to Syracuse, 30-7
This week: vs. Boston College

Previous rank: 14 (--)
Highest position: 13
Lowest position: 14

Oh man. I listened to this week's BCI Radio episode and feel really, really bad for our frenemies over at Blogger So Dear. We feel your pain, bros.