Clemson became the first team in Associated Press poll history to beat three top-15 teams in September after Saturday night's 31-17 win over Virginia Tech. At this point, the ACC is starting to look a lot like the SEC: one dominant team at the top and everyone else ...
1. Clemson Tigers (5-0, 3-0): Are Alabama and Clemson on a collision course for a third straight national championship matchup? There are plenty of games left to play, but the first month has shown us that the two remain the best teams in the nation. And no one else appears to be close.
2. Miami Hurricanes (3-0, 1-0): The Hurricanes had an impressive road win at Duke on Friday night, but we will know more about this team after Saturday, when it plays rival Florida State in Tallahassee.
3. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-1, 0-1): Once again, turnovers and a mobile quarterback hurt the Hokies against Clemson. But this team is far from out of the Coastal Division race and could see the Tigers again in an ACC championship game rematch.
4. NC State Wolfpack (4-1, 2-0): NC State survived a late scare from Syracuse but now has a short week to prepare for Lamar Jackson and Louisville in a crucial Thursday night game for both teams.
5. Louisville Cardinals (4-1, 1-1): The Cards did what they were expected to do against Murray State but now must face a rising NC State team with a defensive line that has looked dominant in recent weeks.
6. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-1, 2-0): Don't look now, but the Jackets are once again making it known they have plans to be Coastal Division contenders. They get a bye week to prepare for Miami as the schedule gets harder in the second half of their season.
7. Florida State Seminoles (1-2, 1-1): There are myriad problems the Seminoles need to fix before they play Miami on Saturday. To start, they need better play from their offensive line and receivers, fewer penalties and consistency from their defense.
8. Duke Blue Devils (4-1, 1-1): The Blue Devils had a disappointing performance against Miami, struggling on third down against a strong defense in their first loss of the season. Up next is a resurgent Virginia team on the road.
9. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-1, 1-1): Wake Forest outplayed Florida State in virtually every aspect, holding a late-fourth-quarter lead on the Seminoles. But they came up just short in the end and now have to play at Clemson.
10. Virginia Cavaliers (3-1): The Cavaliers had a bye week to prepare for Duke, a team they have beaten in consecutive seasons despite their recent struggles. This Virginia team is better than its previous two.
11. Pittsburgh Panthers (2-3, 0-1): The Panthers beat up on Rice, but the schedule gets more difficult from here -- starting with a game at Syracuse, the team it beat last year in a wild 76-61 affair a year ago.
12. Syracuse Orange (2-3, 0-1): The Orange have come close in losses to LSU and NC State the past few weeks and now play Pitt, a team that looks vastly different from the one it faced a year ago.
13. Boston College Eagles (2-3, 0-2): Boston College beat Central Michigan, but the road gets much tougher, with upcoming games against Virginia Tech, Louisville, Virginia, Florida State and NC State.
14. North Carolina Tar Heels (1-4, 0-3): The Tar Heels looked completely out of sorts against Georgia Tech and should be feeling an increasing sense of urgency about how they are going to find five more wins on a schedule that has Notre Dame, Miami, Virginia Tech and NC State remaining.