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2014 ACC Football Season Power Rankings: Week 12

Little movement this week as we head into the final three weeks of the season.

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 11: 7th
-- Week 10: --
-- Week 9: 6th
-- 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 12:

BC INTERRUPTION ACC POWER POLL, WEEK 12

1. Florida State Seminoles
2. Clemson Tigers
3t. Duke Blue Devils
3t. Louisville Cardinals
5. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
6. Miami Hurricanes
7. Boston College Eagles
8. Pittsburgh Panthers
9t. North Carolina Tar Heels
9t. Virginia Tech Hokies
11. Virginia Cavaliers
12. N.C. State Wolfpack
13. Syracuse Orange
14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

1. Florida State Seminoles (9-0, 6-0 ACC)

Last week: Defeated Virginia, 34-20
This week: at Miami

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

The defending National Champions are 9-0 and four games away from a spot in the College Football Playoff. A tricky road game awaits the Noles this week--a road game at in-state rival Miami where Florida State finds itself just a 2.5-point road favorite.

2. Clemson Tigers (7-2, 6-1)

Last week: Defeated Wake Forest, 34-20
This week: at Georgia Tech

Previous rank: 2 (--)
Highest position: 2
Lowest position: 4

The Tigers held off a plucky Wake Forest team on the road to move to 7-2, 6-1 on the year. Clemson could play its way into a New Year's Six bowl game with wins in its final three games--at Georgia Tech, Georgia State, South Carolina--but needs the Seminoles to lose both of its final two ACC games (at Miami, Boston College) to make it to Charlotte.

3t. Duke (8-1, 4-1)

Last week: Defeated Syracuse, 27-10
This week: Virginia Tech

Previous rank: 3 (--)
Highest position: 2
Lowest position: 6

The Blue Devils let the Orange hang around for three quarters, needing a Jamison Crowder punt return to break a 10-10 tie early in the fourth quarter to pull away from Syracuse. Duke controls its destiny in the Coastal Division, needing a few more wins--against Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest, all at home--to hold off Georgia Tech and Miami.

3t. Louisville Cardinals (7-3, 5-3)

Last week: Defeated Boston College, 38-19
This week: Idle

Previous rank: 4 (--)
Highest position: 3
Lowest position: 5

The Cardinals finish their first season in the conference with a convincing 38-19 victory over Boston College on the Heights. Louisville has the week off to prepare to travel to South Bend to take on the Fighting Irish, then finish up the regular season with a home game against in-state rival Kentucky.

5. Georgia Tech (8-2, 5-2)

Last week: Defeated N.C. State, 56-23
This week: Clemson

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

The Jackets and idle Hurricanes trade spots this week based on the strength of Georgia Tech's 56-23 blowout victory over N.C. State. The win was the Jackets' third straight conference victory--all in impressive fashion. Georgia Tech can keep the pressure on Duke in the Coastal Division race with a victory over Clemson this weekend to finish the year 6-2 in ACC play.

6. Miami (6-3, 3-2)

Last week: Idle
This week: Florida State

Previous rank: 5 (down 1)
Highest position: 4
Lowest position: 7

As stated above, Georgia Tech and Miami trade spots this week based not on what the idle Hurricanes didn't do but more what the Yellow Jackets did to N.C. State. Will Miami be the team to knock Florida State off its pedestal atop the conference and end the 'Noles' program-best 25-game winning streak? Would certainly be a signature win for Al Golden and the 'Canes; something that there have been far too few of over the past few seasons.

7. Boston College (6-4, 3-3)

Last week: Lost to Louisville, 38-19
This week: Idle

Previous rank: 7 (--)
Highest position: 6
Lowest position: 7

The dudes got thumped by Louisville, sure, but I'm not sure who else you throw into the final spot of the top half of the conference. Seventh place this week feels about right considering BC is one of the seven bowl eligible programs from the conference.

8. Pittsburgh (4-5, 2-3)

Last week: Idle
This week: at North Carolina

Previous rank: 8 (--)
Highest position: 8
Lowest position: 11

A virtual bowl elimination game this weekend for the Panthers, which will travel to Chapel Hill to take on the 4-5 (2-3) Tar Heels. Last year, North Carolina knocked off Pittsburgh 34-27 in Pittsburgh. According to ESPN's Football Power Index, Pitt has a 44.8% chance of pulling off the road upset.

9t. North Carolina (4-5, 2-3)

Last week: Idle
This week: Pittsburgh

Previous rank: 9t (--)
Highest position: 8
Lowest position: 11

North Carolina enters the final three weekends of the regular season needing two more wins for bowl eligibility. The Pitt home game looms large, especially with a game at Duke the following week. Carolina ends the season at home against cross-division rival N.C. State.

9t. Virginia Tech (4-5, 1-4)

Last week: Idle
This week: at Duke

Previous rank: 10 (up 1)
Highest position: 9
Lowest position: 12

How the mighty have fallen. The Hokies are one of four Coastal Division teams needing two more wins to reach bowl eligibility. Virginia Tech can probably afford to lose this weekend and still extend the nation's second longest active bowl appearance streak with wins at Wake Forest and Virginia, but a victory over Duke would make the Hokie faithful feel much more comfortable.

11. Virginia (4-6, 2-4)

Last week: Lost to Florida State, 34-20
This week: Idle

Previous rank: 11 (--)
Highest position: 9
Lowest position 12

Remember when some folks had the Cavaliers as the third best team in the ACC? Yeah, me neither.

12. N.C. State (5-5, 1-5)

Last week: Lost to Georgia Tech, 56-23
This week: Wake Forest

Previous rank: 12 (--)
Highest position: 8
Lowest position: 13

The Pack have now lost five of six and still need that 6th win to reach bowl eligibility. Looks like that may come this weekend with a home game against Wake Forest. The Pack are 12.5-point favorites.

13. Syracuse (3-7, 1-5)

Last week: Lost to Duke, 27-10
This week: Idle

Previous rank: 13 (--)
Highest position: 12
Lowest position: 13

The Orange are officially eliminated from bowl contention with a 27-10 home loss to Duke. Syracuse will have the week off to focus on the start of the men's basketball season before finishing a lost season with road games at Pittsburgh and Boston College. 

14. Wake Forest (2-7, 0-5)

Last week: Lost to Clemson, 34-20
This week: at N.C. State

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

The Deacons played visiting Clemson even for a half, but the Tigers would eventually pull away for a 34-20 victory over Wake. The loss, Wake's fifth straight, clinches the program's sixth (!) straight losing season. When I start to get bummed about a Boston College loss here or there, I only have to think of Wake Forest to appreciate that not all rebuilds happen as quickly at other places. Shiny helmets tho!