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2014 ACC Football Season Power Rankings: Week 3

Another shakeup in the top 5 with Clemson claiming this week's #2 spot.

Jamie Sabau

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 3:


1. Florida State Seminoles, 126 (9 first-place votes)
2. Clemson Tigers, 106
3. Virginia Tech Hokies, 105
4. Louisville Cardinals, 101
5. Pittsburgh Panthers, 91
6. Duke Blue Devils, 84
7. North Carolina Tar Heels, 70
8. Miami-Florida Hurricanes, 67
9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 55
10. Virginia Cavaliers, 38
11. Boston College Eagles, 36
12. Syracuse Orange, 32
13. N.C. State Wolfpack, 25
14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 9

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

Last week: Defeated The Citadel, 37-12
This week: Idle

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

No change this week as the Defending National Champions turned in a workmanlike 37-12 rout of FCS The Citadel. The Noles jumped out to a 34-0 lead through three quarters before easing off the pedal and giving up two fourth quarter touchdowns. The Noles are off this week before hosting Clemson at Doak Campbell on September 20.

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

Last week: Defeated South Carolina State, 73-7
This week: Idle

Previous rank: 3 (up 1)
Highest position: 2
Lowest position: 5

After dropping to the #3 spot in last week's Power Rankings, the Tigers are back up to the #2 spot after cruising to a 73-7 victory over FCS South Carolina State. Clemson edges Virginia Tech by a single point to claim this week's #2 spot. The Tigers are off this week as they prepare for their September 20 road game at Florida State.

3. Virginia Tech (2-0, 0-0)

Last week: Defeated Ohio State, 35-21
This week: vs. East Carolina

Previous rank: 4 (up 1)
Highest position: 2
Lowest position: 8

Virginia Tech is the proud owners of the weekend's most impressive performance. Beamer's Hokies went into the Horseshoe and stunned the Buckeyes, 35-21. The win snapped a streak of 64 consecutive home wins over unranked non-conference opponents. Ohio State's loss capped off a rather embarrassing day for the Big Ten, which saw three of its College Football Playoff contenders fall flat on their faces (Michigan State and Michigan the others). This win may never look as impressive as it does right now. Still, perhaps us college football prognosticators were too quick to write off Virginia Tech's chances in the ACC Coastal Division. Up next: Virginia Tech welcomes ECU to Lane Stadium on Saturday.

4. Louisville Cardinals (2-0, 1-0)

Last week: Defeated Murray State, 66-21
This week: at Virginia

Previous rank: 2 (down 2)
Highest position: 2
Lowest position: 7

Despite pasting FCS Murray State to the tune of 66-21, Louisville is down two spots this week. Though this seems based on the strength of performances by Clemson and Virginia Tech rather than anything Louisville did. The Cardinals jump right back into ACC play with a road game at Coastal Division cross-over "rival" Virginia.

5. Pittsburgh (2-0, 1-0)

Last week: Defeated Boston College, 30-20
This week: at Florida International

Previous rank: 7 (up 2)
Highest position: 3
Lowest position: 8

Pitt continues to climb these rankings, checking in at #5 this week. The Panthers have looked impressive over the first two weeks of the season, cruising past FCS Delaware (62-0) and Boston College (30-20). With BC in its rear-view mirror and only a cross-division game against Syracuse remaining, the schedule sets up nicely for a run at the Coastal Division crown. Then again, I have a feeling last Friday's outcome told more about how the rest of BC's season will go than it did Pitt.

6. Duke (2-0, 0-0)

Last week: Defeated Troy, 34-17
This week: vs. Kansas

Previous rank: 5 (down 1)
Highest position: 3
Lowest position: 7

More folks are buying Duke, with the range of ranks going from 3-10 to 3-7. Still, it's a bit hard to figure out just how good this Blue Devils team truly is since they've hardly been tested over the first two weeks of the season (Elon and at Troy). Next up: Duke hosts Kansas on Saturday.

