ACC football rankings heading into Week 8 of the 2016 season. With games stretching from Friday night to early Saturday evening, here’s how the teams grade out.
Heading into the weekend, the ACC’s narrative was all about responding and resiliency.
How would North Carolina, traveling to South Florida, respond one week after being drubbed at home and falling out of the Top 25 rankings?
How would Miami respond following the heartbreaking Block at the Rock?
Could the aforementioned teams’ tormentors – Virginia Tech and Florida State – continue their momentum?
Now that we have the answers, here’s a look at how the ACC teams rank heading into Week 8 of the season.
Week 8 ACC Football Rankings
14. Duke (Last Week – 14)
Duke ran into the buzzsaw that is Lamar Jackson – who had 86 more total yards by himself than the entire Blue Devils team – and the Louisville Cardinals, dropping to 3-4 on the season. The Blue Devils have only beaten North Carolina Central, a sub-.500 Notre Dame team and Army. Next up: Georgia Tech and the quirky triple option.
13. Boston College (11)
Boston College’s last two losses have come by a combined score of 105-10. After being humbled by Clemson, the Eagles enjoyed a much-needed off week.
12. Virginia (13)
The rough road for Bronco Mendenhall continues. If games ended after the first half, Saturday would’ve been great for the Hoos. Unfortunately, they only scored 10 more points following the opening period’s 21-point outburst.
11. Georgia Tech (10)
The Yellow Jackets beat Georgia Southern in a game they both needed and were expected to win. Paul Johnson’s future in Atlanta still seems tenuous, but this victory definitely helps.
10. Syracuse (12)
If Syracuse could get 417 yards of offense out of Eric Dungey every week, then it’d be a never-ending party in Upstate New York. Games like this one against Virginia Tech are what fans had in mind when Dino Babers signed on as head coach.
9. Wake Forest (9)
What a tough, tough team. They might not have defeated FSU in Doak Campbell – a rarity for any team – but Wake certainly earned some respect. The line was 21.5 in this one, and the Deacs made sure to cover, and make the Noles fight for a win.
8. North Carolina State (8)
Saturday was the difference between a good team (NC State) and a great one (Clemson). What a heartbreaking defeat for the Wolfpack. Hopefully the team and community rally around Kyle Bambard, and the young man doesn’t face some of the online vitriol we’ve seen in the past.
7. Pittsburgh (7)
Pat Narduzzi’s squad lives up to the MO of running and playing sound defense (UVA only had 86 yards on 26 rushing attempts). The Panthers can also put some points on the board. Up next is an intriguing Thursday night game against Virginia Tech.
6. Miami (4)
Mark Richt’s team is now 4-2 with two straight home losses, and now the Hurricanes have to hit the road and face a mercurial, potentially dangerous Virginia Tech team. All in all, though, the program is good hands, even if it has come back down to Earth.
5. Virginia Tech (5)
What a deflating loss after last week’s exhilarating win. Syracuse is no easy place to play – especially now that Dino Babers has instilled a high-powered offense. Still, the Hokies made Eric Dungey look like a Heisman candidate on Saturday – and that’s not good.
4. North Carolina (6)
And that’s how you bounce back right there. Following a rare down week, Mitch Trubisky is back on track. Yes, Virginia Tech defeated the Tar Heels last week, but there was some serious weather in that one. Going down to Coral Gables and beating a quality Miami team holds a lot of water, and has UNC a notch higher than the Hokies given the latter’s loss to Syracuse.
3. FSU (3)
Florida State moves to 5-2 and 2-2 in ACC play following Saturday’s win over a Wake Forest team that had been flying under the radar at 5-1 heading into the matchup with the Seminoles. While FSU is No. 3 in the rankings, there’s a large drop-off from the top two spots to this one.
2. Louisville (2)
After a week off to lick its wounds from the heartbreaking, 42-36 loss to Clemson, Louisville bounced back on Friday night with a tougher-than-expected win over Duke. Lamar Jackson is a beast among boys. Despite the defeat to the Tigers, it can be argued that the Cardinals are on the same level as Dabo Swinney’s team.
1. Clemson (1)
The gods smiled on Clemson, who used a little luck to top NC State at home and remain the only unbeaten team in the ACC. The Tigers now sit in the driver’s seat at 4-0 in the ACC Atlantic. The game against NC State was enough to give fans an ulcer, but the sign of a championship team is winning when backed into a corner. Next up: a bye and then the FSU tilt.