The top four teams in the ACC power rankings are pretty obvious. The question is in what order they should go. We'll find that out next week when Clemson visits NC State, and Miami hosts Virginia Tech. In the meantime, let's not look too far beyond those four. It gets pretty ugly.
Kelly Bryant and the Tigers officially put the Syracuse loss in the rearview mirror with a strong performance against Georgia Tech. Bryant finished with 274 yards and two touchdowns, and Clemson controlled the game. Still, 24 points -- just three in the second half -- might not have been the offensive outburst Clemson fans were hoping for.
The Canes remain undefeated, but the offense has to be a big concern. The team is averaging just 10 points in the first halves of contests against FBS competition this year, 110th nationally. A slow start against the Hokies next week could be a death sentence.
The Hokies' D has five games in which it has given up zero or one TD to the opposition. Only Alabama and Washington have more. That's pretty good company -- and should be pretty intimidating for a Miami offense that's sputtering at the moment.
Things got ugly in South Bend, but the Pack still have plenty to play for. A Week 10 win against Clemson would put NC State in position to win the ACC, even if the nonconference slate hasn't been too kind.
Here's the good news for the Yellow Jackets: You don't have to face a Brent Venables defense again until next year. Here's the even better news: You never have to face Dorian O'Daniel again.
Greg Dortch needs more national attention. The freshman receiver has blossomed into one of the most explosive weapons in the ACC, with 10 catches, 167 yards, four touchdowns and 55 return yards against Louisville.
Break up the Eagles! BC's offense has sprung to life, racking up 121 points in the past three games behind some dynamic running from freshman AJ Dillon. In a crazy year in the ACC, BC's suddenly ferocious offense might be the biggest surprise of all.
In the past two seasons, Louisville has lost five games in which Lamar Jackson totaled at least 400 yards. It's almost astonishing how little the Cardinals have done with one of the best college players in the past decade.
It was an off week for the Orange, and they have to be licking their chops after seeing what BC did to Florida State -- Syracuse's Week 10 opponent.
After a miserable start to the season, Pitt is showing signs of life, thanks in large part to Darrin Hall, who finally has injected some spark into the Panthers' running game. He has 365 rush yards in the past two games.
The Cavaliers looked like a shoo-in for a bowl berth after a 5-1 start. Now? They're playing to an inside straight. Given Virginia's high APR, it would no doubt be a good bet for a bowl bid with five wins, but here's guessing that's not the way Bronco Mendenhall wants to get in.
On the field Friday, Florida State played 32 four- or five-star recruits. Boston College played two. So for all the problems FSU has, there's just no excuse for a team with that big of a talent edge to get blown out. What a mess in Tallahassee.
13. Duke Blue Devils
Since knocking off Northwestern in Week 2, Daniel Jones is completing fewer than half his passes with four TDs and six INTs, averaging just a tick better than 5 yards per attempt. That's brutal.
The Heels actually showed plenty of life, despite missing 21 injured players against Miami. There's something to be said for a team that has dealt with so much adversity still fighting. And yes, this is a dig at Florida State.