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

Last week: Defeated San Diego State, 31-27
This week: Idle

Previous rank: 6 (down 1)
Highest position: 5
Lowest position: 9

For the second straight week, North Carolina started out slow and struggled to put away its non-conference opponent. This week, the Heels had to erase a two-touchdown second half deficit then hold on to beat San Diego State, 31-27 -- the second straight game where UNC was trailing in the second half (Liberty). Seemingly every season North Carolina enters with lofty expectations only to crash-and-burn. With two close victories in the first two weeks of 2014, have to start wondering whether 2014 will be more of the same for Carolina. UNC has the week off before traveling to East Carolina on September 20.

8. Miami (1-1, 0-1)

Last week: Defeated Florida A&M, 41-7
This week: vs. Arkansas State

Previous rank: 8 (--)
Highest position: 6
Lowest position: 9

It was a short week for Miami coming off a Labor Day Monday loss at Louisville, 31-13, but that didn't slow the Hurricanes in a 41-7 victory over FCS Florida A&M. The win game in Al Golden's 100th game as head coach. He's now 50-50 overall. Miami next hosts Arkansas State at home on Saturday. The Canes are currently 16.5-point favorites.

9. Georgia Tech (2-0, 0-0)

Last week: Defeated Tulane, 38-21
This week: vs. Georgia Southern

Previous rank: 9 (--)
Highest position: 7
Lowest position: 10

Georgia Tech is another team voters are starting to reach more consensus on. Last week, one voter had the Jackets as high as 4th in the conference. This week the spread is down to 7-10. That's likely a reaction to another mixed performance from Tech, which went down by a TD twice in the second quarter before taking a 3-point lead to the locker room en route to a 38-21 victory. Four of Georgia Tech's five touchdowns were set up by Tulane miscues -- three interceptions and a blocked punt. They haven't looked all that good doing it, but Tech should easily move to 3-0 this weekend as they host Georgia Southern.

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

Last week: Defeated Richmond, 45-13
This week: vs. Louisville

Previous rank: 10 (up 1)
Highest position: 7
Lowest position 13

Virginia is up one spot this week after snapping a 10-game losing streak with a 45-13 victory over FCS Richmond. Next up for the Hoos is a home game against ACC newcomer Louisville. The Cardinals opened as an early 10-point road favorite, but the line has shifted towards Virginia over the week and is now just 6.5.

11. Boston College (1-1, 0-1)

Last week: Lost to Pittsburgh, 30-20
This week: vs. USC

Previous rank: 11 (down 1)
Highest position: 9
Lowest position: 12

Boston College falls one spot this week to #11 and probably would have fallen even further had N.C. State looked even the slightest bit impressive in a 46-34 victory over Old Dominion. It's gonna be a long week.

12. Syracuse (1-0, 0-0)

Last week: Idle
This week: at Central Michigan

Previous rank: 12 (--)
Highest position: 10
Lowest position: 13

Shafer's #hardnosed bunch had the week off to prepare for a road game at Central Michigan. Last weekend, the Chippewas made quick work of the Big Ten's Purdue, 38-17, to move to 2-0 on the year. Vegas oddsmakers are throwing some love Syracuse's way, installing the Orange as a TD favorite on the road.

13. N.C. State (2-0, 0-0)

Last week: Defeated Old Dominion, 46-34
This week: at South Florida

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

Really hard to make out how N.C. State will fare this season based on early returns. The Wolfpack's non-conference schedule is embarrassingly soft, yet State has squeaked past its first two opponents of the year nonetheless. The Pack continues their 2014 Cupcake World Tour with a road game at South Florida. State is a 2.5-point road favorite.

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

Last week: Defeated Gardner-Webb, 23-7
This week: at Utah State

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

The good news for Wake is that the Deacons are in the win column with a 23-7 victory over FCS Gardner-Webb. The bad? True freshman QB John Wolford threw three interceptions and the Wake offense could only manage three first-half field goals. Going forward, it's hard to see many more wins on Wake's 2014 sched. The Deacons travel to Logan, Utah this weekend to face Utah State. Wake is more than a two touchdown underdog. Godspeed, #therivalry.