clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2014 ACC Football Season Power Rankings: Week 4

Pitt jumps up to #3 this week as Virginia Tech and Louisville stumble.

Robert Mayer-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 to rank the ACC's best college football programs on a weekly basis.

Here are the results for week 4:


1. Florida State Seminoles, 112 (8 first-place votes)
2. Clemson Tigers, 101
3. Pittsburgh Panthers, 93
4. Duke Blue Devils, 84
5. Virginia Tech Hokies, 74
6. Louisville Cardinals, 66
7. Boston College Eagles, 65
8. North Carolina Tar Heels, 58
9. Miami Hurricanes, 48
10. Virginia Cavaliers, 47
11. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 33
12. Syracuse Orange, 31
13. N.C. State Wolfpack, 20
14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 8

1. Florida State Seminoles (2-0, 0-0)

Last week: Idle
This week: vs. Clemson

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

2. Clemson Tigers (1-1, 0-0)

Last week: Idle
This week: at Florida State

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

Both Florida State and Clemson were idle this week ahead of their Atlantic Division showdown this Saturday night. ESPN College GameDay will be there. Florida State QB Jameis Winston will not ... at least for the first half, after the Heisman Trophy winner was suspended for yelling an obscene gesture on campus Tuesday.

3. Pittsburgh (3-0, 1-0)

Last week: Defeated Florida International, 42-25
This week: vs. Iowa

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

After Virginia Tech and Louisville both lost last week, the BCI ACC power rankings #3 and #4, Pitt jumps up to the third position after putting away FIU, 42-25. Pitt faces a tough test this weekend as they host Iowa. After opening as a 4-point home favorite, the line has shifted to 6.5 to 7 points already.

4. Duke (3-0, 0-0)

Last week: Defeated Kansas, 41-3
This week: vs. Tulane

Previous rank: 4 (up 2)
Highest position: 3
Lowest position: 10

Like Pitt, Duke took advantage of losses by Virginia Tech and Louisville to jump back to the #4 spot in this week's power rankings. The Blue Devils dismantled Kansas on Saturday, with freshman RB Shaun Wilson looking positively Andre Williams -- scoring on runs of 69, 68 and 45 on the way to a 245-yard rushing performance, a school record. Duke's light jog through its soft non-conference schedule concludes this weekend with a home game against Tulane (DU -17).

5. Virginia Tech (2-1, 0-0)

Last week: Lost to East Carolina, 28-21
This week: vs. Georgia Tech

Previous rank: 3 (down 2)
Highest position: 3
Lowest position: 9

Just when you think you have the Hokies figured out, they go and lose to East Carolina. At home, no less, only a week removed from snapping Ohio State's streak of 64 consecutive home wins over unranked non-conference opponents. Virginia Tech has been a really strange team to figure out the past few years. The Coastal Division seems as wide open as its ever been after Virginia Tech's loss and Georgia Tech and Pitt's struggles to put away marginal opponents. Though we should start to get more clarity on which program will emerge from the smoldering rubble this weekend as Tech hosts Georgia Tech in the Tech Bowl.

6. Louisville Cardinals (2-1, 1-1)

Last week: Lost to Virginia, 23-21
This week: at Florida International

Previous rank: 4 (down 2)
Highest position: 5
Lowest position: 9

Louisville comes crashing back down to earth a bit after dropping its ACC road opener, 23-21, to Virginia. The win snaps an 11-game ACC losing streak and a 10-game skid against FBS teams for the Cavaliers. UVa has virtually no offense to speak of, but has been staying in games based off the strength of its defense. For Louisville, the Cards look to bounce back against hapless FIU, where they find themselves almost four TD favorites this weekend.

7. Boston College (2-1, 0-1)

Last week: Defeated USC, 37-31
This week: vs. Maine

Previous rank: 7 (up 4)
Highest position: 5
Lowest position: 9

What a difference a week makes for Addazio's dudes. BC is up four spots this week after turning an "easy victory for a top-ten team" into a nightmare for the ninth-ranked Trojans. This week, Boston College attempts to avoid a Virginia Tech-esque hangover game when the Eagles host FCS Maine.

