There are a lot of questions surrounding the ACC, including whether or not its teams should have a shot at the college football playoffs.
It was only two years ago when you could make a legitimate argument that the ACC deserved to be ranked as one of the two best football conferences in America. Clemson was back. Florida State was just two years removed from winning a National Championship. Louisville had an electric Heisman winner and Virginia Tech hired young hot shot Justin Fuentes to bring them back to glory.
A funny thing happened. Other than Clemson, the conference has completely flamed out. This past weekend was downright embarrassing for ACC football. Now we will have to ask if an ACC team can make it to the playoffs. There will be Power 5 conference champions, Notre Dame, and the loser of Georgia against Alabama to consider for four spots in the playoffs. An undefeated ACC champ is almost certainly in, but a one loss ACC Champ could have a problem comparing resumes with other teams.
What happened Virginia Tech and Boston College? It became pretty clear in the opening week that Miami and Florida State would not be national contenders so what other teams might rise up in the ACC in their place? Despite both being undefeated, the Hokies and Eagles went out and laid complete eggs with Virginia Tech losing at 0-3 Old Dominion and Boston College flopping at 0-3 Purdue. OK Duke, you’re up next.
For those looking to glean something from UCF hosting a Power 5 school in Pitt this week, don’t bother. It is a program that seems to be in freefall even though the team is 2-2. The Panthers took a loss at a North Carolina team that is also a mess. It’s near impossible to judge UCF when their schedule is so terrible. Their only hope is for arch rival USF to keep winning. Sad predicament for Knight fans to hope your rival wins every game before a Black Friday matchup that should draw national attention. I saw them score a lot of touchdowns this weekend but also gave up yards and points to a Florida Atlantic team that Oklahoma laid to waste.
Onto the rankings. Stanford gets a boost this week because being lucky is better than being good and a road victory against Oregon is a premier win no matter how they got it. West Virginia takes a hit because Tennessee is so terrible but the Mountaineers have plenty of big games left to make their case. Yes, the SEC is still the best conference, and by a pretty big margin so you may see that in the rankings.
- Alabama (4-0) Comfortable home win over Texas A&M.
- LSU (4-0) Wins versus Miami and at Auburn keep them here.
- Stanford (4-0) Wins versus Southern Cal and at Oregon.
- Georgia (4-0) Still living off win at South Carolina.
- Clemson (4-0) Georgia Tech has historically been a house of nightmares. Not this year.
- Ohio State (4-0) Win at TCU not as enticing this week.
- Notre Dame (4-0) Put a whipping on Wake Forest. Can’t wait to see them versus. Stanford.
- Kentucky (4-0) Huge win over Mississippi State. Also won at Florida.
- West Virginia (3-0) Smacked around Kansas State.
- Oklahoma (4-0) That looked ugly against Army.
- Penn State (4-0) Needed overtime in Week 1 to beat Appalachian State. Struggled with Illinois until the fourth quarter.
- UCF (4-0) Should have tried to get a game with Nebraska to make up for UNC game.
- Cincinnati (4-0) Unimpressive against Ohio and coming back to Earth after hot start.
- South Florida (4-0) Have beaten two Power 5 schools but neither Illinois or Georgia Teach are any good.
- Auburn (3-1) Washington win makes them highest ranked 1 loss team.
- California (3-0) I don’t think they can beat Oregon or Stanford.
- Syracuse (4-0) Congrats on being in the Top 20! You’re reward is a trip to Clemson this week.
- Washington (3-1) Still control their own destiny in conference play.
- Duke (4-0) The hopes of the ACC ride with the Blue Devils so there’s almost no hope.
- Colorado (3-0) Colorado State losing to an FCS team hurts their cause.
- Michigan (3-1) Poor Nebraska got taken to the woodshed by Big Blue.
- NC State (3-0) Have a good senior QB, but it really hurts to not play WVU due to Florence.
- South Carolina (2-1) Rolled a Vanderbilt team that took Notre Dame to the last play.
- Mississippi State (3-1) They got the license plate that ran them over. It said KY 28 7.
- Oklahoma State (3-1) They have beaten Boise State but crumpled versus Texas Tech.
Reach Mike Synan at Mike.Synan@floridadaily.com.
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