ACC Week 7 Power Rankings: Georgia Tech tumbles again

We’re at the midpoint of the season, and there’s a clear distinction between the top five in our ACC power rankings and the rest of the league. Here’s how things stack up ...

1. Clemson Tigers (6-0, 3-0 ACC): The only real concern for the Tigers through five games was the lack of a real downfield threat for Deshaun Watson. Well, he answered that in a dominant win over Boston College, throwing for more than 400 yards against the nation’s top-ranked defense.

2. Florida State Seminoles (6-0, 4-0 ACC): Everett Golson threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Louisville, which could be bad news for the rest of the ACC. If Golson’s arm proves to be half as dangerous as Dalvin Cook's legs, Florida State can do a lot of damage on offense.

3. North Carolina Tar Heels (5-1, 2-0 ACC): UNC has outgained five of its six opponents this season. The lone outlier was Georgia Tech, a game in which the Heels finished on a 38-10 run over the final 32 minutes. Gene Chizik has this defense rolling.

4. Duke Blue Devils (5-1, 2-0 ACC): It was a bye week for the Blue Devils, which gives coach David Cutcliffe a chance to work on his passing game. That seems to be the only weak link for a Duke team that has its sights set on a second Coastal title in three years.

5. Pittsburgh Panthers (5-1, 3-0 ACC): The lone loss came on a long field goal to an undefeated Iowa team. That’s a strong resume, and all that’s standing between Pitt and a Thursday showdown with North Carolina in two weeks is a reeling Syracuse.

6. Miami Hurricanes (4-2, 1-1 ACC): All the talk this week was whether Miami could bounce back following another tough loss to Florida State, but Brad Kaaya & Co. stated an emphatic case. The Canes have three teams to chase down in the Coastal though, and they’ll be on the road against all three.

7. Louisville Cardinals (2-4, 1-2 ACC): Here’s where the ACC’s standings go off the rails. A team with just one win over an FBS foe at No. 7? That about sums up the performance of the bottom half of the league so far. At least the Cardinals played Florida State close, and the losses to Houston and Clemson don’t look too bad.

8. Virginia Tech Hokies (3-4, 1-2 ACC): Michael Brewer couldn’t rescue the Hokies in the second half, and so the struggles continue. On the upside, Virginia Tech looks like it has found a true lead back in Travon McMillian.

9. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-4, 1-3 ACC): The Deacons picked off Marquise Williams on their first two defensive drives Saturday. That’s where the good news ended. Still, in a quagmire of flawed teams, Wake at least looks like it has some life.

10. Virginia Cavaliers (2-4, 1-1 ACC): Hey, Virginia got an ACC win! That’s something. Sure, it took triple overtime, and the Hoos’ secondary is still without an interception halfway through the season, but progress is progress.

11. NC State Wolfpack (4-2, 0-2 ACC): Dave Doeren’s crew had the week off to regroup after losing its first two ACC contests. Whether NC State can regain the form it showed against lower-tier opponents early in the season, however, remains a big question.

12. Boston College Eagles (3-4, 0-4 ACC): BC’s defense might still be one of the best in the country, but Clemson managed to take away even that silver lining for at least one Saturday. Steve Addazio has a young offense, and finding wins isn’t going to be easy moving forward.

13. Syracuse Orange (3-3, 1-1 ACC): Eric Dungey leaped over a defender. Riley Dixon ran a fake punt. And the Orange lost in triple overtime. This isn’t a terrible Syracuse team, but the past two games were wins it needed if it wanted to be taken seriously in the ACC.

14. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-5, 0-4 ACC): The journey is complete. Georgia Tech, in the span of six weeks, has gone from No. 1 in our power rankings to No. 14. Is it fair? Maybe not. After all, the five teams the Yellow Jackets have lost to are a combined 27-4. Oh, and up next? That’d be 6-0 Florida State. Sorry, Jackets. You deserve better.