8. North Carolina (2-0, 0-0)

Last week: Idle
This week: at East Carolina

Previous rank: 7 (down 1)
Highest position: 4
Lowest position: 11

Still really not sure what to make of this North Carolina team. The Heels have struggled to put away their first two opponents of the year -- Liberty and San Diego State. Hopefully the week off served UNC well, because they jump right back into things with a big road test at East Carolina, where North Carolina finds itself a slight road underdog (ECU -2).

9. Miami (2-1, 0-1)

Last week: Defeated Arkansas State, 41-20
This week: at Nebraska

Previous rank: 8 (down 1)
Highest position: 8
Lowest position: 11

Miami made quick work of visiting Arkansas State, defeating the Red Wolves 41-20. Next up for Miami is a visit to Lincoln to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the third ACC-Big Ten matchup of the weekend (Pitt-Iowa and Syracuse-Maryland) the others. Like many of their Coastal brethren, it's really hard to put a finger on just how good this Miami team is. My guess is this is a marginal bowl-eligible team that won't seriously challenge for the division crown, which, is basically every year since the ACC adopted division play in 2005.

10. Virginia (2-1, 1-0)

Last week: Defeated Louisville, 23-21
This week: vs. BYU

Previous rank: 10 (--)
Highest position: 6
Lowest position 13

Despite taking out Louisville 23-21 in their ACC opener, voters are still not sold on these Cavaliers (which, fitting I guess considering STL isn't buying BC). I've seen Virginia ranked as high as #3 in some ACC power polls this week, which, lol, but here are the Cavs, ranked 10th and flat week-over-week. Virginia's defense has been excellent so far this season, turning Louisville over four times on Saturday and notching 38 points off turnovers through three games. It's the offense that's a bit more suspect. Then again, Virginia Tech made a living in the Coastal Division with stout defense + anemic offense, so why not Virginia as Coastal Division contender? The 'Hoos seem to have as good a shot as any to win the Coastal and serve as sacrificial ACCCG lamb for Florida State.

11. Georgia Tech (3-0, 0-0)

Last week: Defeated Georgia Southern, 42-38
This week: at Virginia Tech

Previous rank: 9 (down 2)
Highest position: 6
Lowest position: 13

You'd be hard-pressed to come up with a least-impressive 3-0 team than Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets blew a 25-point lead only to score the winning touchdown with 23 seconds left to get past Georgia Southern. Georgia Tech rolled up 536 yards of total offense against the Eagles, but surrendered 528. Huge test this weekend as Georgia Tech travels to Blacksburg to take on the Hokies in their ACC opener. Georgia Tech is currently a 8-point road underdog.

By the way, who voted Georgia Tech 6th?!

12. Syracuse (2-0, 0-0)

Last week: Defeated Central Michigan, 40-3
This week: vs. Maryland

Previous rank: 12 (--)
Highest position: 9
Lowest position: 13

Syracuse returns home after making quick work of the Chippewas on the road, 40-3. The Orange start a brutal four game stretch this weekend as they host the Terrapins. From there, Syracuse faces Notre Dame (Meadowlands), Louisville and Florida State ... gets a breather with a trip to Winston-Salem to take on Wake ... then jumps right back into things with a trip to Death Valley to take on Clemson. The good news, if there is any, is that the next four games are all at home. That is, if you consider the Meadowlands home for New York's College Team (TM).

13. N.C. State (3-0, 0-0)

Last week: Defeated South Florida, 49-17
This week: vs. Presbyterian

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

Despite defeating South Florida, 49-17, in Tampa, State actually lost a bit of ground in this week's power poll. Voters just aren't sold on this State team beating up on every FCS and FCS-like program they can find in non-conference play. This week ... another snooze-fest as the Pack hosts Presbyterian. Fear the Blue Hose.

14. Wake Forest (1-2, 0-0)

Last week: Lost to Utah State, 36-24
This week: vs. Army

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

If the Demon Deacons are gonna win another game this season, they'd better take care of business this weekend against the U.S. Military Academy. Though Wake Forest does finds themselves slight home dogs going into this game (+2). Frankly, things are looking rather bleak in Winston-Salem. ESPN's Football Power Index has Wake Forest finishing with a record of 2-10, with single-digit winning percentages in games @ Louisville (5.8%), @ Florida State (0.5%), Clemson (4.8%) and @ Duke (7.0%).