After nine weeks of play, the Clemson Tigers still look like the favorites to win the Conference and represent the ACC in the College Football Playoff. Behind the undefeated Tigers, where do the other teams stand, and could anyone challenge Clemson for the title?
1. Clemson Tigers (8-0)
They have struggled a bit in the last two weeks against North Carolina State and Florida State. However, they should be fine this week at home against Syracuse’s high flying offense.
2. Louisville Cardinals (7-1)
Louisville came within a play or two of being upset by Virginia, but the rest of their schedule is relatively weak. With their loss to Clemson and Houston’s losses diminishing the value of that matchup, Louisville’s only hope for a league title is for Clemson to slip up.
3. Virginia Tech (6-2)
They lead the Coastal division with a 4-1 record thanks to a win last week against Pittsburgh. A road game against Duke will be the classic trap game against a team that is better than its record suggests.
4. North Carolina (6-2)
Games against Georgia Tech, Duke and North Carolina State offer a pretty easy path to a division title and maybe a 10 win season.
5. Florida State (5-3)
The ‘Noles gave Clemson everything that they had in a 37-35 loss last Saturday. Delvin Cook could be a Heisman candidate this year, but the losses will likely hurt his Heisman candidacy.
6. Pittsburgh (5-3)
Road games against Miami and Clemson coming up next on the schedule could keep them from gaining bowl eligibility. However, home games against Duke and Syracuse afterward are both moe than winnable.
7. Syracuse (4-4)
The Orange have a tough test at Clemson this weekend in which they are 26.5 point underdogs. Even Dino Babers doesn’t think a win is a realistic accomplishment.
8. Wake Forest (5-3)
Yes, they beat Syracuse this season and could be ranked slightly higher. On the other hand, they lost to Army last week 21-13 and could be ranked much lower.
9. Georgia Tech (5-3)
A win against North Carolina could keep faint hopes of a division title alive. A victory also makes the Jackets bowl eligible.
10. Miami (4-4)
They gave Notre Dame a scare on Saturday, but weren’t able to put them away. A once promising season is slipping away.
11. North Carolina State (4-4)
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say the same about the Wolfpack as the Canes. That said, wins against Syracuse and Miami could salvage the year.
12. Virginia (2-6)
The Cavaliers came so close to upsetting Louisville on Saturday, but it’s far too late to win the division or get to a bowl game.
13. Boston College (4-4)
A road win against NC State gets them their first conference win of the year, but it still isn’t enough to inspire confidence in the team.
14. Duke (3-5)
The Blue Devils are the last winless team in ACC play, and don’t expect that to change that anytime soon. It’s been a rough year for David Cutcliffe’s squad.