David M. Hale 374d

ACC Week 6 power rankings: Miami, NC State make some noise

Clemson remains atop the ACC power rankings, but Week 6 gave us two potential stumbling blocks for the Tigers. NC State pulled off its second win of the year over a ranked foe, and the Wolfpack look like they might actually be a contender in the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Miami finally toppled Florida State, and the Hurricanes have their sights set on getting over another big hump: a trip to the ACC title game, where it's entirely possible Clemson will be waiting.

1. Clemson (6-0, 4-0 ACC): The offense has been inconsistent, and now quarterback Kelly Bryant is banged up after exiting Saturday’s game with an ankle injury. We're nitpicking, but what else can you do? Clemson is the class of the ACC.

2. Miami (4-0, 2-0): The streak is over. Getting a win over Florida State is a huge monkey off Miami's back, but it's not exactly smooth sailing from here. With Mark Walton banged up, the Canes now get a red-hot Georgia Tech team. They can't afford a letdown after such an emotional victory, or the celebration will be short-lived.

3. Virginia Tech (5-1, 1-1): Josh Jackson continues to impress, and he managed nearly 10 yards per pass against BC. The concern, however, was five sacks allowed by the offensive line and some offensive miscues down the stretch.

4. NC State (5-1, 3-0): The win over Louisville proved NC State is no one-trick pony, and while the defense has gotten plenty of hype, the offense might be the real key. Ryan Finley has been exceptional, and the offensive line might be the best in the ACC.

5. Georgia Tech (3-1, 2-0): The Yellow Jackets were off, and that's a good thing for next week, when they face Miami in a game that could be the deciding factor in the ACC Coastal.

6. Louisville (4-2, 1-2): Lamar Jackson remains a magician. The rest of the team? Not so much. The secondary is a mess. The O-line is still a work in progress. The running game has been nonexistent due to some quizzical playcalling. And now Louisville has two losses in the division, effectively ending any hopes of reaching the ACC title game.

7. Florida State (1-3, 1-2): What to make of the 1-3 Seminoles? On the one hand, they had a lead over No. 13 Miami with 1:24 remaining Saturday, Cam Akers had his first 100-yard game, and James Blackman seemed to make real progress. On the other hand, the defense coughed up that lead, Blackman still struggled at times and the winning streak against Miami is over. FSU still has plenty of talent, but 1-3 is just unacceptable, regardless of the injuries.

8. Wake Forest (4-2, 1-2): You have to feel for Dave Clawson. Wake Forest played both FSU and Clemson extremely tough, but it still lost both games. The schedule gets a little easier from here, but the big question will be how much this gauntlet took out of the Deacons.

9. Virginia (4-1, 1-0): Can we officially buy in on Virginia? After knocking off Boise State, the Cavaliers toppled Duke with a stellar defensive effort, and they're off to their best start since 2007.

10. Duke (4-2, 1-2): Daniel Jones is a mess right now, and that's been a huge problem for Duke. After a strong start to the year, Jones has completed just 47.7 percent of his passes with two TDs and four INTs in his last four games.

11. Syracuse (3-3, 1-1): The Orange might catch a break if they get Clemson without Bryant this week, but that doesn't make the path forward much easier. The next three for Syracuse? Clemson, Florida State and Miami. Yikes.

12. Pittsburgh (2-4, 0-2): Questions abound for Pitt, but perhaps the most telling number for the Panthers is that, in each of the past two weeks, their leading rusher has been defensive back Jordan Whitehead.

13. Boston College (2-4, 0-3): Stop us if you've heard this before: The BC defense is salty. The offense? Not so much. The Eagles haven't topped 400 yards of offense against an FBS opponent since beating NC State in 2014.

14. North Carolina (1-5, 0-3): The less said about the state of the Tar Heels, the better. But hey, they won a basketball national championship earlier this year. Remember that?

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